The Big Race
Feb 08, 2019
One by one, they entered the starting gates...
The finest payment competitors in the world are gathered for this final decisive battle, which will leave only one with the title of the best payment system IN THE WORLD!! The course is a gruelling many-year-long obstacle-filled terrain that would KILL the average payment system, but these are no mere mortal systems, no these are the best of breed, built from the ground up to tackle whatever mother finance could throw at them.
Gate 1 We have the very popular VISA B-52 Bomber, with a simply massive 8-stack turbine jet array, brimming with ‘Everywhere you want to be’ pamphlets, and the vast majority of the audience here today has been a fan of VISA forever.
Gate 2 Another favorite, the PayPal Rocket. Zippy, slick, and a single pushbutton control, making it super-easy to fly.
Gate 3 Boooo! Exploiting the disadvantaged, Boooo!..cries the audience as the modified Western Union 1936 Mercedes 260D hyperdiesel 'death mobile' pulled into its gate. Not a lot of love here.
Gate 4 Coughing and belching a massive black cloud and creaking and groaning at the seams, the rickety blasphemy of the Bitcoin Steam-powered Locomotive, slowly rails into its gate. From beneath the bleachers where the anarchists have assembled after sneaking in, a screaming chorus of ‘Death to banks! Death to government!’ erupts. Riot police are dispatched, and multiple troglodytes are tasered.
Gate 5 From seemingly outer space, what comes rolling up next is quite the spectacle. It’s the amazingly complex ODL Lunar Lander! The most advanced payments system ever conceived. (Crickets).
Gate 6 A latecomer to the race, but certainly the most talked about recently, we have the Stablecoin Lamborghini. Glistening with chrome, carbon fibre everything, money pouring out the doors, covered with swimsuit models; they’re really making an entrance.
Gate 7 And finally the last gate, reserved for the long-reigning champ, SWIFT, is empty. The audience is wondering where could SWIFT be? Are they too complacent to care about the competition? But wait, what’s that roar coming from off in the distance? Could it be? It is!! It’s the SWIFT all-terrain triple-axle Military Hummer and a veritable army of support drones, bearing down on the start line at top speed. Absolutely massive, loaded to the tits with machine guns, and flush with cash. Just listen to that crowd of bankers scream in ecstasy!! An amazing sight, and testament to what hundreds of greedy bankers are capable of creating in the absence of competition. And…there it goes...blasting right through the starting gate without even tapping the brakes, in a thunderous cloud of noise, smoke screens, and unnecessary gratuitous ordinance discharging. Within seconds, SWIFT is over the horizon and out of sight; assured a strong lead before the race even begins.
The race begins
The Gates of Regulation
All gates fly open, except for Bitcoin Steam Locomotive, ODL Lunar Lander, and Stablecoin Lamborghini’s; (collectively known as the Crypto 3). Seems their gates have been locked by the 'regulatory' padlock. This doesn’t stop the VISA B-52 Bomber, PayPal Rocket, or Western Union 1936 Mercedes however, they’ve paid the right people off, and they’re on their way!
The frustration mounts as the Crypto 3 struggle to make progress in unlocking regulations. Seems nobody is going to bet on their payment services if they can’t even get regulatory clarity. The other competitors are long gone, however, progress continues, and one tumbler at a time falls into place with the right legislative bills being passed and the continuing education of leaders, eventually, finally, the lock is picked! The Crypto 3 smash through the Gates of Regulation and they’re off.
The Forest of Error Rate
At the front of the pack, the SWIFT Hummer now enters the Forest of Error Rate. The SWIFT Hummer does its best, but it clips a tree and loses its passenger mirror, hits a stump and flattens a tire, overall, takes a serious shit-kicking before it emerges from the other side, missing all kinds of pieces.
The more nimble Western Union 1936 Mercedes easily navigates the Forest of Error Rate and emerges with but a few scratches.
The VISA B-52 Bomber and PayPal Rocket easily glide over the Forest of Error Rate, maybe a nick here or there.
The Crypto 3 finally get to the Forest of Error Rate, spend some time mapping it out, borrow strategies from each other, and eventually choose the best way forward. The Bitcoin Steam Locomotive uses its head of steel to plow through the trees, creating a path for the ODL Lunar Lander and the Stablecoin Lamborghini, and they all manage to get through it without a scratch.
The River of Liquidity
The SWIFT Hummer and Western Union 1936 Mercedes both blast through the River of Liquidity without even losing speed, easily skating to the other side. Of course the VISA B-52 Bomber and PayPal Rocket don’t feel a thing as they glide over this obstacle. The Bitcoin Steam Locomotive surprisingly muscles its way across the River of Liquidity because of the solid riverbed, as does the well-backed Stablecoin Lamborghini (is there anything a Lambo can’t do?).
