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One year in and Ripple’s ecosystem initiative, Xpring, has racked up quite the bar tab.
Xpring has invested $500 million in more than 20 companies in the blockchain space, with the ultimate goal of building out an ecosystem focused around the cryptocurrency XRP. The coin is mostly used for cross-border payments but Ethan Beard, SVP of Xpring, argues that it can be used for much, much more.
“Our goal at Xpring is to make it easy for developers to build projects that create real use cases for XRP,” he wrote in a blog post.
Notable among these investments was the $100 million fund provided to gaming startup Forte, to help it develop games that use XRP.
Xpring has also invested at least $20 million in Coil, a micropayments service designed for content creators, which is run by the former CTO of Ripple.
Despite shelling out half a billion dollars, Ripple doesn’t expect to see much financial return—at least, not directly. But it does appear to be bearing fruit. After its cash injection into Coil, its XRP-based monetization services will soon be baked into Imgur, the online image sharing community.
Xpring’s ultimate strategy is to create a fertile environment and hope others will follow. In May, Beard told Decrypt, “We’re really investing to build out a tech platform that could allow hundreds of thousands to build on the technology very easily.”
And if that happens, well, Ripple will make a mint.