XUMM – Twitter Q&A with Wietse Wind
Spending online seems to get easier and easier with each passing year, we rarely stop to ask why that is, after all it is so convenient these days that it is hardly worth a second thought.
You do your online shopping; you're mighty proud of your choices then punch that checkout button to find the usual brand logos of AMEX, Mastercard, PayPal and VISA. Not more than a few seconds later, you have parted with your money.
A trend began to emerge though, a want not only to spend and send money but also to protect it. Soon after the rise of the internet came the rise of “digital assets”, the most (in)famous being Bitcoin. These newfound, decentralised global currencies though impressive, had a flaw. Us. People have a bad habit of leaving information laying around & sure enough when a villain finds it, they've taken everything from you.
Protecting your money & information has never been so important.
Enter XUMM (Pronounced “Sum”); a banking app built to keep up with the lifestyles of today, built atop a distributed ledger to allow near instant transactions between your family, friends, merchants and their customers. A banking app for everyone.
Created by a team of three developers, XRPL Labs is working out of The Netherlands, headed by Wietse Wind. Their app can offer many capabilities current payment methods lack, especially digital assets payments, that can be very confusing sometimes.
In late May 2019, the three developers announced their latest project “xign” (Now “XUMM”) a payment signing platform with tiered security to protect its users' funds.
The great thing about a platform like Twitter, is you can ask anyone anything and the topic of this article is no different. I wanted to know more about XUMM, to better understand what it can offer. I'm a simple man after all, I can't just stare at code and know what I'm looking at.
This is a Question & Answers session, with Wietse Wind.
Morning Wietse Wind, as you & your team work on Xign banking app, I had some questions. Will the fiat currencies be IOUs issued by @XRPLLabs, appearing as a balance in the customer's XRPL account or have you chosen to allocate destination tags & store balance information privately?
I'd be interested to know whether XRPLLabs will custody these currencies (I believe that is why you've applied for a European banking licence) and if so does XRPL Labs intend to settle off-ledger via ILP or perhaps by utilising a global payment network, for atomic payments?
Wietse – “XRPLLabs is not going to issue IOU's. XUMM is a platform, code, infra & app, and will support existing IOU's. We are looking into issuing Euros by obtaining the required licenses in the EU, but that'll be a new entity.”
Wietse – “There will be no issuing and no custody by XRPLLabs because we will just be about developing code. The new entity @Mr_HvD and I are in the process of founding will focus on Euro IOU issuing at first, and custody after that, yes. We aim to support our issued EUR on ILP as well.”
[XRPL Labs intends to use the existing infrastructure of the distributed ledger, Weitse mentions a project here with Twitter user @Mr_HvD, a glimpse into how serious Wietse is about supporting the XRP distributed ledger from which his company found its name.
Why "XRP"? It is the native digital asset and allows many payment options, Wietse's team utilises the ledger's capability to its fullest.]
Excellent, self-custodied banking will offer a lot of confidence, especially amongst this community. Can we expect to pay with this banking app at any till, a la bankcard, or will this be more like PayPal, “We accept XUMM”?
Wietse – “Definitely not a bank card. That would not make sense: that would introduce all fees and caveats that exist today.
“We accept XUMM”: you bet! We'll work on e-commerce plugins at first.”
*With self-custodied currencies, comes the question of trustlines & exchange sign-up. Let's say a merchant is using XUMM, accepts payment but for accounting purposes they would like to receive USD Bitstamp instead of USD Gatehub.
Can XUMM perform the task of real-time exchange?
Wietse – *”*No need for XUMM to do that: XUMM will just use the awesome XRPL 'auto-bridging' feature, taking care of the exchange (on ledger) of whatever the user sends to whatever the beneficiary wants to receive.”
[Auto-bridging is a capability of the XRP ledger to perform automatic swapping of a currency during a transaction. An often overlooked feature of the ledger is its built-in decentralised exchange, offering the best possible exchange rates and fees. An unusual currency exchange may actually use XRP to source liquidity. Auto-bridging isn't a typical payment option however, this lead to some further questions.]
*Am I right to assume that XUMM will make use of payment path-finding across the XRPL, offering a seamless transaction for the payer and merchant? Could the payer use any currency & have the merchant receive the currency they prefer?
I'd say that's a great usecase & simple enough for anyone to use.
Wietse – “Exactly. Let's say I pay a webshop. The webshop wants to receive EUR issued by their bank. The consumer wants to spend Bitstamp USD: this will happen in one on ledger transaction 😎 Or I want to pay you a beer, I spend XRP and you receive Bitstamp BTC 👌 Using the XRPL DEX 😍“
[You can tell he was excited about this aspect.]
Currently the XRP Ledger offers push payments, will XUMM be able to offer pull requests, so merchants/entities can request payment?
Wietse – “Definitely, pull payments – by offering a platform and ecosystem where beneficiaries, developers and consumers (app users) can “get together- is one of the most important features of XUMM. We really want our platform to be the go-to platform if you want to get paid or pay. We're pretty close to the first (early) developer beta to test the pull mechanism.”
So will we be able to connect current XRP accounts to XUMM?
Wietse – “You can import your existing accounts, using either a mnemonic or family seed (or HEX private key for advanced users). This information will be stored securely, encrypted, in the device keychain. We encrypt based on either a PIN or passphrase.”
For simple folk, like myself, how will their accounts be protected?
Wietse – “In case of spending (XRPL) accounts with lower amount of funds stored, we allow Face ID/ Fingerprint as well by asking for the PIN to unlock the app, after which Face ID/ Fingerprints will be enough for approving a payment.”
Big bucks = mandatory passphrase.” – Wietse
*Lots of protection to keep everyone's money safe, good to hear.
How easy will it be to find other XUMM users and merchants, can we search by name, email address and phone number? We've all been using [another of your apps] XRP Tip Bot for awhile, can we expect this to be as easy, with QR codes?
Wietse – “You can definitely expect it to be easy. User friendly, a “non-crypto feel” is our #1 priority. I haven't thought about a central directory, but (especially when starting) that would make a lot of sense.”
I'll close here. I think the XRP community has an opportunity to really understand XUMM before it releases. A customer facing app, for everyone.
- I appreciate you taking the time to reply, today.*
Wietse – “I think the questions + answers will paint a good picture about what we're working on and what people (both devs and end users) can expect.”
[This blog post was uploaded with permission. Once again I'd like to thank Wietse Wind for his time and to thank you, the reader, for patiently getting this far. I'm no writer but hopefully this has given you some idea of what to expect from XUMM.]
If you'd like to follow the developers of XRPL Labs on Twitter, their usernames are currently:
You might also want to follow:
If you'd like to learn more about the distributed ledger which XUMM uses and many of its features, you can start here:
Or here for other Devs and insight:
[Author's note: Firstly, where I typed "Xign" I of course meant the re-branded XUMM app. Secondly, the distributed Ledger XUMM is built upon can have digital versions of Euros, Pound Sterling, Dollars or just about any kind of tradeable commodity you can think of. These digital versions are often referred to as IOUs ("I owe you") or as issued currencies.
As a disclaimer, I hold digital-assets, including XRP. This article is not about that though. This is about everyone's desire to learn, everyone's desire to progress.]