Originally Published in April 2018.
Note: This article was written and published back in the spring of 2018 as a fun and reflective analysis of the BearableGuy castle drawing. It appeared somewhat obvious to me at the time that the drawing was heavily influenced by some of my previous esoteric writings on the global monetary system, whether conscious or unconscious. It's always entertaining to speculate and have some fun with patterns and symbolism, but all should be cautioned on making financial decisions based on such things. Financial and investment decisions should only be made after extensive research and your risk tolerance is evaluated. Fortunately, there have been many fantastic researchers in the XRP Community who have shared invaluable information which has built confidence in XRP as the bridge asset. A big thanks to all of them. - JC
For years now the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), International Monetary Fund (IMF), G20, BRICS, and the Financial Stability Board (FSB) have all been working together on developing the best alternative to the role of the USD as the primary reserve asset used in the global monetary system. The challenge has been to find a supra-sovereign asset, which is an asset not owned or anchored to the domestic economy of any one nation, with enough global liquidity to function as the base, or bridge asset, for the full global framework.
The USD, and the British pound before, have been a drag on the international system almost since its rise to full prominence in 1944. The use of a domestic currency as the bridge asset in a global system ensures that the demand placed on that currency will expand the money supply far beyond what the domestic economy can sustain. This is what happened with the USD and the symptoms are around us everywhere.
America went from having the world’s largest trade surplus in 1944 to now having the world’s largest trade deficit. Global imbalances based on USD accumulation in the foreign exchange reserve accounts of central banks, and inconsistent exchange rate arrangements between the USD and the domestic currencies of other nations, are the fundamental challenges that need to be addressed.
The nations and institutions, who have been working on correcting these imbalances, which includes America were considering the expanded use of the Special Drawing Right (SDR) of the IMF. The SDR was created in 1969 and was meant to be a basket of predetermined domestic currencies, like the dollar and pound, which could be used to provide liquidity during a global crisis. The crisis of course would be caused by the imbalances created by the international use of the domestic USD.
Following the SDR was the development of OPEC and the petrodollar arrangement between Saudi Arabia and America to ensure all global energy sales were transacted in USD. The SWIFT system of cross-border payments was implemented to facilitate the expanding use of the USD.
These are all important monetary facts to understand because what is happening in the world now around crypto-assets and cross-border payment improvements is a direct response to the inefficiencies and imbalances which have contributed to a one-sided distribution of wealth in the world.
It’s just as hard for some to wrap their heads around the world which is quickly emerging on a day-by-day basis, as it is to understand the complex nature and history of the monetary system which we are currently living under. This is why I spend so much time finding new ways to write and present the same information. Everyone has a different way of understanding the information.
For the last 5 years, I have been writing about the SDR and the need for nations and global institutions to come together and engineer an alternative to the USD. The SDR, being the best test case scenario at the time, was promoted by the IMF, BIS, and China as the dollar alternative. But the SDR needed almost a complete overhaul to make it liquid enough to meet global demands.
We are now experiencing a crypto renaissance as blockchain potential is being fully realized around the world. Central banks and commercial banks are openly talking about developing their own ledgers and crypto-assets. Think about that for a second. It means that there will soon be a crypto version of the USD on its own Federal Reserve ledger.
That’s the thing many people also don’t understand about ledgers. Ledgers are the new banks.
As my fingers move across the keyboard there are huge plans unfolding in boardrooms around the world. These plans are incorporating the fundamental ingredients required for the alchemical transformation of the international monetary system.
Since at least the 1600’s (perhaps as far back as the time of the Phoenician Empire) something I call the Crown Beast has been moving wealth around the world from empire to empire. With the establishment of the first central bank in Amsterdam, this power has utilized the concept of reserve currencies to build the pathways and corridors for wealth and value to move from location to location.
The Dutch held the reserve currency during the time there was a Dutch Empire. The Spanish held the reserve currency during the time there was a Spanish Empire. The French held the reserve currency during the time there was a French Empire. The British held the reserve currency during the time there was a British Empire.
America has held the reserve currency during the period which has been undeniably defined as American hegemonic and unilateral world dominance.
At the end of each period the Crown Beast, like the alchemical ouroboros, devours its own tail. The thing to understand about the ouroboros is that the tail, which represents the past, the old, is now hidden inside of the new as it vanishes inside the serpent. But it is the same as it always has been. The lineage of empires and reserve currencies, and the wealth which transitioned with them, are the ouroboros.
