A Bank Started Using Ripple’s XRP for Transactions: Finally!
Coindesk recently announced that the relatively small Euro Exim Bank agreed to accept Ripple’s XRP tokens as official currency, via the provider’s RippleNet service for overseas payments in import/export transactions.
There are a few concerns that lawmakers and early adopters need to be aware of prior to dipping their feet into fray while Euro Exim and Ripple work out the legalities and cement their legacy in the financial space.
What is Ripple?
Ripple is a cryptocurrency just like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and many others. They offer a digital currency platform that’s focused on providing currency exchanges between companies operating in the international banking sector.
Euro Exim Bank, their most recent official banking partner, is based out of the well-known tax haven of St. Lucia in the Caribbean. Their mission statement is to streamline international payments by making hefty currency exchange costs a thing of the past.
The bank also does host a small office in London, but their St. Lucia base does offer some cause for concern with worldwide banking experts and first world governments.
Ripple currently has over 200 internationals banking partners worldwide. Rather than complicating things, let’s dumb things down when explaining Ripple and their global RippleNet digital payment streamlining service.
RippleNet: Not just another crypto
Ripple is more than just another cryptocurrency looking to enter the digital payment space. Where the most popular current token providers have indeed helped their users better secure minor and major transactions, Ripple has put themselves on the scene as a key disruptor in the digital currency and international transaction space.
Their goal is to eliminate up to 70% of the cost to businesses and individuals when making payments internationally that require a currency conversion.
Ripple is well-known for securing partnerships with American Express, Santander, and other banking/payment gateway giants like Western Union. However, until the recent partnership with Euro Exim, experts had no idea how to judge the actual value of the provider’s XRP tokens.
The true value backing the cryptocurrency is in the savings it can offer when making international transactions — particularly when it comes to costly currency conversions.
What Ripple can offer the banking sector in the future?
Where most international transactions currently place a big exchange cost on one or both parties when different currencies are involved, XRP transactions cut these costs by 40–70% on average.
The big problem with international currency exchange is that few can be directly converted from “X” to “Y”. A mediator currency, usually the USD, needs to act as a mediary between, for instance, a conversion between the British Pound to Japanese Yen.
This boils down to up to a 70% higher transaction cost because the buyer and seller each respectively need to pay the cost to convert to the mediator currency (E.g., USD), then from the mediator currency to the recipient’s desired end currency.
Breaking down Ripple’s cost saving potential
Take for example a Canadian buyer wishing to purchase a painting for sale in Japan: In a traditional international banking transaction, the buyer would have to convert the end cost of that painting to USD, using their lesser-valued Canadian dollars.
One or both parties in a transaction would then have to bear the cost of converting the USD into Yen (for example), causing a “double tax” of sorts for an otherwise simple transaction.
Most mediators won’t offer the current best exchange rate (PayPal is a great example here, often pocketing up to 3% on currency transactions from both parties). Ripple is a disruptor because they not only offer the ability to eliminate up to two-thirds of this financial burden, they offer banking institutions and their customers an instantaneous transaction.
Compare this to traditional, non-digital currency exchanges that can take several hours or days to transfer funds successfully.
Offshore banking: RippleNet and XRP tokens
However, the world’s most leading experts mostly all agree that blockchain technology offers a pronounced higher level of security that traditional offshore banking systems can’t and likely will never be able to offer — unless they embrace the blockchain and its “DCC” benefits.
The greatest benefit to consumers and sellers worldwide is Ripple’s aggressive agenda to disrupt international currency transfers. They have up to 200+ partners currently, such as their partner Bittrex that streamlines and facilitates streamlined currency USD currency exchanges for pennies on the dollar.
They’ve also partnered with Bitso, Coins.ph, and Bitstamp to lower exchange fees and allow for lightning-fast international blockchain transactions.
For crypto-powered business start-ups (read: ICOs) the time to go offshore is now. Once frowned-upon, ICOs can now access all the benefits offered by going offshore.
Ripple’s new “RippleNet” service is growing and adapting so rapidly, there’s a lot of confusion to be found on the Internet.
As of this writing, Ripple’s former xRapid service and XRP tokens have been merged into one service: RippleNet has replaced the former xRapid moniker the company used as a name for their “frictionless” international blockchain service to honor the partnerships they’ve signed in just over a couple of years.
Most are biased to the antiquated banking and offshore banking regime most country’s currently operate from, and the profits it takes in the form of transaction fees, currency exchange rip-offs, and ultra-low interest rates offered on saving’s accounts.
In a nutshell, you won’t find a lower cost cryptocurrency exchange service out there right now. As with any service on the market, Ripple and their XRP tokens will soon have competition chomping at the bit to topple them from their current position at the top of this niche.
This is a good thing, as Ripple and its competitors will have to keep their fees low and continue to build more and more lucrative partnerships as this industry moves forward.
Early adopters will likely appreciate the greatest advantages, not only with current token values being as low as they’ll ever be, but also with 4 second transaction times that blow even the fastest tokens and banking services available just a couple of years ago.