The ODL Lunar Lander however, stops. Because it's such a space-age light design, every attempt to cross the River of Liquidity just results in it floating and getting washed back onto shore where it started. Seems it won’t even finish the race if it can’t get past this liquidity obstacle.
The Cliff of Instant Payments
KaBANG!! The SWIFT Hummer hits the cliff like a hammer hits an anvil. Stopped dead. It looks back to see the VISA B-52 Bomber and PayPal Rocket try to fly over the top of the cliff, but they get snagged by the Net of Deferred Settlement that was hidden in the clouds. Yet, like some freakish demon, the Western Union 1936 Mercedes drives right up the Cliff of Instant Payments, over the Net of Deferred Settlement, and continues on unabated.
It takes a bit more time, but the VISA B-52 Bomber and PayPal Rocket have to go around the Net of Deferred Settlement, failing the obstacle and suffering a severe penalty from the judges.
Descending from the clouds, an army of GPI drones land on the Hummer and literally pick it up, and over the Cliff of Instant Payments and the Net of Deferred Settlement. Never let it be said that an old dinosaur can’t learn new tricks.
The Stablecoin Lamborghini downshifts, finds HUGE sponsors and investors, and hits the Ramp to Make my Allegories Work, to easily glide over the Cliff of Instant Payments and the Net of Deferred Settlement, landing softly on the other side to resume the race.
The Bitcoin Steam Locomotive, not to be denied, also hits the ramp at full speed, but what it makes up for in weight, it fails in speed, and juuuust about makes it over the Net of Deferred Settlement, but gets its rear wheels caught on the top rope, leaving it dangling just out of sight high up in the clouds. The audience gasps, Where did it go? Is it coming out the other side? Did I pay enough fees?... FINALLY, the Bitcoin Steam Locomotive manages to free itself an hour later, landing on the other side, and back in the race.
Meanwhile, the ODL Lunar Lander sits there, alone, still stuck at the unsurpassable River of Liquidity that it can’t enter. Depressed. Is this the end of the race for it?
The Swamp of High Fees
The Western Union 1936 Mercedes was doing really well, but its tires were never meant to contend with deep water, and upon entering the Swamp of High Fees, it was quickly bogged down and lost a lot of momentum.
The SWIFT Hummer alone could probably crush it through the Swamp of High Fees, but the sheer weight of the Hummer with its on-board maintenance teams, thousands of staff-members to feed, and multi-jurisdiction compliance makes it difficult to quickly pass through this obstacle.
Upon entering the Swamp of High Fees, The VISA B-52 Bomber's engines started faltering from oxygen starvation due to the high methane concentrations. It made it to the other side alright, but those engines will never be the same.
The PayPal Rocket suffered some turbulence, but despite a rough ride, was able to cross the Swamp of High Fees
The Stablecoin Lamborghini dropped the pedal and effortlessly skipped across the Swamp of High Fees. Seems like the Stablecoin Lambo might be the one to watch in this race.
Poor Bitcoin Steam Locomotive.. Didn't even try to cross. With absurd fees and no chance at facilitating low-value payments economically, it could never get traction in the Swamp of High Fees. It just shrugged, and took the bypass penalty. No point lying about it.
Meanwhile, back at the River of Liquidity, the ODL Lunar Lander sat in tears. Oh how will I ever get into this River of Liquidity?? Suddenly, before the ODL Lunar Lander's eyes, appeared a Coil, and that coil started diverting some of the river's liquidity into the lunar lander, and then a TipBot appeared, and it too started filling the lunar lander with water, and then a Codius appeared, and a Xpring, micropayments, killers apps, gaming, commerce, etc. all filling the lunar lander with water. Now, bursting with liquidity, the ODL Lunar Lander was finally able to sink enough in the River of Liquidity to get traction on the riverbed, and it then blasted through to the other side and was back in the race!
The Slippery Slope of Scale
The SWIFT Hummer takes one look at this giant mass of mud, locks the front hubs, and effortlessly rooster tails its way over.
The Western Union 1936 Mercedes pulls out and installs some satanic-looking tire chains, giving a surprising amount of traction for climbing the Slippery Slope of Scale
The VISA B-52 Bomber, again, unhindered by ground terrain, it solved all these challenges long ago.
The PayPal Rocket, just followed the B-52. Hey, it works
The Stablecoin Lamborghini is struggling a bit. Seems there are some growing pains even with being a modern cryptocurrency, but real-time enhancements to the technology are helping it, and eventually it crosses the Slippery Slope of Scale, but it took a long time.
