How Ripple Labs supports gateways
To help accelerate the creation of strong, reliable, and compliant gateways, Ripple Labs will be providing XRP incentives and extended technical support for gateways that meet criteria considered to be critical for the success of a gateway.
Ripple Labs wants every gateway to achieve a gold standard in business planning, technical reliability and stability, regulatory compliance, and liquidity. The Ripple protocol enables the federation and interoperability of many independent payment systems.
As such, we’re actively developing the specifications for Gateway Services APIs and are eager to help gateways with implementation. In the meantime, here are some of the steps and assistance provided by Ripple Labs to help get your gateway to that point.
Gateway business plan development
Successful businesses start with a concept that can be concisely summarized and executed upon. To get things started on the right foot, here is a business plan template for gateways (link deleted) that is freely available. This plan was developed in consultation with new gateways that were exploring the business opportunities on Ripple, so it's tailored to the needs of an early stage operator.
The template encourages you to carefully consider who your customer is and what value they’ll derive from your service. Simplifying their experience and making the deposit and withdrawal of assets frictionless is critical to driving volume and subsequent revenue.
Serious endeavors should contact Ripple Labs at firstname.lastname@example.org to coordinate for possible assistance and business planning.
Gateway Services APIs make gateways interoperable and provide straightforward calls that clients can use to route payments appropriately. Gateway Services rely on existing web standards like host-meta and webfinger, while making certain functions of the REST API more robust. Please contact us for assistance if you decide to implement these services at your gateway.
XRP for customers of KYC/AML compliant gateways
Ripple Labs may assist with customer acquisition by providing gateways with XRP that can be used to activate Ripple wallets of new accounts. Customers who provide a baseline level of KYC information may be eligible to receive XRP upon registration and making a deposit at your gateway.
Ripple Labs regularly issues Gateway Bulletins as new features are released or on topics related to compliance and risk. Those bulletins are shared with the developer community including gateway operators and IRBA members. In addition to Gateway Bulletins, Ripple Labs publishes Compliance Resources that may be helpful for gateway operators in understanding local and global standards on KYC/AML policies, as well as opinions or guidance on virtual currency.
Since rules on KYC/AML policies and guidance on virtual currency vary by jurisdiction, gateways should obtain legal advice on how these rules apply to their business and country of operation. Be aware that regulatory standards are evolving rapidly. While Ripple Labs makes every effort to update the Gateway Bulletins and Compliance Resources regularly, gateways should seek legal advice and understand changes to regulation as it may vary based on geography and the products that you offer.
Ripple Labs understands that it may be difficult for new gateways to generate the liquidity needed to provide a compelling service to their customers. To do so, it is important to meet the aforementioned technical and compliance standards to have a popular, well-capitalized gateway. Transaction volume drives liquidity so Ripple Labs may facilitate introductions for operational gateways to market makers who can enable assets issued by your gateway to trade freely at competitive exchange rates.
Feedback is welcome
The Ripple protocol's success will be largely determined by the ecosystem of gateways that are providing the onramps and off-ramps for value. As such, Ripple Labs continues to support gateway developers and entrepreneurs in their projects to build gateways.
We’d love to hear your feedback on what’s most useful and other tools that you’d like to see. We look forward to working alongside you to build the value web!