Sibos 2017: Swift’s Sibos vs Ripple’s Swell
The distributed ledger technology (DLT) firm Ripple has attracted attention on the opening day of this year’s Sibos with its cars outside the Metro Toronto Convention Centre (MTCC) ferrying people back and forth to its own rival Swell event downtown.
With banks, tech firms, corporate treasurers and speakers of the calibre of Dr Ben Bernanke, ex-chairman of the US Federal Reserve System, participating in the three-day Swell event in the Distillery District of Toronto, it could be seen as a potentially rivalrous gathering.
But this interpretation was initially rebutted by Javier Pérez-Tasso, chief executive, Americas & UK Region, Swift, who told Daily News at Sibos: “Sibos is an event where the financial services industry gathers together from diverse sectors from payments to securities. That ecosystem includes vendors such as Ripple, who are welcome to hold their own discussions. That is the strength of Sibos. We encourage networking.
“Debate is welcome around the challenges facing the industry, such as innovation and compliance, and Sibos is good at encouraging that debate. We want others to join in too and Ripple are welcome to hold their own events.”
However, he also pointed out that Swift has Sir Tim Berners Lee, inventor of the world wide web, on its own Sibos schedule too. He is opening the Innotribe stream today (17 October) before going on to give a speech on the future of technology at Ripple’s Swell later.
His colleague Stephen Grainger, head of North America, Swift added: “Ripple may have a role to play providing innovation on the top”, while Swift itself “sees our role as looking after the core”.
Ripple’s vice-president, marketing and communications, Monica Long, said Sibos was the place for bankers to come together. “We’ve sponsored Sibos for the past two years and are sponsoring again this year. But, we’ve been hearing from our customers for the past year asking us to create a forum for them to connect to other members and further grow the network, and to hear pointed industry commentary on the future implications of blockchain and digital assets.
“Featuring complementary programming to Sibos, Swell by Ripple is an inside look into our industry perspective, and an opportunity for banks, their corporate customers, and payment providers to meet in one place to advance the world of payments.” Delegates being ferried between Swell and Sibos will decide for themselves what role, if any, Ripple will play in the future.
By Neil Ainger, reporter, Daily News at Sibos
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