Ripple Integrating XRP-Based xRapid To New xCurrent But No Takers Yet
U.S based blockchain technology firm Ripple recently released a new version xCurrent, version 4.0, the company’s most popular product that is being rolled out.
Developed to offer a real-time gross settlement (RGTS) solutions to rival widely used global payments infrastructure SWIFT, the firm’s xCurrent version 4.0 should garner massive interest because it is being integrated with xRapid, Ripple’s other major cross-border payment solution.
Using xRapid, which leverages the XRP token, is however only optional and so far, non of Ripple’s xCurrent 4.0 users have opted to use it.
xRapid integration has no takers
Ripple’s xRapid solution is the only product that uses XRP to provide “on-demand liquidity” used a bridge currency when facilitating cross-border transactions.
Despite its apparent advantages to banks and other financial institutions, xRapid has seen minimal adoption. That leaves xCurrent v4.0’s additional feature of integrating xRapid as yet another opportunity for banks and banking institutions to use XRP.
“Using your xCurrent software, you can now plug into on-demand liquidity using xRapid.”
However, according to Asheesh Birla, Ripple’s SVP of product, integrating xCurrent v4.0 with xRapid depends on whether the xRapid solution is appropriate and available in the user’s country.
A spokesperson for the San Francisco-based company has said that they began rolling out xCurrent 4.0 in September this year, with some of the high profile customers in the process of transitioning including American Express and Santander.
Yet, there appear to be no takers yes for the xRapid on-demand liquidity based on XRP. Maybe it is because the xRapid integration remains an optional feature of the new xCurrent version or perhaps due to political and regulatory concerns.
Birla explained, telling Coindesk:
“In other countries, where there’s not good regulatory clearance or digital asset infrastructure, you just continue to use xCurrent as-is, with fiat liquidity.”
So far, customers on the xCurrent product, including BBVA and Banco Santander have either not upgraded to the new version or aren’t looking to integrate the xRapid solution.
Encouragingly for XRP, Ripple announced in early October that it had partnered three companies as the first ones to use XRP to facilitate real-time payments.
The three, MercuryFX, Cuallix and Catalyst Corporate Credit Union, were said to have begun using xRapid to complete cross-border commercial payments.
Ripple has said reports from these customers indicate that xRapid cuts down on both the cost involved and the setup time, as opposed to relying on traditional bank set up and fiat liquidity.
Independent market makers on cryptocurrency exchanges are needed to provide the liquidity for these transactions.
Ripple also signed partnerships with three cryptocurrency exchanges in U.S-based Bittrex, Philippine’s Coins.ph and Mexico’s Bitso. The exchanges act as independent market makers providing the liquidity necessary to facilitate the transactions.
But despite these developments, xCurrent has an option that will make any xRapid integration ideally a prolonged process.
According to Birla xCurrent, including v4.0, is an “on-premise software package,” which means that its use is tailored to suit specific customers. Furthermore, users can choose to integrate or not, meaning we are likely to see banks continue to lean towards xCurrent and not xRapid.
xCurrent 4.0 has benefits
Even though customers may not be ready to integrate xRapid, the latest version of Ripple’s xCurrent offers several benefits.
Among xCurrent 4.0’s most notable enhancements is an element of “multihop,” a feature that makes it possible to relay payments via a chain of users on the xCurrent platform.
Other than relying on a few large money hubs like Citi, for example, Multihop allows smaller banks like Thailand’s Siam Commercial Bank to have the same reach enjoyed by their much larger counterparts.
Customers who opt not to integrate xRapid will also benefit from another feature called “bulk FX.”
The feature allows xCurrent clients to pre-fund payment bank accounts in other countries by purchasing fiat currencies in bulk. Customers are thus able to access a consistent exchange rate.
Yet another feature, called “enhanced onward forwarding,” will link an xCurrent customer to a local payment rail like ACH. This feature makes it possible for financial institutions to ascertain that payments do indeed reach their intended end user- unlike SWIFT that has no such provision.
With other several features, the xCurrent v4.0 could attract many more customers than it presently has. However, in the two months, it has been on the market, Ripple’s latest version of xCurrent has not attracted much attention.
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.