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Former CEO of Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation Joins Ripple Labs as Advisor

Op-ed - Former CEO of Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation Joins Ripple Labs as Advisor

Ripple Labs, the creators and developers of the Ripple network, have appointed Donald Donahue, former CEO of The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC), as an adviser. The new addition to the advisory board comes amid the digital currency startup’s efforts to push adoption of the Ripple payment network onto banks and financial institutions.

DTCC is one of the largest clearing houses of securities and derivatives in the United States, processing $1.6 quadrillion worth of transactions last year. It is also one of the largest clearing houses in the world.

“I’m very interested in the capabilities distributed payment technologies seem to offer for improving the safety, soundness and cost effectiveness of global payments and settlement infrastructures,” Donahue said in a Ripple Labs press release. “Ripple is already a clear leader in this space; I’m looking forward to working with the Ripple Labs team to deliver on these exciting possibilities.”

The hunt for institutions

The addition of Donahue as an adviser comes at a great time for Ripple Labs. After creating the digital currency ripple in 2012 and supporting the development of it since, the startup has been looking for a use case that would set the digital currency on the road to mainstream adoption.

First, the company focused on the potential of ripple for international consumer remittances, but more recently, it has pivoted to a new business-to-business use case; a settlement network for financial institutions.

 According to Ripple Labs CEO and co-founder Chris Larsen, the new direction for the company and payment network has gotten quite a bit of traction so far. In a recent interview he said Ripple Labs already has about 30 partners in different stages; preliminary discussions, pilots and production, but who have yet to publically announce. However, Ripple Labs has publically announced it is working with Western Union, The Commonwealth Bank Of Australia and Fidor Bank, among others.

An industry veteran

Ripple Labs faces an uphill battle trying to get large financial institutions to adopt a settlement network that uses digital currency but Donahue’s experience and connections in the sector will certainly help ease that challenge.

 “He has spent an entire career building, assessing and safeguarding the country’s financial technology infrastructure,” Larsen said. “His insights will be invaluable as we continue to expand adoption of Ripple as payments infrastructure technology by financial institutions around the world.”

Besides serving as president and CEO for six years at DDTC, he was also the clearing house’s COO prior to that. Before DDTC, he held several executive positions at American financial institutions, including the American Municipal Bond Insurance Services Corp, and advised the U.S. Treasury Department and other government departments about cyber security after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

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