Blockchain makes a Ripple
By Teamspirit on Monday, 15 January 2018
MoneyGram, the Texas-based money transfer company has partnered with Ripple, a blockchain firm, to test using its cryptocurrency payment network xRapid for speeding up international payments.
Cryptocurrencies in general, and Ripple in particular, have had a bumpy ride over the last couple of months, seeing rapid spikes and dips in their value. Several regulatory authorities around the globe are also paying increasingly close attention to cryptocurrencies and questioning how robust they really are. Reports have circulated that South Korea is even preparing to ban cryptocurrency trading.
Ripple’s digital currency briefly became the second largest crypto earlier this month after a surge in interest. However, this dramatic rise was shortly followed by an equally dramatic fall – though Ripple claims the reported figures are misleading.
Instead of focusing on the fluctuating value of the currency, Ripple would rather people paid attention to what the currency can do. While Bitcoin transactions take an average of 51 minutes to be processed, Ripple claims that transactions made via xRapid take between two and three seconds.
Such rapid timings would, of course, be of interest to a company like MoneyGram, and other players in the financial space too. Ripple is backed by a number of international banks and money firms, and has already worked on blockchain pilots with American Express and Santander on reducing transaction times between the US and UK.
With so much coverage about what blockchain and cryptocurrencies are, it can be easy to forget that the most exciting thing about both is what they can do.
Disruptive technology is, by its very nature, not one hundred percent predictable. But the more that big brands and established institutions – particularly in the FS space – find practical applications for it, as MoneyGram and Ripple appear to be doing, the faster it will become mature, stable, and beneficial.