Ripple (XRP) as announced that it wants to take over 50% of India’s finance sector by processing payments with low fees and efficient systems, according to CCN.

The announcement was made at the recent Scaling and Digital Disruption in Fintech conference by Ripple Vice President Asheesh Birla, where he suggested that he saw Ripple’s digital currency XRP becoming India’s dominant force, outgrowing Bitcoin.

XRP, which has dropped from over USD 3 at its peak to around USD 0.44 today, was due to become part of a company giveaway of XRP 2 billion to the entire population of the country, according to Birla. The project was conceived in order to familiarize all Indians with the cryptocurrency and encourage its adoption on the sub-continent. Ripple’s vice president explained his reasoning and why they abandoned the idea:

We looked early on at India, and we looked at two billion people – a huge market. And we decided, how do you get two billion people onto Ripple? Do we give the currency away to every Indian, that’s like two billion – just give it away?”

The cost of the giveaway would have been significant, amounting to about USD 880 million at XRP’s current rate, but notably, if the coin had returned to its all-time highs the tokens would have blown out to USD 7 billion in value.

Clearly, getting coins to 2 billion people, many of whom have no access to electronic data or banking, would have been an impossible task. Earlier, Ripple had even considered larger giveaways. Birla explained that the company decided that a better distribution method would be through building a network of banks.:

“…we realized that if you get the top three banks in India onto Ripple, you get 80% of the market share… And so we realized in the next five years, one billion people will become banked in India, but they’ll be banked through their phone. So then we started targeting mobile phone providers and telcos.”

Birla says that Ripple now has 50% of Indian market “either integrated onto Ripple or in the deal, in the sort of pipeline to be signed to India”.

Securing the Indian market and working with the Japanese and South Korean banking systems could help Ripple establish a global financial network on the blockchain.

 

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