Anyone who thought that after a string of setbacks and disappointments, the Ripple Company might have lost their stomach for the ongoing fight that is the battle for blockchain acceptance needs to think again; Wednesday’s recruitment of former MasterCard and Facebook star Kahina Van Dyke is proof that the third-ranked crypto are more serious than ever about cracking the banking and finance sector.
In what has been seen as a highly positive – not to mention high profile – move, on Wednesday (July 11) Ripple announced it had made Kahina Van Dyke its new Senior Vice President. Her recruitment shows great tactical thinking on behalf of the Ripple Company, as during her seven years at MasterCard, Kahina earned a reputation for convincing banks to adopt (what were at the time) new and groundbreaking forms of technology.
Ripple is regarded by many to be THE essential tool for the future of global banking, although despite XRP now becoming an integral part of Banco Santander, gaining widespread acceptance has proved to be a struggle.
Who Is Kahina Van Dyke?
47-year old native New Yorker turned California Bay Area resident Kahina Van Dyke is a highly skilled and experienced corporate fixer and troubleshooter with a background in communications, banking and more recently, social media and technology. She is multilingual, and speaks English, German, Italian and Spanish fluently, and can get by in Arabic and Czech.
Kahina began her further education at Princeton’s Rockefeller College, going on to the University of Albany, earning a BA in Politics in 1994. She has followed this with short, intense year-long courses at New York University (1999) and UCLA (2008), studying Corporate Leadership, Corporate Finance and Securities Law.
Van Dyke’s first job of note was three years working for Time Inc., were she held the position of Senior Merchandising Manager and Buyer. In 2000, Kahina began a nine-year spell at Citibank, where she held numerous positions including Product Development Head, Business Development Head, and Assistant Vice President, and worked in the United States, Germany, the Czech Republic and the UK.
In 2009, Kahina was poached by MasterCard, and in seven years she worked in the UK and Dubai and held the titles of Global General Manager and Senior Vice President. In 2016, her background in finance led to her recruitment by social media giants Facebook, who employed Van Dyke as their Global Director of Financial Services and Payments. During her time with Facebook, Van Dyke forged links between Facebook and such global corporations as Citibank, PayPal, TD Ameritrade, Visa and Western Union, to name just a few.
After two and a half years with Facebook, Kahina was headhunted by insurance giants Progressive, who gave her a spot on the board of directors in May of this year, but after just three months she jumped ship, and in July began working with Ripple in the role of Senior Vice President and Head of Corporate Development.
What Can Kahina Do For Ripple?
While Kahina Van Dyke would be an excellent addition to virtually any major corporation, she should prove to be particularly useful for Ripple because of her vast background in banking and finance which has earned her a contact list which must surely be second to none. Allied to this is Kahina’s reputation for getting banks to try out and accept new strands of technology – a la Ripple and XRP.
Van Dyke has spoken at length in interviews about her experiences convincing banks to accept and adopt then-radical technologies such as apps and SMS communications. Kahina believes that it will take a great deal of patience and dialogue before the world’s banking and finance industries trust and accept blockchain technology and cryptocurrency.
In a recent interview published on the Ripple website, Van Dyke said that without doubt, the acceptance of cross-border transactions involving cryptocurrency remains one of the most complex and problematic facets of her new position, saying:
“In highly developed markets, and emerging markets, fragmentation in technology across financial services infrastructure slows down and prevents greater efficiency in cross-border money transfers.”
“No doubt banks and other financial institutions have world-class regulatory, compliance and risk management capabilities. Companies like Facebook have improved access to services, digitized payment flows and made it quicker and easier for people to transact with each other domestically. Now we need a new global technology solution for international payments that offers interoperability with existing systems, connecting them and leveraging their value.”
In other words, the time is ripe for an ecosystem such as Ripple to be absorbed into the current banking and finance worlds in order to streamline them, make them function faster, with better economy and greater security.
Ripple must keep Kahina Van Dyke interested and excited about the job at hand, because they could not have hired a better person to lead them to the promised land of global acceptance into the banking market.