Nick Chong · 1 week ago · 2 min read · Insights via Grayscale Investments
Last week, CryptoSlate reported on Japan resident Ken Takahashi’s Change.org petition to make Ripple’s XRP the official cryptocurrency of the 2020 Olympic games. At the time the petition had reached over 5K signatures toward a goal of 7,500. It now stands at nearly 12K signatures and has raised the end goal to 15K.
Bypassing the Line
Definitely picking up some media attention now 💥💥💥
We are averaging around 2 signatures every minute with only 812 left to reach 10,000 😁😁😁🙏🙏🙏💥💥💥
Thank you everyone that is signing and re-tweeting…you are all Awesome 😎💥💥💥🙏🙏https://t.co/FCcVuvkKaS
— Bobbi ⚡️ (@BobbiMarquez197) October 8, 2018
Takahashi states on the petition page, which tags both the International Olympic Committee and Ripple Labs, that an official cryptocurrency would make transactions at the 2020 games much easier for international travelers to Tokyo than current means.
Transferring XRP to their accounts, then exchanging it for fiat without the need for an exchange service or conventional bank would mean less wait time for people who need currency to get around. It could also mean the potential for more purchases, and an influx of money into Tokyo’s economy. Takahashi says on the petition page:
“As tourists stream into the country, demand for the local currency skyrockets, causing long lines at currency exchanges, as seen at past events like Beijing 2008 and Rio de Janeiro 2016. Confusing exchange rates and language barriers further complicate the problem.”
Ripple just announced the commercial launch of its XRapid product designed for exactly this kind of situation: cross-border financial transfers. Tests of XRapid have shown drastically reduced wait times for international fund transfers. Fees are also reportedly much cheaper than conventional services: a matter of cents per transfer versus roughly $40 U.S. dollars.
Olympic Fundraising With Crypto
This isn’t the first time cryptocurrency has rubbed elbows with the Olympic games. In 2014, the Dogecoin community raised funds to send the Jamaican bobsled team to the Winter Olympics. This year, the USA Olympic luge team is trying to utilize Bitcoin to get its players to the game in an attempt to boost what representatives say is a traditionally underfunded sport, accepting donations in the form of cryptocurrency.
Takahashi’s petition shows no sign of slowing down. In the course of this writing, around another 100 people have signed.