Coinbase added the crypto XRP to its platform in late February; the same time it reportedly silently launched a new service that allows for international payments using XRP and the stablecoin USDC.
According to a Coinbase spokesperson quoted by Coindesk, the service is “primarily designed as an educational resource.” The offering allows customers of the U.S.-based exchange the opportunity to learn and experience the “benefits of using crypto for cross-border payments.”
Apparently, according to the exchange’s website, Coinbase is providing the new “fast and free” payment service to its users with the two tokens only.
USD Coin (USDC), already among the most popular U.S. dollar-backed tokens, was launched towards the end of last year by CENTRE, an affiliate of crypto finance company Circle.
Coinbase added USDC as the first stablecoin on its platform in October last year, stating at the time that the USD-backed crypto was “fundamentally different” from others.
Coinbase’s addition of XRP, allowing customers to buy and sell the crypto, was a move that holders of the token had long anticipated.
The new cross-border payment service means that Coinbase customers can send money to other users with Coinbase accounts at no fee. However, the exchange charges “a nominal on-chain network fee,” to those who send money to users outside the platform.
The firm notes on its website:
“You can now send money to any user with a Coinbase account around the world using XRP or USDC.”
It goes on to explain that using digital assets that have been “optimized for cross-border transmission,” allows anyone to instantly send and receive money. The user only sends the XRP or USDC and the recipient gets them instantly and can proceed to convert the crypto into local fiat currency.
Coinbase reiterates on its website that the new offering isn’t “a money remittance” service, but a way for users to carry out crypt-based transactions with the option to convert into local currencies upon receiving the funds.
Coinbase support for local currencies isn’t available in every country, which could present a problem for some users.
However, the firm provides a workable solution to those in such locations, stating that recipients can transfer their XRP or USDC tokens to another crypto exchange that allows for the conversion of XRP or USDC into the local currency.
Unlike what it did with many of its recent offerings, Coinbase appears to have chosen not to make an official announcement of this new service. Nevertheless, users of the XRP and USDC could benefit from it and aid in the wider adoption of cryptocurrencies in cross-border payments.
XRP is currently trading at $0.329 against the U.S. dollar and has gained over 5.8 percent in the last 24 hours.
Disclaimer: This is not investment advice. Cryptocurrencies are highly volatile assets and are very risky investments. Do your research and consult an investment professional before investing. Never invest more than you can afford to lose. Never borrow money to invest in cryptocurrencies.