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Ripple and Santander Bring Blockchain to International Payments

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Major financial institution Santander recently announced that they have partnered with Ripple to provide international bank transfers. Despite arriving on the scene fairly recently, compared with other altcoins, Ripple has proven itself to be a cryptocurrency dynamo. Their meteoric rise to relevancy began late last year and resulted in a slew of major partnerships, including Santander. Santander itself is a global banking group with branches across Europe, North and South America. While Ripple established itself as the payment protocol of choice for progressive banks, this is the first full-scale release.

Santander’s Recent Announcement

Santander’s UK CEO jubilantly announced their upcoming app at the International Fintech conference in London. The app would help facilitate cross-border payments in a matter of hours rather than a matter of days. Unsurprisingly, they chose Ripple to help facilitate this functionality. The app will initially serve four markets; the UK, Spain, Portugal, and Brazil.

They further expanded on the trial program they ran in 2016. Staff assigned to test the protocol reported their transfers taking less than a day. This is particularly impressive when you take into account the average transfer time on legacy banking networks. These outdated financial back-end networks can take days to process a cross-border payment, sometimes up to a week. Unlike traditional transfers, that require intermediaries as they travel internationally, RippleNet is processed entirely internally. As such, costs are significantly lower than comparable current networks.

Adoption at this level is advantageous for Santander but also establishes a precedent. Other financial institutions will have to provide comparable speeds or risk irrelevancy.

How RippleNet Augments International Payments

Ripple’s product suite includes three separate modules, of which Santander chose xCurrent. The xCurrent network grew out of the original RippleNet platform. Compared with xVia and xRapid, xCurrent is more focused on international transfers and thus is the perfect fit for Santander’s new app. Along with the expected advantages of a distributed ledger for currency transactions, xCurrent offers in-network messaging. This messaging is critical for end-to-end confirmations that are necessary for cross-border payments.

xCurrent also includes the Ripple produced rulebook – an attempt to set an inter-bank standard for network platforms. Legacy networks often communicate poorly with one another. Although these issues were long ago solved in the consumer computing industry, they persist in financial institutions. Standardization through Ripple’s rulebook would help alleviate these problems.

Also beneficial is RippleNet’s internal fiat exchange, a feature available on several of Ripple’s products. Using their XRP cryptocurrency as a medium, RippleNet can rapidly transfer one currency to another. Even currencies that do not have a traditional trading pair can use XRP as a bridge currency. The fiat sold by the initial user remains within RippleNet in a liquidity pool until it is needed on the other side of a transaction.

Ripple Paves the Way for Blockchain Adoption

This is the first forward facing cross-border payment solution to use Ripple’s products. It is not, however, the only major partnership working towards blockchain integration. Western Union announced that they commenced a trial operation with Ripple’s xRapid product. The xRapid network focuses on the liquidity solutions offered through RippleNet. Ripple has also made inroads into the Asian markets with LianLian and SBI Holdings in China and Japan, respectively.

Ripple proved itself as a blockchain powerhouse, seizing the number three spot by market cap. Over the course of the past few years, Ripple’s partnerships made them stand out in a field of struggling altcoins. The future is bright for Ripple’s payment protocol, and early adopters still stand to capitalize on this fact.

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Disclaimer: This article should not be taken as, and is not intended to provide, investment advice. Global Coin Report and/or its affiliates, employees, writers, and subcontractors are cryptocurrency investors and from time to time may or may not have holdings in some of the coins or tokens they cover. Please conduct your own thorough research before investing in any cryptocurrency and read our full disclaimer.

Image courtesy of Mike Mozart via Flickr

Bitcoin

Investors Beware: Another Large Bitcoin Crash Might Be Coming

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The crypto prices have surged quite high in the last few months. Of course, their progress is nowhere near the one seen in 2017, but they appear to be getting there, one day at the time. However, things might not be as simple as that, and according to recent performance — it is more than possible that a major Bitcoin crash is incoming.

The fact is that cryptos saw a massive amount of growth in a very short period. Bitcoin itself more than doubled its price in only two months. Now, the rally is starting to crash in on itself, and the coin is already about $1,000 lower than last week. If such development does come to pass, a lot of people will experience quite large losses, although experienced investors might find some opportunities, and leverage in order to enhance their holdings’ long-term value.

For example, Bitcoin dominance is expected to crash very quickly, which will work in favor of quite a lot of altcoins. While this does not seem to be the best time to invest in BTC, altcoins are another story, and diversifying a portfolio now might end up being very profitable in days to come.

Bitcoin behavior mirrors the pre-bear market situation

The crash that analysts are predicting right now comes as a direct consequence of all the hype that has been building up in…

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Altcoins

Top 3 Coins to Buy Before They Go Big

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Crypto bulls are back, that much is clear. The long-lasting, harsh crypto winter is gone, and the new era in digital currency sector opens up some rather interesting opportunities. With many more bull runs expected to come in months ahead, a lot of coins are likely to blow up and maybe even hit new all-time highs, although that still remains purely theoretical.

On the other hand, the fact is that numerous coins are seeing prices that were not achieved since early 2018, and the overall momentum remains bullish. With that in mind, even if new records do not come for a very long time — chances are that many of the coins will blow up enough for investors to see some serious gains in months to come. As a result, investing in some of these coins now might be a very profitable decision, for those who have the patience to wait a few months. Here are some of the projects believed to have the greatest potential to go big in the second half of 2019 and beyond.

1. TRON (TRX)

Putting TRON on the list should not really surprise anyone, as the project constantly comes up with new project updates, partnerships, and alike. It also constantly breaks records, as is becoming one of the biggest players in the dApp and smart contract development sector.

In the past few…

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Blogs

Can Crypto Credit Cards Disrupt the Fight Against Financial Crime?

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crypto credit cards
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It is commonly known that the world of finances has the biggest problem with the crime of all existing industries around the world. It has been so throughout history. While the financial world has evolved, so did the criminal activities, and they continue to be an issue. With the arrival of cryptocurrencies, many were hoping that financial crime might be disrupted. However, for now, at least, it appears that cryptos themselves cannot find a way to resolve issues such as international money laundering.

In fact, when it comes to money laundering, the crypto sector appears to be the weakest link, especially because of the nature of digital currencies. The anonymity that cryptos are being praised for means that anyone can get a payment from an unknown source from anywhere in the world. This method can then be used for financing drug trafficking, cyberattacks, terrorists, and more.

Until recently, it was not easy for bad actors to make use of cryptocurrencies obtained for illegal purposes. The number of merchants willing to accept the coins was low, and criminals were forced to find a way to exchange crypto into fiat currencies. However, this came with a set of issues, such as taking foreign exchange risks and then sending the money through wallets and exchanges to a banking system that would allow withdrawal. The banking account was the biggest obstacle here,…

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