Here is Birla’s bio on Ripple’s website, where he is listed as a member of the Leadership Team:
“Asheesh is the GM of RippleNet at Ripple, which he first joined in 2013 to lead the development of its product suite. Asheesh is an industry expert on blockchain and a frequent contributor, speaker, and advisor on blockchain and cryptocurrency.
“Asheesh started his career as an entrepreneur over 15 years ago in Silicon Valley, where he founded a content management company that he later sold to Thomson Reuters, becoming its VP of Global Technology in 2005. After leaving Thomson Reuters in 2010, he advised and led product design at a number of startups in Silicon Valley. Asheesh was featured in Fortune Magazine’s The Ledger 40 under 40 in 2018.“
Birla’s comments about how well ODL did in 2021 and on Liquidity Hub, which is expected to launch this November (presumably at Ripple’s annual Swell conference), were made on episode 26 of “The Ripple Drop”.
With regard to the liquidity of crypto in general, Birla said:
“You know, at the very very beginning, when there was Bitcoin, the first thing you wanted to do was make Bitcoin liquid, and what that meant was you can interchange it for U.S. dollars. And that is facilitated through something called a crypto exchange… the great thing about crypto liquidity is that it’s easier to move around the world compared to something like fiat currency that needs a large number of banks and central banks to make it liquid and move around the world.
“So the great thing about crypto is that it’s way more liquid, and over the years, is becoming more and more liquid. If you look at the market today, hundreds of billions of dollars in cryptos [are] traded on a daily basis.that is up from 2013, when it was wasn’t even crossing a billion dollars liquidity.
“As we see more and more crypto liquidity come into the market, we’re able to offer a better product experience. That means you can send cross-border payments for a cheaper rate and that’s the great thing. And what we’ve seen in the crypto market is that about every year the amount of liquidity doubles.“
When asked what kind of growth RippleNet had experienced in 2021, Birla said:
“So I couldn’t be happier with the year that we had in 2021 with RippleNet. We ended the year at a 10 billion dollar runway in terms of volume moving through RippleNet as a whole, and we’re in 22 destination markets with on-demand liquidity.
“And that was a core piece of feedback that we heard from customers. They want that product, but they want it in more destinations. We’re close to having global coverage of ODL, which is super exciting.“
As for the benefits of ODL, Birla mentioned three things:
“Number one, it’s more capital-efficient to use ODL, and historically it was a problem, but as interest rates increase, as we are potentially going to see in the United States in 2022, the cost of capital is also going to increase, and the savings you get in terms of capital usage with ODL is going to be even more substantial. That means that our customers before ODL had to pre-fund using expensive capital in the destinations. With the ODL, they no longer have to do that.
“Number two, it’s faster to move money with ODL cross-border. So you get that speed increase.
“Then, lastly, as we talked about earlier, the price, in terms of sending money across borders continues to go down as crypto liquidity goes up.“
With regard to Liquidity Hub, which Birla first introduced last November at the Swell 2021 conference, he had this to say:
“Over the years, we’ve been really, really good and experts in provisioning global crypto liquidity around the world. No-one has processed more in cross-border payments using crypto liquidity than Ripple. So, we’ve become experts on provisioning a liquidity through third-party market makers.
“We’ve been experts in tapping into global equity using exchanges around the world, and when our customers started asking us ‘hey, we can source cross-border payment liquidity from your products… is there a possibility that we can offer our customers digital assets such as Bitcoin and Ether and so forth?’.
“We already had all the infrastructure built for ODL, and we had expertise in building crypto liquidity. So, it was a really natural evolution of our product set, and we were able to bring the product to market a lot quicker because we had all this infrastructure build…
“You can think of Liquidity Hub as Google Flights or Kayak, but for crypto liquidity. We are going to integrate across a number of different exchanges leveraging a lot of the infrastructure that we already built for ODL, and find the best rate for how much liquidity you want to source in terms of the cryptos that we offer. There should be a one integration into our product to get the best rates across all these different liquidity venues. Essentially, it should be a pretty turnkey experience for our customers who want to offer the ability to buy and hold crypto on behalf of their customers…
“A lot of folks are coming to us first with trying to learn more about, not only Liquidity Hub, but also like a cross-sell into ODL, and to have both of those products available for our customers is a game changer. We’re working our way through the customers interested in in both products, and we’re really excited about getting our next set of customers integrated into Liquidity Hub over the next few months.“
The views and opinions expressed by the author, or any people mentioned in this article, are for informational purposes only, and they do not constitute financial, investment, or other advice. Investing in or trading cryptoassets comes with a risk of financial loss.