Ripple’s xCurrent is getting an upgrade to version 4.0 and will now feature integration with xRapid. This will give customers the ability to complete cross-border transactions within seconds, with the on-demand liquidity provided by the xRapid Technology. The version 4.0 brings new upgrades for xCurrent such as a new UI, bulk FX purchasing, zero downtime and “increased product interoperability”. Now customers of Ripple may be able to switch to xRapid, the company’s premier offering utilizing XRP for liquidity, with ease.
In a CNBC interview this June, Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse said that “I think as we do things that enhance the utility of XRP, we’ll continue to see that ecosystem grow and be healthier and healthier.”and further added, ” I’ve publicly stated by the end of this year I have every confidence that major banks will use xRapid as a liquidity tool by the end of this year, by the end of next year, I would certainly hope that we would see an order of magnitude – dozens.”
Right now there are more than 150 members are signed on to Ripple’s network of banks, payment providers and financial institutions known as RippleNet.
The new version of xCurrent include support for multi-hop payments, a technology that allow for the sourcing of liquidity through XRP without the need for banks to have one-to-one relations with those who can utilize xRapid. This will directly translates to more capital flowing through the network.
Multi-hop can also provide faster and cheaper payments across Ripple Net and the company is also promising to deliver a “seamless payment experience.
Dilip Rao, Ripple’s Global Head for Infrastructure Innovation said, “Milestone in the scaling of RippleNet! Now any regional bank can act as a correspondent bank, connecting originators and beneficiaries with multiple intermediate legs, yet with full transparency of data and an atomic (single) settlement across all legs. Fees down, speed up!”
Over the beta users of xRapid, who used the product reported an exponential increase in speed along with a 40-70% decrease in fees. This should encourage existing customers to take charge and beginning processing payments through xRapid.
Asheesh Birla, the Senior VP of Product at Ripple said that, “They would use xCurrent and they would get rid of the need for the FTP server and the three-day wait to process the files. The magic is where xRapid is available, Mexico for example. They can then add on xRapid and move money on-demand using XRP into Mexico and payout instantly.”
While none of the xCurrent 4.0 users are using xRapid, Ripple announced in October that 3 companies are already using xRapid for commercial payments. Early reports from the 3 companies indicate that xRapid is lowering costs for them and improving settlement times and will help over border transactions.
For independent market makers to provide liquidity on exchanges, Ripple has partnered with 3 cryptocurrency exchanges – Bitso in Mexico, Coins.ph in the Philippines and Bittrex in the U.S. These partners are using xRapid to boost cross-border payments between the U.S. and Mexico and the U.S. and the Philippines.
Other New features included in the released reports are enhanced onward forwarding to allow for final mile visibility on payment status, easier counterparty peering through API workflow automation, and improved auditing and monitoring services.
This update brings an interesting development in the cycle of Ripple’s products, as some of their biggest clients utilize xCurrent for payments. They have 11 of the world’s biggest banks, and settlement giants such as American Express, MoneyGram and Western Union as clients. Their banking clients include MUFG, the world’s fifth largest bank managing assets worth $2.6 trillion, Credit Agricole, Europe’s third-largest bank, Bank of America, Santander, Standard Chartered, SBI Group, Westpac, and Mizuho Financial Group.