Ripple Network Passes 100 Members, XRP to Be Used as Liquidity Tool

EXCLUSIVE—RippleNet, the enterprise blockchain network maintained by distributed ledger firm Ripple, has just passed the 100-member mark.

Seven new banks have just joined the network, the company announced today, which is built to further “modernize,” to use Ripple’s word, global payments via blockchain. New financial service members of the network include TransferGo, RAKBANK, Krungsri, Currencies Direct, and Cuallix.

Rival network Corda just released its 1.0 version last week.

“Ripple is a fresh technology, it gives banks and the customers of banks the ability to transact quickly and much more directly,” Marcus Treacher, global head of strategic accounts, Ripple, told Bank Innovation. “The network today for banking is quite narrow, but [with Ripple] we start moving the world towards the Internet of Value.”

In addition to its expanding network, Ripple is also moving forward with XRP, its cryptocurrency that was designed specifically for high-value enterprise transactions, Treacher said. The major benefit of XRP for an FI is its simplicity, according to Treacher.

“Moving forward, we want to see [banks] exchanging not just your dollars to someone else’s euro, but to use the crypto,” Treacher said. “That has value because you don’t have to hop fiats, you can hold liquidity in one place.”

One of its newest RippleNet members, Cuallix, will be the first financial institution to fully test out that theory. The FI will pilot the currency as a tool for liquidity, the company also announced today. Its pilot is aimed at lowering the cost of cross-border payments between the U.S. and Mexico.

The pilot will work as follows, said Treacher: on one end, Cuallix will be connected to a crypto exchange (say, in the U.S.) that will then feed into the XRP ledger, which will then connect to a crypto exchange on the other end (say, in Mexico).

Cuallix’s approach to the technology is “groundbreaking,” Treacher said, adding that XRP is ideally suited to the job. Unlike other cryptocurrencies, Ripple was designed for utility, meaning it should be largely exempt from some of the concerns attaching themselves to other digital currencies.

“It was designed to do a transaction, it’s almost like a commodity approach,” Treacher said. “Because the focus is different, XRP will prove itself as a very effective way to move value from A to B.”

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