Opinion: XRP enthusiasts have been waiting for a bullrun of the coin as soon as it was announced that Ripple’s product utilizing it, known as XRP, was in production. This is due to the general idea that the use of the product will result in an increase in the price of the asset, which has led to a general sense of suspense in the community.
As the end of the year draws close, it becomes clear that some theories, such as the “XRP $589 EOY”, are not going to come to fruition. Even in this example, a hike to $589 would require the current price to increase by 168185% in just the next month. While such theories are clear to not occur, there is one thing that XRP HODLers can look forward to at the end of the year.
In an interview earlier this year, Brad Garlinghouse, the CEO of Ripple stated that at least one major bank will use xRapid as a liquidity tool by the end of this year. He stated:
“By the end of this year, I have confidence that major banks will use xRapid as a liquidity tool, this calendar year. By the end of next year, I would certainly hope we would see in the order of magnitude of dozens.”
While an order of magnitude of dozens of banks using the network would result in a healthy use case for xRapid as a liquidity tool, it would mean more for enthusiasts and investors in the XRP platform. With the current market currently being in the grasp of the bear, it seems that XRP still has an ace up its sleeve in order to counter the current market.
Even as Garlinghouse stated that a “bank” would be using the product, there are currently no banks that publicly announced that they are using xRapid. However, there are 4 customers signed onto xRapid, with all of them being non-bank financial institutions focused on serving cross-border payments.
Those who have been confirmed by Ripple to use the platform are Viamericas, Cuallix, IDT, and MercuryFX. Out of these, according to Garlinghouse, there is one that will use xRapid for settlements by the end of this year. Indeed, all of them have spoken positively about the product, with Nicolas Palacios, the CFO of Cuallix stating:
“With Ripple, we can source liquidity through XRP and complete the cross-border payments in seconds.”
Paul Dwyer, the CEO and Founder of Viamericas, stated:
“We believe that digital assets like XRP will play a key role in the future of cross-border payments, helping to safely address some of the structural inefficiencies of legacy settlement infrastructure.”
All other partners have similarly commended Ripple’s technologies, with Ripple themselves stating that their product has 40-70% lower fees and settles in below 10 minutes. Now, the question remains as to which one would use xRapid or seems to have been already using it. It should also be noted that there are 4 exchanges currently partnered with Ripple in order to provide liquidity pools for xRapid, which are Bittrex for USD, Bitso for Mexican Dollars, Coins.ph for Philippine Pesos and SBI Virtual Currencies for JPY.
This means that xRapid settlements can only occur across these corridors, with SBIVC also being out of the picture due to a general lack of clarity regarding the exchange. This leaves settlements between the United States, Philippines, and Mexico.
Cuallix functions between the Mexico corridor for settlements, with no information available publicly regarding their rates and settlement times. Similarly, MercuryFX works with B2B transactions or private transactions worth over 5000 GBP, which leaves us with no public information available.
Viamericas offers a service known as Vianex which allows users to send money across the world using Viamericas’ network. Unsurprisingly, they support the transfer of funds between the aforementioned corridors. This leaves us with competitive pricing for both corridors, with a settlement time of 3 days.
This means that the company is not utilizing xRapid for these settlements as of yet, but is poised in a position to start doing so at any moment due to established infrastructure between these corridors.
The last customer for xRapid is IDT, which is a telecommunications operator. They are utilizing xRapid for the launch of their “BOSS Revolution” product aimed at helping underbanked populations. As stated by them:
“IDT Telecom’s Retail flagship service is BOSS Revolution. BOSS Revolution helps immigrants and the under-banked to conveniently and affordably communicate and share resources around the world. BOSS Revolution is a collection of communication and payment services.”
This also fits in with their statement given during the beginning of their partnership with Ripple, where Alfredo O’Hagan, the Senior Vice President of IDT’s consumer payments business, stated:
“Our BOSS Revolution international money transfer business routinely utilizes digital assets to generate liquidity in fiat currencies for our disbursement agents as part of our transaction settlement process.”
They also offer money transfer services to Mexico and the Philippines, with the latter costing $4 for transfer and the former $2. This also points to the disuse of xRapid within IDT, as fees would be slashed in case of utilizing it for liquidity.
Overall, Ripple seems to have reserved this year towards efforts of increasing the reach of RippleNet with more xCurrent partners. With that being said, time still exists for them to announce another partner or for an existing partner to easily start utilizing the product. It is left to see and is likely to reflect in the price of the #2 cryptocurrency.
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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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