The exchange of money from one country to another plays a huge role in today’s world economy. Large companies down to individuals need it to conduct international banking while foreign workers depend on it to be able to send money back home to their families. These cross-border payments and transfers to different countries need to be done securely and efficiently as possible. Banks like Western Union and Wells Fargo offer these services, but for a large fee and the transactions can take as many as five days to complete. If you do international business on a daily bases, these fees can take a toll on profits, and having to wait can slow down production. Now, with advancements in blockchain technology and digital assets, faster, lower-cost international banking is possible.
Ripple is a fintech company that provides financial technology for financial institutions. Co-founded in 2012 by Chris Larsen and Jed McCaleb, Ripple’s vision is to have technology that acts as both a cryptocurrency and a digital payment network for financial institutions to send money across borders securely and instantly with very little cost. At the moment, they are the only enterprise blockchain company with products in commercial use and have over 300 customers in more than 40 countries. Here are a few of the companies running on the Ripple blockchain network.
- American Express is a multinational financial services company located in New York City. They are best known for their credit card and traveler’s cheque businesses. Payments made by business customers on its international platform are now routed through Ripple’s blockchain network, RippleNet.
- MoneyGram is a money transfer service. it provides money transfers, money orders and bill payment for people that don’t have bank accounts or just don’t want to use their regular bank. Ripple has invested around $50 million towards project development on its xRapid platform.
- SBI Holdings is a financial services group based in Tokyo, Japan. They are providing a next-generation banking option using Ripple’s technology-based web app MoneyTap. The app allows it’s customers to securely gain access to funds at ATMs, regardless of what bank they use. So far, 61 banks have joined that makeup over 80% of all banking in Japan.
XRP is the token used on the Ripple Network. Its purpose is to be a bridge between cryptocurrency and fiat currency. Instead of using the blockchain mining process like bitcoin, Ripple uses a unique consensus mechanism where a network of servers validate the transactions. This enables a nearly instant confirmation without any central authority. This keeps XRP decentralized with faster and more reliable transactions than other cryptocurrencies. If you wish to send $100 to somebody in Spain, you can do so by converting your fiat to XRP and send it to the person’s wallet in Italy. Once received, the recipient has the option to keep the XRP or convert it to their local fiat currency. This is all done within seconds and with very little cost. Transaction fees can be as low as $0.00001.
Even though the Ripple network is decentralized, it is owned and ran by a private company. But Ripple has gained mainstream adoption in the financial world like no other cryptocurrency has and could very well transform the global payment sector.