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 These outdated financial back-end networks can take days to process a cross-border payment, sometimes up to a week.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

Altcoins

CoinFlip Scores Big with BRD Wallet Partnership

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CoinFlip
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As the crypto markets move closer to mass adoption, one of the keys for future success will revolve around attracting as many market participants as possible.  While many crypto users are extremely tech oriented, a lot of those on the sidelines are not.  The cause of waiting on the sidelines could be due to a variety of reasons such as fear of the unknown, lack of knowledge, age, or a combination of all of the above.  In order to entice new users to join the crypto revolution, crypto ATMs are rising up across the country.  Of those, the largest and most influential crypto ATM company by a significant margin is CoinFlip.

In early October, CoinFlip announced on its Twitter that it had officially partnered with BRD Wallet to re-introduce their crypto ATM map.  Now, BRD wallet users will be able to locate their nearest CoinFlip ATM and receive a 10% discount for both buys and sells.  BRD brand awareness is growing quickly within the crypto community thanks to its innovative and entrepreneurial spirit.  The team strongly believes in the value of financial freedom and independence, and want to empower people across the world by leveraging the possibilities that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies provide.

Cryptocurrencies are already making a huge difference around the world.  Citizens of Venezuela, a country devastated by rampant inflation, have been using several cryptocurrencies…

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Cryptocurrency Collateralized Debt Positions Are Growing in Popularity

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collateralized debt position
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While Bitcoin (BTC) continues to hover around the magical 10,000 price level, altcoins continue to fight an uphill battle.  Simply put, hopes of a future bull run continue to diminish as Bitcoin maintains its dominance.  One school of thought is that a few altcoins will survive and flourish, but which ones are anyone’s guess.  That being said, it’s hard to go wrong picking against the top coins like Ethereum (ETH), Ripple (XRP), Litecoin (LTC), and EOS.  These projects have managed to find a foothold in the market and have a better chance than most of staying there.  While traders wait for their positions to increase in value, one opportunity that may be worth looking at is initiating a collateralized debt position.

What is a Cryptocurrency CDP?

In traditional terms, a CDP is essentially putting up collateral in order to receive a loan against the deposited amount.  There are several examples of this in our day to day lives.  Auto title loans from large companies like TitleMax are extremely popular with consumers.  Consumers are essentially able to use their car as collateral in exchange for a cash payment which can then be used for whatever needs the consumer has.  The consumer can continue using their car as long as debt payments are made.

The same concept applies to cryptocurrency CDPs.  Consumers are able to put up crypto tokens, such as…

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Altcoins

Hodium Presents a Compelling Opportunity for Outsized Investment Returns

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Hodium
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I’m sure all of us remember the cryptocurrency glory days of 2017 and early 2018.  It was one of the biggest bull runs in history and created incredibly wealth for quite a few early entrants.  Unfortunately, for most of us, those gains have most likely been wiped out during the altcoin apocalypse.  The truth is that traders probably thought a bit too highly of their trading abilities when the reality was that anyone could have thrown a dart at a board and ended up making money.

As markets mature (and the crypto market is definitely maturing) it becomes more and more difficult to generate alpha.  In that regard, it’s similar to traditional financial markets.  I can remember trading during my high school days.  It was the late 90s and right in the middle of the dot.com boom.  Eventually, however, the euphoria fades away and reality hits hard.  Now, it’s become rather difficult to actually trade profitably which has given way to the rise of hedge funds.

Hedge funds are investment funds that pool capital from accredited and/or institutional investors and invest in a variety of assets, often with extremely complex portfolio-construction and risk management techniques.  The professionals employed by hedge funds are the best of the best and have spent years honing their craft.  That is why they’re able to make the millions of dollars that they normally…

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