Cross-border payments company Ripple has today announced partnerships with Bittrex, the digital asset exchange for xRapid through US dollars, Bitso, the digital asset exchange for Mexican Pesos, and Coins.ph digital asset exchange for Philippine Pesos.
This year, Ripple has been busy forging partnerships with banks, exchanges and foreign exchange companies. The latest partnerships give some indication of how the RippleNet of the future will look, bringing the company closer to CTO David Schwartz's "vision [of] regional liquidity hubs settled by XRP instead of a correspondent banking system" as he outlined to bobsguide in a recent interview.
In January the company's head of strategic accounts, Marcus Treacher, explained how he foresaw RippleNet working compared to correspondent banking giants SWIFT.
"If you were able to see the macro payments picture in full, you’d see roughly 300 islands of currency - Sterling, dollar, Euro, Yen - within those islands payments are fast and efficient but currently there’s no inter-island connection service other than SWIFT.
"In the future we’ll have thousands of these isolated islands as supply chains of value - trading houses or clearing exchanges - that have adopted blockchain and cryptocurrencies. Ripple provides the internet of value between the islands regardless of how many blockchains or currencies each island may have, they can still connect to the internet via Ripple technology."
The latest partnerships with three of the biggest crypto exchanges in the US, Mexico and Philippines gives momentum to the inter-island network, powered by Ripple and capable of saving financial institutions between 40-70% on average and settled under two minutes or less, according to the firm.
Ripple provided bobsguide with a typical example payment flow between the US and Mexico.
- A financial institution that has an account with Bittrex initiates a payment in US dollars via xRapid which is instantly converted into XRP on Bittrex.
- The payment amount in XRP is settled over the XRP Ledger.
- Bitso - through its Mexican Peso liquidity pool - instantly converts the XRP into fiat, which is then settled into a destination bank account.
In a release detailing the partnerships, Cory Johnson, chief market strategist at Ripple said: “We’ve seen several successful xRapid pilots already, and as we move the product from beta to production later this year, these exchange partners will allow us to provide financial institutions with the comfort and assurance that their payments will move seamlessly between different currencies.”
Ron Hose, CEO of Coins.ph., the Phillipines e-wallet company - included in bobsguide's blockchain companies to watch - said: "We are excited to be partnering with Ripple to bring the benefits of blockchain technology to cross-border payments, making sending money home more affordable for 10M+ overseas filipino workers."
On the subject of improving liquidity, the US dollar, Mexican Peso and Phillipine dollar are hardly lacking, and some would see this as a safe progression.
"While there's liquidity, there's still room to make the experience better and more cost efficient," a Ripple spokesperson said in an email following the announcement. "That said, the focus will be on friction filled corridors where the liquidity experience can be improved. We anticipate xRapid going into production by the end of the year."
This article was updated on August 17, to include comments from Ripple's press team.