Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg has joined Ripple Labs Advisory board. He is currently Chairman and a founder of Spitzberg Partners LLC, a New York-based boutique advisory firm that provides insights on international economic, technology, political and security issues.
Previously, he served as Minister of Economics and Technology and as Minister of Defense under German Chancellor Angela Merkel. He was Germany’s youngest ever Minister of Defense and is said to have been the country’s most popular politician while he was in office.
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After moving to the US, he became a Distinguished Statesman at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington.
He believes that the traditional payment system is “antiquated, costly, inefficient, and in need of disruption.” He see Ripple’s approach to redefining international transactions as important and believes material change in the world of digital payments will take place in 2 to 3 years.
Germany’s Fidor Bank recently implemented Ripple, allowing customers to transfer funds in any currency at a lower cost, and for the bank to transfer funds between partners without exposure to foreign exchange risk. zu Guttenberg was pleased to see this implementation but remains uncertain as to when more “established” financial institutions will adopt such new transaction models.