Ripple, the company behind the third largest cryptocurrency, said that its xRapid solution was now commercially available, with three companies already signing an agreement to use the new platform. xRapid leverages blockchain for cross-border payments and uses the XRP coin as an intermediary currency. This is the first time that financial services providers or any companies will use XRP in a commercial application, which might support demand for the coin.
The xRapid platform will be used by payment firms Mercury FX and Cuallix and cooperative financial company Catalyst Corporate Federal Credit Union, Ripple said. CEO Brad Garlinghouse announced the major news on Monday at the company’s annual Swell conference. He did not comment on the volume of payments the three new clients are expected to process.
Asheesh Birla, Ripple's SVP of product, said in an interview with CNBC:
“I'm really excited to bring the product into the market at a time when there is a lot of skepticism about digital assets and their real use case. Here's something where we're finding a ton of value and providing a ton of value to our customers using digital assets to move money more efficiently.”
Ripple has been experimenting with the three companies and several other firms, including Western Union and MoneyGram. However, banks, including those on Ripple’s partner list, have no plans to use xRapid soon.
According to Birla, “Banks worldwide are not first adopters of the xRapid product, but we are seeing a lot of financial institutions in general and payment providers moving forward with that product.”
He added that Ripple had close relationships with payment firms, but banks would embrace digital assets at a faster pace in certain markets. Garlinghouse earlier said that dozens of banks would use XRP by the end of next year.
So far, XRP has not reacted to the Monday announcement, trading at around $0.56, or about 3% down for the day, as shown by Coinmarketcap data.