XRP Ledger Apex 2024: 3 Key Themes and Major Moments

XRP Ledger Apex 2024 was a resounding success, marking the largest gathering in the event’s history. Hosted in the vibrant city of Amsterdam, the conference brought together over 80 speakers, featured 60 sessions, and attracted a diverse global audience of 600+ attendees. With a keen focus on innovation and collaboration, this year’s event set the stage for future advancements in the XRP Ledger (XRPL) community and the broader blockchain ecosystem.
Let’s reflect back on the top 3 themes and major highlights from this year’s event, and what developers, institutions, VCs and beyond should expect next.

Key Themes from XRPL Apex 2024

1. Institutional DeFi

One of the most prominent themes at this year’s conference was Institutional DeFi. David Schwartz, CTO of Ripple, delivered a compelling presentation on the future of decentralized finance (DeFi) for institutions. He discussed the latest features being developed, such as the decentralized exchange (DEX), Automated Market Maker (AMM), Oracles, and new Lending Proposal. These advancements aim to integrate compliance features that will enable institutions to engage more deeply with blockchain technology.

2. Interoperability

Interoperability was another major focus at XRPL Apex 2024. Panels discussed how interoperability is crucial for creating a cohesive blockchain ecosystem where each chain can perform optimally. Axelar, a leading bridge provider, played a key role in these discussions, emphasizing the infrastructure needed to connect various blockchains seamlessly.

The XRPL EVM Sidechain, developed in collaboration between Ripple and Peersyst, was a significant highlight. Announced to launch later in Q4, this sidechain will connect to the main XRPL network and allow developers from the Ethereum and Cosmos ecosystems to build on the XRP Ledger. This initiative aims to attract new projects and developers, further expanding the XRPL community and capabilities.

3. Real World Assets (RWA)

The XRPL provides a strong foundation for RWA tokenization and institutional-grade DeFi thanks to its proven reliability, efficiency, and its roadmap of comprehensive features such as an Automated Market Maker (AMM) currently live on the XRPL as well as the upcoming Decentralized Identifier (DID), Multi-Purpose Tokens (MPT) capability, a Lending Protocol, and Oracles. With this in mind, Ripple announced an extension to their existing collaboration with Archax, which is expected to bring hundreds of millions of dollars of tokenized real world assets (RWAs) onto the XRP Ledger (XRPL) over the coming year and establish the XRPL as one of the leading blockchains for RWA tokenization.

Major Announcements

Several significant announcements were made at XRPL Apex 2024, underscoring the continued innovation and growth within the XRPL ecosystem:

Ripple USD (RLUSD) Stablecoin

Ripple’s upcoming stablecoin, Ripple USD (RLUSD), is coming later this year and will be issued on both the Ethereum network and XRPL. The new stablecoin is set to bring further credible assets on the DEX, driving more trading volume, which natively uses XRP as a bridge asset (through auto-bridging), benefitting users, developers and applications for a broader and more robust network. RLUSD offers regulatory clarity, institutional integrations, and strong brand recognition. Alongside this, Ripple announced the completion of the acquisition of Standard Custody & Trust Company, an enterprise-grade regulated custodian for digital assets. This marks an exciting new chapter for Ripple to strengthen its existing product offerings and explore complementary products like stablecoins—underpinned by a commitment to regulatory compliance.

Axelar as the Main EVM Sidechain Bridge

Axelar was named the primary bridge provider for the XRPL EVM Sidechain, replacing the XLS-38d bridge. This decision, pending community approval, will enable bridging to over 55 networks, significantly enhancing the interoperability of the XRPL ecosystem.

Renewed Partnership with Archax

Ripple renewed its partnership with Archax, an FCA-regulated digital asset exchange, broker, and custodian. This collaboration will focus on tokenizing real-world assets (RWAs) on the XRPL, leveraging the platform’s new institutional DeFi features.

XRPL Japan & Korea Fund

Ripple announced the XRPL Japan & Korea Fund, pledging 1 billion XRP to support in-person events, hackathons, developer grants, and corporate partnerships in these regions. This initiative aims to significantly grow XRPL’s presence across the Asia-Pacific region, with projects like VWBL Protocol and Moia Finance already benefiting from this fund.

Looking Ahead to XRPL Apex 2025 in Asia

Speaking of Asia, and building on the success of XRPL Apex 2024, we are thrilled to announce that XRPL Apex 2025 will be held in Asia. This move reflects our commitment to expanding the global reach of the XRPL community and fostering innovation in new markets. Stay tuned for more details on the exact location and dates as we continue to prepare for another groundbreaking event.