In a sign of the major cryptocurrency players’ continued influence and ability to pay premium speaking fees, the keynote speaker for Ripple’s two-day Swell conference was none other than former President Bill Clinton.
In what felt like a very odd cameo for Clinton, the former president largely meandered through an hour-long conversation about his new James Patterson book, gun regulation, backroom stories regarding the Oslo Treaty and a couple loosely connected points about the cryptocurrency space tossed in there for the audience.
Clinton expectedly did not dive into the regulatory intricacies facing multi-billion dollar enterprises like Ripple (the company), but he did offer a bit of caution to those responsible for where the industry moves next through the lens of what he experienced in the late 1990s dealing with internet companies.
“I think it’s very important that people like you who live on the edge of this will not get so carried away with the immediate financial rewards and sense of empowerment that you forget that one rule nobody’s repealed is that if things sound too good to be true they probably are,” Clinton said. “In a modern world you need a way of determining that and hedging against it without killing the goose that laid the golden egg. That means you have to be clever about what regulatory or other structures that you set up.”
While Clinton certainly did not appear to be a Shingy-esque blockchain evangelist onstage, he delivered a targeted amount of enthusiasm about new technologies like blockchain and artificial intelligence in enhancing accessibility and shaping the country’s economic future.
“This whole blockchain deal has the potential it does only because it is applicable across national borders and income groups, the permutations and possibilities are staggeringly great,” Clinton said.
It’s an understatement that Ripple (the company) has had a staggeringly great calendar year since its last Swell conference, as XRP has come to rest 3x where it was a year ago, though, in the meantime it surged astronomic multiples beyond the growth seen by other volatile cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and dove downward nearly as quickly.
Though Clinton was verbose on plenty of topics unrelated to the conference’s topic at hand, his few words regarding “not killing the golden goose” with premature or overreaching legislation seemed to be a popular point with investors and entrepreneurs in the crowd who have bought into the concept that XRP is perhaps the “safer” choice for betting on a future financial structure shaped by cryptocurrencies.