Blockchain Startup Ripple Unveils New CEO As Competition Heats Up

Distributed payments tech startup Ripple has announced Brad Garlinghouse as its new CEO, set to replace the outgoing Chris Larsen as he prepares to stand down.

The current company president, Garlinghouse will be tasked with taking Ripple to the next level, with an immediate hiring round planned to secure the services of an additional 30 developers.

The former AOL executive steps into the limelight at the head of the fast-growing company after four years, during which over $100 million has been spent developing the supporting technology.

According to Larsen, who will now assume responsibility as the company’s executive chairman, the move is designed to help with scaling the technology and Ripple, as it looks to become an increasingly competitive threat to market leader Swift.

Playing down reports of a precursor to exit, Larsen said the move was well timed to capitalize on the strong market position Ripple has already built. "We’ve got this great position and now we want to jump to the next lily pad, which is scaling."

Ripple is designed to challenge the days-long turnaround time of payment processing with current payment technologies like Swift. Instead, the company aims to turn around payment clearing in a matter of minutes, to provide more responsive payments for the digital age.

With Garlinghouse at the helm, it is hoped his experience will prove fundamental in helping the company become a global challenger, as it seeks to use blockchain technology to overhaul B2B and intra-bank settlement.

Ripple is currently valued at $410 million according to independent analysis, reflecting a strong ROI on the $100 million of investor capital so far ploughed into the business. Through using the blockchain to provide a more streamlined mechanism for transactions, Ripple is hoping the next few years will see it grow further still, penetrating new markets and becoming a more central part of the developing blockchain payments space.

Blockchain is the technology that drives decentralized currencies such as Bitcoin. As more companies and investors switch on to a range of wider commercial applications, it looks like the age of the Bitcoin could be right around the corner.