Ripple Adds New Partners in Push to Make Case for XRP
Ripple, which provides blockchain software for banks, announced on Wednesday that a currency exchange firm and a telecom provider will be the latest to use XRP—Ripple’s highly volatile currency—as part of their money transfer operations.
The firms are publicly-traded IDT Corporation, which provides international long distance and payment services, and MercuryFX, which offers discount rates on foreign exchange transactions.
According to Ripple, both firms will use its XRapid product, which relies on XRP as a bridge currency to rapidly transfer and settle global money transfers. The announcement follows recent news that money transfer giant MoneyGram and the Mexican bank Cuallix are likewise testing XRP in their operations.
The addition of new XRapid customers is critical for Ripple, which has long been making the case that its XRP currency can provide useful liquidity in the global money system, and is not simply the object of speculation.
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While CEO Brad Garlinghouse has repeatedly argued that XRP lets financial institutions free up capital held in so-called nostro and vostro accounts, banks—which are embracing Ripple has a software solution—have so far refrained from making XRP part of their operations. This is in part out of concern about the currency’s volatility.
In the last year, XRP has risen by 35,000% year-over-year, according to Ripple’s figures, and briefly became the second most popular digital currency after bitcoin in early January. But after hitting an all-time high of around $3.80, it soon tumbled dramatically to below $1 during a larger correction in the volatile digital currency market.
On Wednesday morning, XRP was trading around $1.40, and had an overall market cap of approximately $54 billion, putting it third behind rivals bitcoin and Ethereum.
“It’s no secret that XRP is faster and more efficient than bitcoin or any other digital asset. It settles in three seconds and at fractions of a penny,” said Garlinghouse in a statement. “Payment providers like IDT Corporation and MercuryFX are early movers because they understand what XRP can do for their business and customer experience. We’re excited to have them at the forefront of the Internet of Value.”