Ripple’s xRapid to go Live Soon
Ripple is all set to launch its cryptocurrency-focused product’s commercial application.
According to Sagar Sarbhai, Ripple’s head of regulatory relations for Asia-Pacific and the Middle East, the company would be launching xRapid the “next month or so”. The product is aimed at helping banks increase transaction speed by using XRP. Introducing xRapid, in an interview with CNBC’s Arjun Kharpal, he said:
“[xRapid] uses a digital asset called XRP and that really is a mechanism to source liquidity in real-time. We’ve been working on this project for the past two to three years and I think I’m very confident that in the next month or so, you will see some good news coming in and we’ll launch the product live in production”
The company has been striking deals with high-profile financial institutions a lot. Some of the biggest names in the banking industry such as Santander, MoneyGram, Western Union, and American Express have partnered with Ripple but those partnerships have mostly been unrelated to XRP and have sometimes even been about trial runs of xRapid.
Thus far, none of the banks have begun testing the cryptocurrency product. When asked about whether the reluctance of the banks to adopt xRapid has so far been about regulation, he said:
“Maybe that was the case a year ago, but things are changing now. For example, countries like Thailand—they have come up with really sophisticated crypto frameworks to help figure this innovation where banks and financial institutions, payment providers can then leverage the power of digital assets for payments. We are standing here in Abu Dhabi; ADGM came up with a very sophisticated framework to boost institutional participation where financial institutions and payment providers can use digital assets like XRP for their liquidity needs. So I think that narrative is now changing. Of course, there are countries which are sitting on the fence and looking at how things are going, but I think it’s all positive and I will see more and more banks and payment providers start using the digital assets.”
XRP is still seen as a security by many. Upon asking whether he is worried about how XRP can be classified as a token in different countries—especially the US, he said:
“As far as the US is concerned, I think that it is ultimately the SEC that will decide. We continue to engage with the SEC, educating them about our use case, about what XRP does. We do believe that XRP is not a security and there are multiple facts behind why we believe so. So number one, if an investor buys XRP, you do not get a stake in the company. You do not get any dividends paid out from Ripple the company. That’s number one. Number two, Ripple and XRP are two different things. So tomorrow, let’s say, for whatever reason, Ripple the company goes away, XRP ledger will still stay. XRP ledger is open source—anyone can use it. You and I can use it. Number three, XRP ledger uses a consensus mechanism where there is a need for validators. Now, again, it’s an open-source software, anyone can download it and Ripple the company—so there are around 150 validators today, out of which Ripple the company only owns around 10, which is around 7 percent. So, we do believe that XRP is not a security. Having said that, it is really up to the SEC to decide what they will. But that being said again, we are not seeing that layout in other parts of the world. Thailand, for example, came with a new asset class called digital assets and they said that XRP would be one of the seven digital assets to be allowed to be traded. Similarly in Australia, in the Phillipines—most of these countries have actually said that XRP and other digital assets are either commodities or a cryptocurrency. ADGM also classified XRP, among other cryptocurrencies, as a commodity. So we are not really worried, to be honest.”