XRP (XRP)–XRP, the third largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization which experienced double digit gains throughout yesterday in a price reversal, has received another tailwind of positive news in the form of adoption by a major U.S. bank. PNC, which operates in nineteen states and holds control over 2400 branches, has announced a partnership with Ripple that will involve using the blockchain startup company’s technology for cross-border and international payments.
First reported by Reuters on Wednesday, the giant financial services company has announced its intention to use xCurrent for global payments, thereby speeding up and reducing costs for overseas transactions made by U.S. based customers. Ripple, the parent company behind XRP which has made an effort to distance itself from the cryptocurrency in order to promote decentralization, elaborated on the new program. As opposed to banks using XRP directly for payments and money transfer, a process that Ripple itself has contended is still some time away from occurring, PNC will be operating on the xCurrent platform, a distributed ledger protocol that should save costs and cut transaction times significantly.
Asheesh Birla, senior vice president for product management at Ripple, said in an interview that while the company hopes to transition to the use of xRapid in the future (and thereby get the XRP coin directly involved in global money transfer), the current stepping stone of adoption is through xCurrent,
“Banks aren’t going to be the first adopters of xRapid.”
Birla also went on to clarify that xRapid and using XRP for liquidity in global payments is a process that is being targeted at emerging markets as opposed to the United States. Earlier in the year Ripple proposed that the XRP currency held a possible fifty percent market share in India, with the coin being a popular choice for digital payments and sending money abroad. The company also highlighted its intention to target Brazil and similarly emerging markets, as a way to drive XRP and xRapid growth outside of the established financial institutions of the United States and Wall Street.
While current investors of XRP may be disappointed by the absence of the currency in relation to the PNC news, Birla believes that getting more companies and banks to adopt xCurrent is a step in the right direction for eventual XRP use,“It’s a way [for banks] to get their toe into the water” with the primary goal of the company being “how do you get [banks] to use xRapid which is our liquidity product.”
PNC has been ranked as a top ten banking institution in the U.S., reaching more than 8 million customers across 19 states. In addition, the financial services giant reports having over 2400 branches spread across the country. Partnering with xCurrent allows PNC to provide greater services for both customers abroad and those dealing with sending and receiving money internationally. Compared to the current methods for transacting currency across borders, which can take up to 2-3 day in processing time, the xCurrent protocol is supposed to work in under five minutes with fees also being greatly reduced.