It’s worth pointing out that the ouroboros is not just represented as a serpent eating its own tail, but is also represented as a figure eight, or symbol of infinite. The same figure eight is also being used to represent the artificial intelligence singularity.
Based on the above understanding we can make the determination that the transformation of the USD into a crypto version would have the same allegorical meaning as the ouroboros. The owners of ancient wealth who have been pulling the puppet strings of the business, banking, and academic establishments which have built up around each empire and fiat currency, will now manipulate the USD under a crypto version that will be on its own ledger. The forthcoming USD ledger will have to interact with other ledgers, with ledgers being the new banks.
Another esoteric symbol that is worth considering is that of the phoenix or the rise of the Phoenician Empire from its ashes. Most readers will have a working understanding of the phoenix symbolism, but applying it to real-world events, or applications, is grossly overused. So it is with caution that I reference the yearly cycle of Bitcoin as it crashes and burns, only to rise again to ever greater heights.
Bitcoin is at the core of the blockchain and crypto world. It was the first of its kind. Some are suggesting that Bitcoin could be the new reserve currency that replaces the USD. There are huge challenges with that, but maybe we are not looking at the full picture.
The change which is just about upon us will be so radical that the previous concepts, such as reserve currency, and foreign exchange reserves, as well as capital flows, will be completely redefined, or will no longer be in use. We just assume that there will be a new reserve currency. But what if there is no need for a reserve currency? What if there is no need for foreign exchange reserves? What if capital flows no longer flow, but integrate?
The case uses for Bitcoin under a whole new crypto monetary framework could breathe new life into the original blockchain asset. Both Bitcoin and the USD will persevere for the time being, but neither will be capable of providing the function which a new global crypto monetary system will require.
This is where the crypto asset XRP by Ripple comes into play. XRP will be capable of providing cross-border payment services measured in seconds at only fractions of a cent. What reserve currencies have been doing for centuries, XRP will do at thousands of times the efficiency.
Considering that ledgers are the new banks, the interledger protocol of Ripple should create a lot of excitement as the one bridge function connects all other ledgers and allows for value to move around the world. As such, the interledger is the new version of the reserve currency in the same manner that ledgers are the new banks.
The new global crypto monetary framework, or the castle, so to speak, and the wealth within it, will be managed and protected by the interledger system, with XRP serving as the bridge asset in a new exchange arrangement that will eliminate the imbalances and inefficiencies associated with past fiat reserve currencies.
Those evolving businesses, banking, and academic interests which have moved from empire to empire will no longer have control as the fully decentralized XRP interledger expands. Not even Ripple will have influence or control over the interledger once more non-Ripple validators are added. Each ledger that joins the interledger can have its own validator. This would be the distribution of fairness within the architecture.
Consider, if decentralized ledgers are the new banks, then by default of definition, the interledger would be the decentralized World Bank which makes it all possible. Except, in this case, no one nation with a dominant reserve currency can control it through hegemonic business and banking practices.
While a decentralized XRP guards the castle gate, the new crypto USD and Bitcoin, and those who attempt to control and manipulate both, will not be allowed to corrupt the new global crypto monetary system and cause an unfair, undeserved, and imbalanced movement of wealth and value to the places which convenience them the most. The full system will be protected by the XRP interledger through blockchain sword and spear.
It is inevitable that each nation’s central bank will develop its own ledgers and hold other cryptos in what is now called the foreign exchange reserve accounts. If China wants to exchange crypto RMB for crypto USD, (This is now in 2021 what we call CBDC's and these will be minted on the XRP Ledger and use XRP as the bridge exchange asset for interoperability. - JC) it will do so by using XRP as the exchange asset. If the Federal Reserve wants to hold Bitcoin in its own foreign exchange reserve account, it will have to exchange crypto USD for Bitcoin first by using XRP as the exchange asset. (Statements have been made in Feb of 2021 which indicate that central banks will not hold Bitcoin but could hold other digital assets. Time will tell on this front. - JC)
XRP will be the bridge asset that serves to connect all assets and ledgers through the interledger protocol.
The unpopular truth which most do not see during this early time of adoption is the total dominance that XRP will attain in the future. With payment apps and a whole new micropayment industry emerging, there will come a time when needing anything other than XRP will be forgotten. (The onset of DeFi such as the Flare Network and digital assets which will run on those networks will enhance the utilization of XRP and other digital assets. This is a big ecosystem that is developing and there will be room for solid assets with a strong use case. - JC) - End