Most of the news about Ripple has been negative over the past month. The company’s XRP token has fallen from its great height by over 65%, so it is in need of a boost. That came this week when Ripple announced two new partnerships for its xRapid pilot project.
According to reports, a telecommunications company and an international payments specialist will be the latest to use Ripple’s highly volatile currency as part of their money transfer operations. The companies are publicly traded IDT Corp, a New Jersey-based telecommunications provider, and MercuryFX, which offers discounted foreign exchange rates.
Ripple has launched a project called xRapid which facilitates global money transfers by using XRP as an intermediary currency. As the remittance market grows, so does the need for instant, low cost, and transparent transfers. According to the company blog, global remittances, which include flows to high-income countries, were estimated to be $596 billion in 2017.
Ripple claims that with xRapid and XRP, financial institutions can eliminate the need for costly intermediaries or pre-funded Nostro accounts in destination currencies.
The addition of new partners who will be actively using xRapid and XRP is paramount for Ripple, which needs to steer away from the notion of its cryptocurrency being just a vehicle for speculation. Leading global currency exchange provider MercuryFX wants to develop a more efficient and transparent customer service that works in real time. CEO and founder Alastair Constance said:
Ripple, XRP and fiat currency fit hand in glove. What we’re doing together is realizing one of the best use cases for frictionless transactions, which is international settlement. xRapid allows us to drive down the cost of currency exchange and global settlement, making our customers more competitive and saving them tens of millions of dollars each year. Digital assets promise fast transaction speeds but XRP is far faster than all of them, including bitcoin. Cutting settlement times from hours and days to just three seconds or less will remove billions of dollars in unnecessary intermediary fees.
Telecommunications company IDT also want make sure their customers can send low cost global payments. Senior vice president of IDT’s consumer payments business, Alfredo O’Hagan, said:
Our BOSS Revolution international money transfer business routinely utilizes digital assets to generate liquidity in fiat currencies for our disbursement agents as part of our transaction settlement process. We’re excited to pilot Ripple’s xRapid solution for on-demand liquidity. We expect that xRapid will enable us to settle more transactions in real-time and at a lower cost.
XRP is currently trading at $1.44, down from a high on Jan 18th of $1.92. Its market capacity is currently $56.1 billion, according to Livecoinwatch.com.
[Disclaimer: the author of this article is a holder of Ripple (XRP).]
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