Ripple Labs, the development team behind the cryptocurrency that trades under the XRP symbol, started off 2019 with two major developments. Late into the New Year’s Day session, XRP ceased to be the second most capitalized digital currency; that rank is currently held by Ethereum. Despite that loss of rank, Ripple Labs announced that it had secured 12 agreements with cryptocurrency companies to handle cash transfer and payment transactions.
Utilizing xRapid for Transfers of Funds
Two big names are on the list of companies revealed by Ripple: Bitstamp and Bittrex, both respected cryptocurrency exchanges. The purpose of using xRapid, the system developed by Ripple Labs, is to streamline the transfer of client funds between the United States, Mexico, and the Philippines. The xRapid money transfer solution was initially rolled out in October 2018, and it is focused on the efficient transfer and exchange of digital currencies.
The use of xRapid would not be necessary in an ideal world where cryptocurrency transactions are widely available. Let’s say a Bitcoin trader based in Mexico has a Bitstamp account from where she wants to cash out some of her holdings; the ideal situation would be an instant transfer into her Bitcoin wallet, but the tricky part would be exchanging those tokens into United States dollars or Mexican pesos. With xRapid as an intermediary, Bitstamp will be able to initiate a transfer and a currency exchange transaction to accommodate the Mexican trader, who will not realize that her funds were converted to XRP along the way.
Ripple’s Investments in Blockchain Technology Development
Ripple Labs has been testing other systems that work in similar fashion to xRapid. The goal is the same: to transfer funds in minutes around the world, and to make them available in local fiat currency. Some of the systems are geared towards the remittances market; others are focused on corporate payments that are more efficient and streamlined than the SWIFT wire transfer system used by international banks.
Many of the blockchains currently in operation would be able to provide the same functionality as xRapid and other Ripple Labs systems, but this company is way ahead of other digital currencies in terms of developing a business network. Ripple currently has ties with American Express, Western Union and even Spanish financial giant Banco Santander.