On Wednesday (February 13th), Ripple's incubator arm, Xpring, announced that it had invested in XRPL Labs, a startup co-founded by legendary Dutch developer Wietse Wind, who is famous in the XRP community for his highly innovative and useful contributions to the XRP ecosystem.
What is Xpring?
Xpring (pronounced “spring”), which was announced by Ripple on 14 May 2018, is an "initiative that builds infrastructure and helps innovative blockchain projects grow through investments and partnerships; it is "strongly focused on projects that build on and utilize XRP and the XRP Ledger." Xpring's objective is "to build a robust community of developers, entrepreneurs and companies who believe that blockchains, and the XRP Ledger in particular, will transform industries."
One of its main areas of interest is novel use cases for XRP as a payment mechanism, "such as micropayments, machine-to-machine payments, paid APIs and wallets."
What is XRPL Labs?
XRPL Labs is a startup created by Wietse Wind (@WietseWind) and two partners, Tristan (@ThisIsTRISS) and Ali (@baltazar223), in October 2018. All three had already separately developed interesting tools/applications powered by the XRP Ledger. Wind's most famous app is "XRP Tip Bot", a "bot that enables users on reddit, Twitter and Discord to send Ripple XRP to each other through reddit comments / tweets."
XRPL Labs plans to work on three projects over the next two years:
- "Signing Platform (App): Interact with the XRP ledger from your smartphone (iOS / Android). Sign transactions and keep your XRP safe by allowing 3rd party applications to send Sign Requests to your mobile device. DEX and MultiSign support"
- "Decentralized Exchange UI: View, create and cancel offers on the XRP ledger Decentralized Exchange. Trade XRP for IOU’s (and the other way around) from your browser."
- "Cold Storage OS: 100% Air Gapped. Get yourself a cheap laptop and install our Linux-based XRPL Cold Storage OS. Store your keypairs and secrets, safe and encrypted, and compose and sign transactions offline and submit your transactions airgapped."
Why Xpring Decided to Invest in XRPL Labs
Xpring's director, Vanessa Pestritto, says that Xpring wanted to work with Wietse Wind not just because of his "excellent past experience," but also due to his understanding of "the protocols and technical details of both the XRP Ledger and Interledger Protocol."
Also, they appreciated his leadership role in the XRP community, where "he has dedicated personal time and resources to building projects and developer tools, contributing to the XRP Community Blog, and educating developers at local meetups."
Pestritto says this funding "will enable Wietse to dedicate more time and resources to his projects, which he will independently select."
Reaction From Wietse Wind
Here is how Wind expressed his feelings on Twitter:
I cannot describe what I feel right now, but I'll try ... 😳 Starting today @baltazar223, @ThisIsTRISS and I will be officially working full time on building a few killer XRPL apps... Thanks to Xpring funding 😎🎉https://t.co/dhgErN2EBl— Wietse Wind (@WietseWind) February 13, 2019
As you can imagine, this is a dream come true. We can now focus two years on building the best tools we can imagine to support the XRP ledger, the XRPL developer community and consumer / small business use cases.— Wietse Wind (@WietseWind) February 13, 2019
The three primary projects we will be working on are listed at our new website, https://t.co/paq67pMnnV. More info will be published really soon, followed by an AMA on Twitter/Periscope (somewhere the next week).— Wietse Wind (@WietseWind) February 13, 2019
I want to thank @Ripple, the #Xpring team for believing in what we are doing and are going to do, and a special thanks to @nbougalis for introducing me to Vanessa, and @vanessadice: YOU ROCK 🎉 Thank you for your efforts, patience and your support!— Wietse Wind (@WietseWind) February 13, 2019
And the XRP community, as a whole, seems extremely pleased. Here is one example tweet from a prominent member of the XRP community:
Basically, my point is that Ripple is using the huge amount of funds they have to support XRP Community developers. This a great sign, because it means people don't have to keep day jobs and do full-time development, it makes #xrpthestandard and #InternetofValue much faster. 🎊— Dr. T ㊙️ (@XRPTrump) February 13, 2019
Featured Image Courtesy of Ripple