San Francisco-based Ripple, the creators of XRP cryptocurrency has announced a new project called “Xpring” (pronounced “spring”) to provide financial backing to companies that develop products and services for XRP, the third-largest cryptocurrency with a market cap of more than $29 billion today.
Currently, Ripple is being tested out, or used by multiple banks and not much beyond that. The company aims to change that with Xpring. Ripple will invest, incubate, acquire and provide grants to companies that make use of their digital asset XRP and XRP Ledger.
In an official statement, the Ripple team said:
“As a major contributor to the XRP Ledger codebase and large holder of XRP, we often hear from entrepreneurs and developers that they’d like support in one form or another to help them with their XRP-related projects. As one of the few blockchain companies with traction for a non-speculative use case, we feel we’re uniquely positioned to support entrepreneurs in a meaningful way.”
Ripple has also brought in Ethan Beard as a Senior Vice President to lead Xpring and Ripple’s developer program. Ethan served as Director of the Facebook Developer Network from 2009-2012, where he oversaw worldwide developer relations, operations and product marketing for the Facebook API. Before Facebook, he served as Director of Social Media and Director of New Business Development at Google.
“I love helping startups leverage new technologies and developments to grow. At Facebook, we saw companies in areas like gaming, music, and news use our platform to become big businesses,” said Ethan Beard. “Blockchain and digital assets have the ability to solve important problems and XRP – with it’s speed, scalability and demonstrated real-world use case – is a great tool for startups and entrepreneurs to build businesses around.”
Ripple has already announced a few projects they’ve already funded. Just last month, they invested $25 Million in XRP to Blockchain Capital’s $150 Million VC Fund. Blockchain Capital now manages over $350 Million in assets including investments in companies like Coinbase, Circle and Kraken.
Earlier this year, Ripple executives Stefan Thomas (CTO) and Chris Larsen (executive chairman and co-founder) invested in Omni. Though it was not an investment by Ripple, the company will soon integrate XRP as a currency in their marketplace.
Since XRP tokens currently have limited (but growing) use-cases, the new initiative could bolster its already-large market cap. It can also help new projects secure funding to build products and get support from Ripple.