It has been a long wait for cryptocurrency enthusiast and more importantly for ripple token holders. There have been many controversies surrounding the project since it’s inception but more importantly, people were wondering about the day when banks would actually start using the ripple technology. Since early 2017, many partnerships between ripple and major banks were announced, but the public had yet to see the results of those partnerships.
The wait is officially over.
As of October 1st 2018, Ripple officially announced the commercial use of their technology xRapid by Mercury FX and Cuallix, as well as cooperative financial firm Catalyst Corporate Federal Credit Union.
This is huge news!
What is xRapid and how does it work?
xRapid is a blockchain solution for payment providers and financial institutions who want to minimize their liquidity costs. It’s essentially a platform designed to lower transaction costs and speed up international payments compared to traditional methods.
Almost (If not) all the banks around the world have what we call Nostro accounts. Nostro accounts refer to an account that a bank holds in a foreign currency in another bank. Banks hold Nostro accounts for their clients that live abroad and wish to make currency conversion. They are used to facilitate foreign exchange and trade transactions. However, there are many costs associated with having inactive money sitting in a foreign account. Some of the problems are :
- Volatile currency, particularly from countries experiencing unpredictable inflation or political instability.
- Funding of Nostro accounts can be very expensive due to regulatory responsibilities and liquidity requirements.
- The cost of payments sent through correspondent banking relationships has a higher proportional impact on lower value and/or less urgent payments.
This is where xRapid comes into the action.
xRapid claims to be able to remove all that hassle by using XRP as the intermediary for transfers instead of SWIFT and third parties. Essentially, if you initiate a transfer, Ripple’s technology will automatically convert them to XRP, then transfer the XRP to the foreign account, and finally, convert that amount of XRP into the national (or desired) currency of the receiver.
Great news for the blockchain community as this is only the first step towards the cryptocurrency revolution. The progress shows that blockchain is, in fact, a viable solution for global payments.