Want to help MIRI by investing in XRP?

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Recently, Mt.Gox and Ripple creator Jed McCaleb gave MIRI a large donation in XRP, which is the #2 cryptocurrency in market cap behind Bitcoin. This gift, along with our recent successful fundraiser, should enable us to hire the beginnings of a full-time Friendly AI research team in 2014. It’s difficult to know exactly how to value the donation, but (e.g.) valuing it at the exchange rate at the time of donation would make it the largest single donation to MIRI in our history.

The size of Jed’s donation means that we currently have more XRP than it makes sense to hold in our diversified asset portfolio. To reduce our XRP holdings while growing the Ripple user base, we’d like to sell some of our XRP to members of our community. If you’re interested, please contact Malo Bourgon (malo@intelligence.org).

How does Ripple/XRP work? Technically, Ripple is an online payments protocol and XRP is an associated digital currency, but XRP is often referred to as “Ripple,” which can be confusing. The best explanation of all this yet written is “Bitcoin Vs. Ripple” from the Coinsetter blog, which I’ll excerpt below:

…think of Ripple as “Kayak for currency exchange.” Ripple will compare various pathways of exchanging one currency to another and find the lowest cost option. Transactions also happen rapidly (in under 5 seconds)…

XRP is a digital currency… with an embedded use, which is to pay for Ripple transactions, create Ripple accounts, and be a currency of last resort in the Ripple system… Whereas Bitcoin has no inherent use (its demand and use is solely based on people’s interest in Bitcoin), XRP has… a basic reason why someone may need to use XRP, which is to complete Ripple transactions.

…Should Bitcoin believers be worried that Ripple is on its way to crush their dream currency? Absolutely not. Interest in Bitcoin will continue to grow, and separately, interest in Ripple will continue to grow. In fact, the Ripple network should help make bitcoins substantially easier to buy and sell, as well as legitimize them.

Click here to create a Ripple wallet and join the network; the process takes less than 60 seconds.

MIRI continues to accept donations in both XRP and Bitcoin, and we send tax receipts for non-anonymous donations in either currency.

  • Robert Harpool

    To further MIRI’s ends, I would think it would be best if MIRI rewarded their volunteers with free XRP or offered them at a discounted rate. Carrot….stick. Perhaps they are indeed being offered at a discount. It’s not clear. I am sure they’ve already thought of this though…and would guess that they have a reason for not being more defined about their XRP sale. That being said, I have never heard of MIRI, but I find this very interesting. I have meandered about their website and I’m very intrigued. Hopefully I can find a way to contribute. I recently saw the documentary Transcendent Man about Ray Kuzweil, so I think I’ve got a basic idea of what MIRI’s aims are. All in all, this seems like a good, forward-looking cause for Ripple Labs to encourage.

    • http://www.gwern.net/ gwern

      Volunteers aren’t all that useful, as many a nonprofit could tell you. It probably makes much more sense to simply sell the XRP and use it to hire part-timers or something. (Selling XRP is admittedly not a particular skill of MIRI and they probably would’ve preferred regular money, but I assume McCaleb did it this way for tax reasons.)