VP of Global Payments Sony Joseph on Furthering the Promise of Crypto
I’m excited to share that I’m starting a new adventure and have joined Ripple as the VP of Global Payments to further the promise of crypto, and empower each and every one of us across the world with a level playing field for financial access. It is this promise, together with the ability for anyone to remix and create innovative financial protocols in a permissionless manner, that got me excited when I was first introduced to crypto and what still excites me about the industry today.
I first learned about crypto a decade ago through my early interactions with Ripple – at that time it was a fledgling startup called OpenCoin. The term I heard then was P2P Money. Having no clue what it meant, it started me on the proverbial crypto journey that took me from tinkering with remittance solutions on top of Bitcoin and the XRP Ledger; to hacking away with some of the Ethereum OGs pre-release; to building a startup in the cross-border micro-investment space on Tezos.
Since then, there has been a Cambrian explosion of chains, protocols, and innovations: be it in the DeFi space, creator economies via NFTs, DAO co-operatives or even gaming with P2E models. While each innovation brings us a step forward, crypto has yet to reach true mass adoption and fulfill the promise of democratizing financial access. In order to achieve this mass adoption, we need to distribute – at scale – the touchpoints users already interact with and have a trusted relationship.
This requires partnering with financial institutions by integrating the crypto infrastructure seamlessly into their existing financial fabric – each building on the other’s strengths and capabilities. In tandem, it’s critical that these complex crypto products are simplified into value offerings that everyday users can make use of in their daily lives in a trusted manner.
Ripple has painstakingly built a strong foundation and fine-tuned the delivery mechanism needed to bring the crypto and fiat worlds together. Three things stood out to me that makes the company well-positioned to tackle what I believe is critical to crypto achieving mass adoption – and what excited me about this next step in my career.
Ripple is rebuilding the cross-border payment stack one layer at a time – upending decades-old infrastructure – while integrating with the core banking infrastructure across 55 countries and hundreds of financial institutions. In the future, when crypto rails are working in tandem with the existing fiat layer at scale, it will pave the way to introduce stable instruments of exchange—such as stablecoins and CBDCs—together with on/off-ramps for crypto<>fiat. This allows the value exchange to remain within crypto until the last mile, generating massive efficiencies for financial institutions, fintechs, SMEs and the overall market.
With crypto rails already integrated into their core systems, banks and financial institutions become a powerful distribution channel to reach the masses – bringing them new financial products powered by crypto in a safe, secure and compliant manner. Users will further benefit when banks themselves use DeFi protocols to further lower their operational cost. While these may seem like a pipe dream, remember it wasn’t so long ago that it also seemed impossible for banks to interact with crypto or companies to hold BTC on their balance sheets. A good example is how Ripple helps FIs reduce the pre-funding amounts needed for cross-border transactions using their payments solution, and in the future Liquidity Hub, thereby reducing the cost of payments for individual users.
Users care about value, trust and ease of use. A bridge currency can abstract complexity by facilitating the orchestration of value across chains, protocols and onto financial rails. This simplifies the offering for the end users without them having to worry about which chain and where the value is derived from—almost like smart value routing. Because it is fast, inexpensive, scalable and built for payments, XRP is uniquely positioned to do just this, making it a vital part of Ripple’s payments solution.
The move to Ripple brings me back full circle to where I started my interest in crypto a decade ago. Through this journey, the deep-rooted passion has been the same: reimagine our financial systems through crypto primitives and democratize finance. I’m looking forward to making it happen by building on the Internet of Value with the amazing team here at Ripple.
Interested in building the Internet of Value alongside Sony? Learn more about joining Ripple.