Earlier this week, hundreds of seasoned professionals from the blockchain and global payments community gathered in San Francisco for Swell— the second annual conference by our client Ripple. Hosted at the Terra Gallery, the venue was buzzing with innovation as the brightest minds in policy, payments, and fintech discussed the next era of payment technology across the two-day event.
Installations demonstrating facts about cross-border payments and Ripple software decorated the walls. The second floor was home to the main stage where the conference’s sessions took place. Across both days of the conference, a central theme was highlighting blockchain as a global opportunity, as well as exhibiting use cases.
Day one kicked off with a keynote by 42nd President of the United States Bill Clinton, who drew parallels between the new wave of blockchain enthusiasm to that of the internet during his presidency. Clinton’s fireside chat with Gene Sperling, National Economic Council Director and National Economic Advisor under Presidents Clinton and Obama, covered concerns around regulation and emerging technology.
Thoughts from the stage:
“To effectively advance in blockchain, we must move on from horse and buggy technology in other areas.” - Former U.S. President Bill Clinton
On top of opening remarks from Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse and sessions with speakers from Banco Santander, the IMF, and RiceHadleyGates, the day continued the excitement with the official announcement that xRapid, the Ripple product powering transactions, is commercially available and will go into production with three financial institutions.
Closing out the first day of the event, attendees were treated Monday night with a performance from the Counting Crows.
On day two, the morning began with Ripple Chief Market Strategist Cory Johnson and Celent Senior Analyst Alenka Grealish discussing proprietary research on payments trends. The rest of the day included panels and flash talks on cross-continental crypto regulation and digital asset adoption, and thoughts from futurist leaders in the blockchain space.
Professionals in the audience left the conference with key insights on the future of global payments and blockchain technology. Garlinghouse drove the conference home with a final thought: “Change takes a grassroots movement, and Ripple is driving it.”
Thank you to the Ripple team for having us at #SwellByRipple!