The Artificial Controversies Surrounding Ripple’s Charitable Works

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The most annoying trend that I have noticed in both cryptocurrency and traditional news media is the tendency to report on the comments of Twitter users after a statement or event in the news. Their comments are not something the news media are interested in because they’re informative or exciting. The reason that these tweets catch the media’s eye is that Twitter users have the singular ability to find controversy in everything. They would probably view milk and cookies as a conceptual representation of patriarchal hegemony and the enforcement of traditional gender norms and customs.

Twitter users can take a good-natured act like Ripple signing the Invest in Parents pledge – a promise to give extra consideration to working parents within an organization – and cut away at the polished exterior of the story to expose what they view as the ashen and corrupt beating heart at the center of the event. Like a wolf in sheep’s clothing, like the snake in the garden of Adam and Eve, Ripple is painted as attempting, with their despicable charity, to pull the wool over the eyes of crypto users. It’s a good thing then that we have publications as thorough as The Currency Analytics to trudge through the muck of social media posts to find the outrage and dig up the controversy. The clickbait headline captures the wild and tumultuous outrage of one twitter user:

Apparently, access and special consideration for working parents are akin to investing in Brad Garlinghouse’s holiday home. The website of the organization – replete with inequity, inequality, sin, and malevolence, proudly displays the image of a mother and her newborn child, which to the untrained eyes of your average empathetic human would seem to be reasonable. But to the keen eye of a Twitter controversy hound, the webpage is a glowing beacon of inequality.

The horror. To dare to be charitable to one, when others are suffering, is a sin beyond words. The rising tide is supposed to lift all boats, not just working parents. The charitable organization that generated the controversy:

As you can see, a family is displayed proudly at the top of the banner, with a soft purple frame designed to make such a concept more palatable. At the heart of the controversy is the anger that charity is being given while hodlers haven’t yet seen any boon to their investments. The great currency spike that occurred so many years ago has passed them by, and they view any investment, charity, or distribution of funds not contributing their own personal profit as offensive. Charitable giving, coil boosts, Xpring investments, though they may be efforts to build the ecosystem’s utility with the general public, are deemed wrong because Ripple has not yet paid its dues to these technocrat investors. But this begs the question, if some of these users are so singularly self-interested that they’re willing to misrepresent a simple pledge to do better for working families as though it were pulling money directly from their pockets, why are we paying any attention to them at all?

Assigning malevolence to Ripple’s charitable works is not a new strategy. tried to do the same to the Rippleworks charitable foundation. The statements found in their allegations gave publications like Bitcoinist a shocking headline, and of course, they didn’t publish the response to the allegations by members of the Rippleworks organization, something that other publications like Yahoo Finance included in their summary of Messari’s analysis. The almost complete lack of basic fact-checking enabled certain publications to run with the story, placing Ripple’s charitable foundation in the same report as a measure of illicit activity on the XRP ledger – a dataset incorrectly interpreted as indicating that XRP had more significant criminal activity than Bitcoin. If you follow the reporting on Ripple and the XRP ledger, you’ll find crypto media repeating every rumor, misrepresented data set, lie, and now they’ve drifted into the uncharted territory of random Twitter users.

Header Photo by Jackson Hendry

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