SendFriend, a partner of Ripple and a startup that focuses on improving cross-border payments has received a whopping $1.7 million in funding during its first round of investment.
The next-generation remittance company focuses on the smartest way to send money to the Philippines which will help overseas Filipino workers to securely transfer USD to PHP at the lowest rate available via SendFriend. The news of the investment was published on MarketWatch and informed that the capital raised was led by companies like 8 Decimal Capital, Techstars, 2020 Ventures, Barclays, MIT Media Lab etc.
Migrants in the U.S. who send home money via traditional methods usually face problems like delayed payments, high fees and sometimes, the payment doesn’t go through. Moreover, out of $650 billion in remittance transaction occurring in the U.S., $45 billion is lost in fees.
Furthermore, MarketWatch stated:
“SendFriend will launch as the only option for OFWs to securely and reliably send money internationally with fees that are 65% lower than the industry average as it replaces the frictions and fees of the banking system with one seamless, ultra low cost experience to send money globally.”
SendFriend uses Ripple’s xRapid payment solution to facilitate cross-border payments. XRP provides the liquidity needed to make the transaction happen. xRapid transactions occur as a result of converting USD to XRP, which is then sent via exchanges, thus circumventing banks and FIs and the XRP is then converted back to PHP via the exchange in Philippines.
Earlier this year, CEO David Lighton had said,
“We leveraged the blockchain to create an instant digital money transfer service, a full 65% cheaper than the industry’s average. SendFriend is the US’ first fully compliant international consumer payment solution built on the blockchain and we are going live in Q1.”
SendFriend was founded by people at MIT and was also accepted into Barclays Accelerator Program, powered by Techstars. Moreover, SendFriend plans to launch in New Jersey but, will soon be available to OFWs in other states via desktop and mobile as well. In addition, users can also request to get an early access version of the same.
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Ripple’s initiative invests in Bolt Labs to improve secondary payment channels and expand interoperability
Ripple’s arm, Xpring which invests and incubates in companies and individuals which help improve the XRP ecosystem, invested in Bolt Labs. With the new investment, Xpring hopes to develop solutions that will help improve the security of secondary payment channels and increase the interoperability by integrating with the ILP.
Bolt is a private, off-chain scaling solution which was built on top of Z-cash, a privacy-focused cryptocurrency, has attracted more than a few well-known investors in the crypto-space and Ripple’s Xpring is one among them. In a blog, Bolt Labs said that their solution will focus not only on ZCash but also other publicly available cryptocurrencies that do not have inherent on-chain privacy features.
It also stated:
“The potential for these implementations to be networked together with technologies like Interledger opens the potential further for cross-chain interactions with these privacy guarantees baked in.”
The above statement suggests that they might have a “potential” implementation for these on Interledger Protocol [ILP]. ILP was created at Ripple developed by the Interledger W3C Community Group. ILP aims at connecting two different blockchains, to integrate two different ledgers and have seamless operations between them.
This would vastly benefit the payments industry, which is facing a revolution at the hands of a nascent technology like blockchain. Ripple, a payments provider, which is leveraging cryptocurrency and blockchain to facilitate faster payments, would benefit largely from this partnership. In addition, this could also signify a potential development on the XRP Ledger and its on-chain/off-chain privacy and the currency, XRP.
A Twitter user @XRPCentre tweeted:
“If the solutions being developed by the company are able to improve the privacy of the ILP transactions, they would also be enhancing the privacy of XRP/ILP payments, which is a very demanded feature…. It’s all about interoperability and destroying network effects. If ILP succeeds in being the best protocol for cross-protocol/ledger transactions, you’d naturally search for the best asset therein.”
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