Ripple’s most popular offering, xCurrent, is getting an upgrade to version 4.0 and will now feature integration with xRapid. This will give customers the ability to complete cross-border transactions in milliseconds, with the on-demand liquidity provided by the xRapid technology.
The roll-out of the newest version of xCurrent happened in September for Santander Bank and American Express among others, but so far none of the xCurrent 4.0 companies have opted to integrate xRapid with their installation. Ripple SVP of product Asheesh Birla has stressed that xRapid integration is completely optional.
In the case of Banco Santander, communications manager Ovidio Cordero was clear in stating that 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.
While none of the xCurrent 4.0 users are integrating xRapid, Ripple announced in October that 3 companies are already using xRapid for commercial payments. Early reports from the 3 companies indicate that xRapid is lowering costs for them and improving settlement times.
Ripple’s Birla commented:
The feedback so far from our customers, is using the xRapid experience cuts down on cost, but also cuts down on setup time.
Because Ripple needs independent market makers to provide liquidity on exchanges, Ripple has partnered with 3 cryptocurrency exchanges – Bitso in Mexico, Coins.ph in the Philippines and Bittrex in the U.S. These partners will use xRapid to boost cross-border payments between the U.S. and Mexico and the U.S. and the Philippines.
Even though none of the current xCurrent customers have integrated xRapid technology, Ripple has over 100 customers. The large number of partners makes it promising that we could see several integrations, perhaps as early as the end of this year.
In a CNBC interview this June, Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse said he believes “dozens” of banks will integrate xRapid by the end of 2019:
I think as we do things that enhance the utility of XRP, we’ll continue to see that ecosystem grow and be healthier and healthier. I’ve publicly stated by the end of this year I have every confidence that major banks will use xRapid as a liquidity tool by the end of this year. By the end of next year, I would certainly hope that we would see an order of magnitude – dozens.
In addition to the closely watched xRapid integration that’s hoped to boost XRP adoption, the newest version of xCurrent includes a number of enhancements such as the “multihop” and “bulk FX” features which make payments and FX transactions faster and less expensive.