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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 These outdated financial back-end networks can take days to process a cross-border payment, sometimes up to a week.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

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Reasons Why You Are Much Safer When Crypto Trading on Dexes

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While many cryptocurrencies aim to bring the change to the world by bringing full decentralization, one aspect of the crypto space still remains mostly centralized, and that is the way they are exchanged. Most crypto exchanges are centralized companies, where traders and investors need to deposit their coins for safekeeping. This is a risky way to handle the funds, as exchanges remain susceptible to hacks and theft, as many realized recently, after the hack of the world’s largest exchange by trading volume, Binance.

During the hack, around 7,000 BTC (over $40 million) was taken, and sent to multiple wallets, never to be seen again — for now, at least. The hack also came as quite a shock, as Binance was known for its efficiency, security, and high levels of confidence. It also made people realize that their coins are not really theirs if they need to rely on third parties, such as exchanges, to keep them safe. As a result, many are now turning away from centralized exchanges, and are heading towards decentralized ones — also known as DEXes.

Here are some reasons why you might want to consider doing the same.

1. True ownership of your coins

The crypto community has a saying: “not your keys, not your coins.” The saying is now more relevant than ever, but it does not apply on DEXes. Decentralized exchanges

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Crypto Billionaire Predicts Massive Price Growth by 2021

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Crypto prices are once again going up, and Bitcoin has just passed a major resistance level at $6,000. With a situation like that, it is not surprising that everyone in the crypto community is looking forward to the future, wondering what to expect in years to come. Many experts have already given their predictions, some more optimistic than others, but almost all bullish.

Crypto billionaire Mike Novogratz has always been very supportive of cryptocurrencies, and very bullish on Bitcoin. He recently stated that he sees the coins’ prices triple in the following 18 months, meaning that Bitcoin’s return to $20,000 might not be far away, according to him.

He noted that Bitcoin is back to $6,000 after its price hit as low as $3,100 only a few months ago. These days, Novogratz does not believe Bitcoin will return to such lows unless there is a devastating exchange hack or a major shift in regulations. Of course, there was a big hack that had the potential to damage the coin’s price, only days ago. The world’s largest crypto exchange by trading volume, Binance, saw a significant security breach which resulted in a theft of 7,000 BTC.

However, so far, the coin did not react negatively to this incident. While Novogratz believed that such an event would shatter the new confidence in BTC, it simply did not happen. However, he…

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Altcoins

TokenRoll (TKR) Platform Will Take Online Casinos to the Next Level

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Corporate executives are turning to blockchain technology more than ever in an attempt to revolutionize the business world.  Although blockchain is still a relatively new concept, that hasn’t stopped more and more companies from jumping on the bandwagon.  This hot new technology has quickly gained a reputation for providing greater transparency, enhanced security, improved traceability, increased efficiency, and low costs.  One industry that could certainly benefit from decentralization is the online gambling market, specifically, online casinos.  TokenRoll (TKR) has developed a platform that appears to offer a promising alternative to centralized casinos.

Problems with Centralized Casinos

The primary reason why blockchain technology is being implemented so quickly is because it solves a lot of the problems typically associated with the traditional business model.  And online casinos are no different.  It still needs to be said that centralized casinos have proven that there is a great demand for online gambling.  The market is growing faster than anyone could have predicted, and future opportunities appear very promising and lucrative.  But industries are continually evolving and this one is no different.

A few of the problems facing centralized casinos include the following:

  • Little to no transparency
  • Consumer lack of confidence
  • Privacy concerns
  • 48-72 hour wait time for withdrawals

These are four monumental issues that need to be addressed quickly given the global growth of the market.  Casinos need to…

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