The moment that many XRP holders have been waiting for has been spotted on the horizon. xRapid, Ripple’s product that utilizes the digital asset for cross-border payments, has been confirmed to go live in the “next month or so”. While there have been multiple theories surrounding this, one thing is certain; companies that have utilized xRapid in pilots have reported positive results.
Recently, Sagar Sarbhai, the Head of Government & Regulatory Relations, APAC & Middle East at Ripple, stated in an interview:
“I am very confident that in the next one month or so you will see some good news coming in where we launch the product [xRapid] live in production.”
xRapid is Ripple’s product for cross-border payments that enable the settlement of value by utilizing XRP as a bridge currency. The liquidity for the transaction to be conducted is sourced from XRP, reducing the need for vostro and nostro accounts to be held.
Over the past year, the crypto-space has been punctuated with the news of certain financial institutions testing xRapid for cross-border payments. At the last count, there are about 19 institutions testing xRapid, including names such as Banco Santander, Mercury FX, MoneyGram, Western Union, Viamericas, and Cambridge Global Payments.
According to the CTO of Ripple, big banks that have not yet adopted the solution will do so soon, as they are “getting squeezed from both the side”. He has stated that it is an issue of improving their services or risk becoming less relevant in the international payments market.
Indeed, statements from the customers that have used xRapid have resounded with this statement. The CPO at Currencies Direct, Brian Harris, said in a statement that the company was “proud to be an early adopter of the technology”. Calling the trial a “resounding success”, he also stated that XRP is a “game-changer” for the space. Currencies Direct has been partnered with Ripple since October last year.
Across the board, customers who utilized xRapid observed near-immediate payments with 40-70% savings in fees. Asheesh Birla, the SVP of Product for Ripple, stated:
“It’s encouraging to see positive xRapid results because they validate what many in our industry already know: certain digital assets have utility.”
Another xRapid pilot customer, Viamerica, also had positive things to say about the technology. Paul Dwyer, the CEO of the payments company, stated that xRapid can clearly “lower liquidity costs while increasing payment speed and transparency”. He also made it a point to mention that it does so in a way that complies with regulatory controls.
The Founder of Mercury FX, Alastair Constance, has stated that the company was “delighted” with the “incredible speed and cost efficiency” offered by xRapid. He went on to say that they are excited for a production rollout in the “near future” something that coincides with the statements given by Ripple at this time.
Many believe that the volatile nature of XRP as a cryptocurrency will cause risk in the xRapid ecosystem of lost value while settling cross-border. Cory Johnson, Market Strategist at Ripple, clarified this, stating:
“Using our xRapid product, you’re long XRP, but you’re only long for a minute maybe seconds. So the exposure to volatility while the overall volatility might be great if you’re look talking about five days you’re only in the for less than a minute so the actual volatile exposure is de minimis.”
The introduction of xRapid is also indicative of Ripple moving towards their idea for an Internet of Value, as clarified by Asheesh Birla. He stated:
“This is the realization of the vision for an Internet of Value — allowing for a new fluid movement of money that will benefit the entire global economy.”
However, what will happen to the price of XRP after the xRapid launch is anyone’s guess. Considering Ripple’s supportive attitude towards regulators, the red tape would be kept to a minimum. However, the statements given by those who have tested the products paints a bright picture for the future of cross-border payments.
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