Earlier this month Currencies Direct announced the “resounding success” of using xRapid (commonly known as XRP) to make near immediate payments, serving as a proof of concept that spells greater collaboration between the international money transfer company and Ripple, as Ripple expands its use case to navigating the FX market.
It adds fuel to the Ripple/SWIFT debate which intensified at Money20/20 as Brad Garlinghouse, Ripple CEO, said that the young blockchain firm was becoming a “SWIFT 2.0”.
But it’s easy to get carried away with rhetoric, says Brian Harris, chief product officer of Currencies Direct.
“When you get into public dialogue,” he says, “there’s always this assumption that the rise of something means the demise of something else.
“It’s a huge market and Ripple has a unique opportunity to use its underlying technology to service and own parts of the vast ecosystem. That doesn’t mean SWIFT gets displaced.”
The pilot saw Ripple’s XRP platform used to make international money transfers in seconds as opposed to the traditional three to five days.
“Our critical outcome for the pilot was ensuring our customers got the same value in the transfers that we committed to,” Harris says. “For me, XRP is a transfer of value and it’s less about the underlying token, currency or asset, and more about speeding up a process and providing transparency.”
Hailed a “game changer” by Harris, the pilot gives Ripple further momentum as it strives to break through the proof of concept stage towards beta testing.
While both Western Union and MoneyGram have already piloted Ripple, Harris is optimistic about the partnership for the future. When asked if Currencies Direct had any plans to roll out a beta or alpha, Harris says “We’re reviewing next steps.”