Hope you and your families are doing well.
I wanted to provide a status update on XRPhone.
As I was preparing for the pilot phase of the project, I discovered that one of the core APIs that XRPhone had been built-on was going to be discontinued. The product known as Autopilot from the service provider Twilio enables interactive voice prompts for the XRPhone inbound telephone calls. I discussed this in an earlier Medium article post in more depth.
I didn’t want this to hold back the pilot and wanted to continue to move forward.
I also discovered around this same time that getting the XRPhone approved on various invoice accounting platforms is not a simple walk in the park. Quickbooks for example requires a very extensive application process. When I went through the preliminary first attempt I was rejected.
I wrote more about this in the earlier Medium article.
When I hit this point of the development cycle, I decided to shift some of the XRPhone system features around.
At the core, XRPhone is designed to make it easy for merchants (businesses) to easily keep their invoice accounting software up-to-date. The business wants to accept XRP, but they also need to keep their customer invoices up-to-date. This is what the core value proposition of XRPhone is.
I modified XRPhone to make it possible for the merchants to easily select the customer invoice, and choose if they wish to send an invoice payment request to their customer via (SMS text message, email, or simple copy-paste of payment link).
With all of that said, I created an online signup form inviting interested merchants (businesses) to join the XRPhone pilot program. I made several social media posts and announcements regarding the signup. I did receive a few signups, however, none of them met any of the qualifications to be considered for the pilot program. I will discuss these qualifications in a moment.
One of the critical steps in this journey is having actual real businesses piloting XRPhone. This will enable testing / refining of features but more importantly determining if the underlying concept is actually needed within the current/future cryptocurrency market.
XRPhone is a niche of a niche of a niche.
- XRPhone requires businesses who use or are willing to use XRPL and are willing to receive invoice payments using XRP.
- XRPhone requires businesses who use or are willing to use a compatible invoice accounting platform integration (e.g: Freshbooks, Quickbooks Online, Xero).
- XRPhone requires businesses who have customers who use or are willing to use Xumm wallet.
For all the reasons above, finding business merchants who meet the criteria I have described has proven more difficult than I had anticipated.
Looking at the macroeconomic cryptocurrency backdrop, we are currently within what many believe is a “crypto-winter”, but more importantly we have the SEC lawsuit against Ripple alleging that XRP is an unregistered security here in the United States. Of Course, XRP is a global digital asset with other jurisdictions already providing well-defined regulations for XRP and other similar assets. Maybe, some countries are ready to use a system like XRPhone today, but the overarching climate seems to be different.
There are many market segments for which XRP can be used. From my perspective XRPhone is targeting the small to midsize business / enterprise. These are businesses who will be using “off-the-shelf” cloud based invoice accounting platforms like Freshbooks, Xero, Quickbooks Online. These sort of platforms target a specific demographic of businesses.
Another underlying root issue with obtaining any sort of adoption of XRPhone stems possibly from the inherent speculative nature of cryptocurrency assets. In other words, holders of tokens (especially retail holders) “hold on for dear life” (HODL) hoping for life-changing returns while subconsciously chanting the term “Wen moon”.
I naively anticipated organically obtaining qualified early pilot users through social media enabling the project to discover market fit. However, it’s clear to me that the majority of interest is from “airdrop farmers”, “hodlers”, “traders”, “enthusiasts”, but a very small percentage of them are actual real-world businesses who have actual customers who meet the requirement for the XRPhone pilot.
I am deeply grateful for everyone in the community who has shown REAL interest in XRPhone and who has been on this journey with me. I have had many sleepless nights pouring my soul and energy into this project. I believed deeply in this project / proof of concept, but when it came time to actually be utilized and tested nobody was there. I am only one person with a new baby and family. More importantly, I don’t have the financial resources to sustain the ongoing “building” / pivoting of XRPhone project indefinitely.
Finally, all of this has been discussed directly with the Ripple XRPL Grants team and they are aware of the project’s current status.