One of the most famous cryptocurrencies on the market is Ripple’s XRP. XRP is designed with the primary purpose of facilitating transactions between financial institutions in a faster, cheaper, and more secure way. Today, XRP stands as the 3rd-largest cryptocurrency by market cap.
Ripple arguably has the largest and most vibrant community in the crypto world. Ripple users are unafraid to be vocal in pushing the legitimacy of their preferred cryptocurrency to the outside world.
However, there are concerns with the financial status of XRP, with the ongoing debate of whether it constitutes a financial security or not. The highly respected CEO of Binance, CZ Zhao, weighed in and expressed his opinion that Ripple’s XRP “certainly doesn’t look like a security.”
The court case may take years. But if XRP is ruled as a security, it would seriously hurt a lot of US users, and to a certain extent, other users around the world too. It certainly doesn't look like a security to me, but that's just one person's opinion.
— CZ Binance (@cz_binance) December 12, 2018
Notable Ripple News in Q1 2019
The outlook of Q1 2019 for Ripple looks promising, as several newsworthy events have taken place already. There was first the announcement from JP Morgan that they were creating a JPM coin that would have a similar purpose with the XRP.
The CEO of Ripple, Brad Garlinghouse,responded that other banks would not use the JPM coin, and that it really doesn’t solve any problem. With that, he hints that JPM coin is not a serious competitor for XRP. While Binance researchers agree with this, a Bloomberg editor disagrees. Only time will tell what eventually happens.
In what the Ripple community considers good news, Coinbase finally added XRP after many months of asking “when XRP?” Even though XRP seemingly doesn’t meet the Digital Asset Framework criteria, Coinbase have gone ahead and added the cryptocurrency, both on the professional and the consumer platform. Also there is unconfirmed news that a Swiss Stock Exchange will be launching an ETP for XRP soon.
Binance Trust wallet announced support for Ripple’s XRP, making it possible for XRP to be bought through credit and debit cards on the platform.
Ripple Partnerships in Q1 2019
Ripple has 3 international money transfer options: xCurrent, xVia, and xRapid. All 3 of these use XRP, but xRapid uses only XRP and hence is the most important product to the XRP community. While the company holds lots of XRP and reveals little about companies actually using xRapid, there are a few partnerships that have been made public.
xRapid went live in October 2018, and several companies have been testing and using the product. Companies such as Cuallix and Mercury FX have already attested to the use of the product. Earlier in January, Mercury FX tweeted about the ease of their largest transaction on xRapid thus far.
— Mercury-fx Ltd (@mercury_fx_ltd) January 17, 2019
The top partnerships announced by Ripple thus far in Q1 include SendFriend, Euro Exim Bank, and Transpaygo. These companies would be leveraging XRP to source liquidity on demand when making transactions on behalf of their customers.
SendFriend is a fintech company founded in MIT, designed to facilitate the transfer of money to the Philippines. This is to give overseas workers who are from the Philippines the ability to send money to their home country.
SendFriend is using Ripple’s xRapid, which leverages XRP. This is expected to cut the fees associated with such transfers by 65%, as they convert USD to XRP and then to the Philippine Peso. SendFriend is fully functional, and it can be assumed that the XRP is already integrated with it.
The existing correspondent banking system is slow, inefficient and costly. We are excited to partner with @Ripple to solve these problems—to offer our customers a cheaper and faster way to send money to the Philippines. https://t.co/NWQ3LbyjlJ
— SendFriend (@sendfriendinc) January 8, 2019
Euro Exim Bank
Euro Exim Bank is a London-based bank that specializes in global trade finance and corporate banking. The bank now uses the xRapid and XRP to minimize liquidity costs. The bank also uses xCurrent for cross-border payments.
Transpaygo is a company that enables international transfer of funds. It enables bulk transactions, repeated transactions, and the ability to send multiple recipients. It operates in over 140 countries with over 40,000 customers. The platform is set to begin using XRP to provide on-demand liquidity, thereby reducing costs and increasing the speed of transaction.
There are several other companies that have announced interest in using XRP from Q1 2019, including JNFX, FTCS, Ahli Bank of Kuwait, BFC Bahrain, ConnectPay, GMT, WorldCom Finance, Usend, and Rendimento. These financial institutions might be instrumental in pushing the relevance of XRP further forward, making larger financial institutions adopt it for making their cross-border payments.
According to Brad Garlinghouse, nearly 100 financial institutions joined Ripplenet in 2018. Earlier in the year, he said Ripple signs like 2 to 3 customers in a week. With this momentum, there is a reason for the Ripple community to be optimistic about adding big banks as clients on Ripplenet.