San Francisco-based Ripple is a frontrunner in the development of blockchain-based solutions for cross-border payments and settlements. Major products on the RippleNet are the xCurrent and xRapid.
An updated version of one of Ripple’s most popular products, xCurrent is being released by the firm. Both implementations are set out to rival SWIFT, the incumbent solution for international bank transfers.
SWIFT was set up by and for its users to support international finance and commerce. By the time SWIFT went live in 1977, 518 institutions from 22 countries were connected to SWIFT’s messaging services. The majority of international interbank messages use the SWIFT network. As of 2015, SWIFT linked more than 11,000 financial institutions in more than 200 countries and territories, who were exchanging an average of over 15 million messages per day (compared to an average of 2.4 million daily messages in 1995).
Whilst describing the fourth version of xCurrent, Asheesh Birla, Ripple’s SVP of Product spoke to CoinDesk and said:
“What this release enables you to do is that in countries where you think it’s appropriate and xRapid’s available, using your xCurrent software, you can now plug into on-demand liquidity using xRapid.”
Ripple is indeed moving along the path they mapped out earlier, the gist of which is: onboard customers to xCurrent and make the switch to xRapid as easy and as attractive as possible.
xCurrent is Ripple’s enterprise software solution that enables banks to instantly settle cross-border payments with end-to-end tracking. Using xCurrent, banks message each other in real-time to confirm payment details prior to initiating the transaction and to confirm delivery once it settles. It includes a Rulebook developed in partnership with the RippleNet Committee that ensures operational consistency and legal clarity for every transaction.
As for the Ripple banking partners, most of them use xCurrent and not xRapid (the solution that uses XRP tokens for faster and cheaper transfers). A spokesperson for BBVA (Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria) stated that the bank had tested a Ripple product last year but didn’t say which one or provide an update on the matter.
A corporate communications manager at Santander Bank said:
“[the bank] uses xCurrent only, not xRapid or XRP. And the bank has not upgraded so far. Santander does not need nowadays that upgrade to deliver all the benefits of One Pay FX.”
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