The Bitcoin Steam Locomotive hit that Slippery Slope of Scale and sank up to its knees in mud. Iron wheels spinning freely, with zero traction, in fact, every attempt to move forward with a modification, just created a new steam locomotive. Like BCH, and Bitcoin Gold, etc, however nothing would help the Bitcoin Steam Locomotive itself, and eventually it had to give up and take the bypass penalty. Doesn't look good for the Bitcoin Steam Locomotive.
But wait, what's that way behind us? That thing that just blasted over the Cliff of Instant Payments, easily clearing the Net of Deferred Settlement, and is now skipping across the Swamp of High Fees like it ain't no thing? Yeehaa, there's ODL Lunar Lander rocketing up behind the leaders at breakneck speed. Maybe everybody kinda wrote them off a bit early perhaps?
Well, not too early, for just like the Stablecoin Lamborghini, traction on the Slippery Slope of Scale is a real problem, and so modification after modification needs to be made. First Cobalt, then sharding, but eventually, the ODL Lunar Lander summits and is on the tail of the rest of the pack.
And now for everyone's favorite part of the race, the 'sudden death' round! No more bypassing obstacles. All remaining obstacles must be completed before moving on.
The Rock of Nostro
Finally, a way to compare brains to brawn, Where each racer is pitted against its own weight, giving the advantage to those with the most power to weight ratio.
The SWIFT Hummer stops in disbelief. Its nostro boulder is the size of a 10-story building. It can't budge it. Firing guns at it, kamikaze drones, repeated front-end collisions with it. That nostro boulder isn't budging. After such a great run, and seemingly effortless series of great accomplishments, SWIFT is undone by the very heart of what it is, a massive behemoth that can't simplify its structure to be able to compete with the more nimble competitors. SWIFT Hummer is out of the race.
The Western Union 1936 Mercedes has a similar 8-story nostro rock that it can't possibly budge by itself, so it too is now out of the race. Same for the VISA B-52 Bomber, and the PayPal Rocket
The Crypto 3 don't even have nostro rocks to deal with, and zip through this stage. They are all that's left.
The Minefield of Counterparty Risk
The Bitcoin Steam Locomotive hits the "China dominance" land mine and blows its wheels off. Begging for mercy, it claims that things can change, but with all the obstacle penalties it's already accrued, it's too late, the Bitcoin Steam Locomotive bleeds out, and the race is over for it.
The Stablecoin Lamborghini doesn't get 5 feet into the Minefield of Counterparty Risk before it blows its panels off, considerably wrecking its aerodynamic advantage, and exposing a very scary potential for 'not too big to fail'. Not scary enough to knock it out of the race however.
The ODL Lunar Lander is not far behind in second place, but manages to easily maneuver its articulating legs to avoid any counterparty risk landmines with ease.
The Stablecoin Lamborghini's loss of aerodynamic advantage because of counterparty risk, now gives the ODL Lunar Lander the shot it needs to catch up. Banks want to use ODL, but it's got two steps for conversion, yet the Stablecoin only needs one step for foreign exchange, but then there's the Stablecoin's counterparty risk... hmm..
The Zero-gravity of Bank's Preference
They are locked neck and neck as they scream into the final obstacle zone of weightlessness, rolling and tumbling helplessly. It's up to the banks to decide now. The Stablecoin Lamborghini's cost effectiveness versus the ODL Lunar Lander's zero counterparty risk. How do each of them convince the banks to choose them as their bridge currency as they float helplessly towards the finish line? Who is the best?
But wait! What's happening to the ODL Lunar Lander?? It seems to be glowing a light blue, now it seems to be bulging, fracturing, splintering...BOOOM!!!! Like a fucking grenade, the shrapnel of a million pieces of Lunar Lander fill the air, and in its wake a massively growing XRP mothership, rapidly multiplying in liquidity from the network effect and a million global utility use-cases pumping it larger and larger.
Gone is the need for ODL that only existed because the banks didn't want to touch XRP directly, now XRP has the same stability as fiat, so who wants to hold a stinkin' stablecoin with their dirty counterparty risk when you can have the best of both worlds with XRP alone? Cost effectiveness AND zero counterparty risk! The banks now want the safe and stable XRP, can't get enough of it, they want all they can get their hands on.
In the final stretch, the XRP mothership effortlessly pulls its enormous ass in front of the Stablecoin Lamborghini, and teasingly bends over, pulling down its pants to reveal a message inscribed on its buttcheeks..
And with that the XRP mothership ignites its colossal Jevons afterburners, and in the blink of an eye crosses the finish line to take the crown as number one in the whole world...
The King of Payments
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