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Tokyo has long been a city of innovation in terms of everything from consumer electronics to fashion. In fact, the Japanese capital recently topped the list of the world’s most innovative cities earlier this year, over taking the likes of London and New York due to its industry changing work in robotics and 3D manufacturing. In the run up to the 2020 Olympics, the city is investing heavily in facial recognition software and artificial intelligence for vehicles, hospitals and financial services.
As such, it should come as little surprise to many that a petition has now arisen to persuade the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to make Ripple’s XRP the official cryptocurrency of next summer’s Olympics. There already seems to be a groundswell of support for the idea. At the time of writing, the petition on Change.org has already received over 12,000 signatures.
Easing the pressure on the Yen
Inevitably, the Olympics involve large influxes of international travel and mind-boggling logistics. The man behind the petition, Ken Takahashi believes that leaning more heavily on XRP could potential to solve many logistical issues associated with running a huge international sporting event, particularly the widespread need for foreign exchange services. Instead of putting increased pressure on the Japanese Yen, Takahashi proposes a system which adopts the widespread use of XRP.
Takahashi cites the struggles behind the last few games as a driving force behind the petition. As a section of the petition states:
“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. We believe that the fast transaction times and security of Ripple Lab’s XRP cryptocurrency would be a great contribution towards solving this problem.”
While it has received a great deal of recent attention, the petition was actually started around ten months ago. However, as Ripple have made significant developments in Japan and around the world many more eyes are on XRP and Tokyo. This new influx of attention is due largely to Ripple’s release of the blockchain remittance platform, MoneyTap which has been built in conjunction with SBI Holdings.
The petition boldly aims to see use of the Yen officially replaced by XRP for the games. Tourists, international volunteers, athletes, coaches and organizational staff from all over the globe would only need to use cryptocurrency payment systems to make purchases while attending the games.
If the petition is heeded by the IOC then this would be extremely big news for XRP and a rising tide that would raise all crypto boats.
Of course, not all involved with the Olympics will be enthusiastic about or even familiar with cryptocurrencies. The petition could either go an extremely long way in legitimizing cryptocurrencies in the eyes of the world, or it could be a disastrous flop that demonstrates that outside of a relatively small bubble of enthusiasts, cryptocurrency has yet to be embraced in the eyes of the world.
Still, as the world’s third-largest cryptocurrency, XRP has everything to play for!