The blockchain fintech, Ripple announced Wednesday the appointment of another top executive from Facebook. This time, the company has hired Kahina Van Dyke, a banking industry veteran. Van Dyke was Facebook’s global payments director. She has been appointed as Ripple new senior vice president of business and corporate development.
Ripple had earlier in December, last year hired Tom Channick to serve as its head of communications. Channick, who resumed in January 2, previously served as a corporate communications manager for Facebook’s advertising and business integrity unit.
The company also announced that its head cryptographer, David Schwartz has been appointed as its chief technology officer.
Ripple is currently on a campaign aimed at making financial institutions adopt its platform as a cross-border payment channel and hopes that the new appointments will add impetus to the company’s aspiration of becoming an international payment platform.
In an interview with Fortune, Van Dyke talked about her experience in getting banks adopt radical technologies such as apps and SMS communications, but added that making them adopt cryptocurrency payments will entail iteration, citing that banks will need persuasion to get comfortable with the concept of digital currencies.
According to her, the present system of international funds transfer is due for shake up. She said the so-called web of correspondent banks needs an efficient, cheaper alternative such as Ripple provides.
She is of the opinion that the rate of innovativeness of the banking industry is rather slow compared to the fast-paced environment of Facebook , laying emphasis on the fact that international payments still take days and costs are unpredictable.
Van Dyke who said “We’ve been having problems with cross-border payments for 30 years” is joining Ripple at a time the cryptocurrency awareness is high, although banks are yet to start using them in day-t0-day operations.
Ripple’s XRP has made some inroads in cross-border payments, but this is still insignificant compared with the size of the market.
Ripple claims that the use of its XRP can help banks solve liquidity problem, stating that these banks would not need high stash of currencies to do business. However, one of the financial giants in international money remittance, MoneyGram announced that its experiments with Ripple did not result in significant savings in cost. Ripple responded by saying that the MoneyGram experiment was too minute to be used as a conclusive generalization of the platform’s cost effectiveness.
Schwartz, who has been appointed as Ripple CTO is replacing Stefan Thomas, who was important in the development of many elements of the Ripple blockchain technology.
Schwartz in a statement said,
“Building a global network of financial institutions that are using blockchain-based solutions is no small task, but we have the technical folks at Ripple to make it a reality. We’re also going to hire a lot more of them.”
The company also announced in the release that they are working on further decentralization of the platform which records XRP transactions. XRP is the Ripple internal currency and Schwartz and his team is responsible for the decentralization project for the platform.
Ripple has in the past been accused of being too centralized. The network has also been in the eye of the storm after its token XRP was said to be a security by regulators.