Ripple has announced two new solutions geared towards banks involved with cross-border payments and FX trading.
With FX Market Making, the company says that its global payments market can be leveraged for FX liquidity and real-time settlement, thereby lowering volatility and counterparty risk. It would either power a bank’s in-house trading desk or tap the liquidity of third-party market makers to provide competitive FX rates for clients.
Another solution, Cross-currency Settlement, would provide an alternative to correspondent banks for international money transfers. Ripple clients would provide low-cost remittance services or function as international banks on behalf of smaller regional banks performing wire transfers.
Ripple touts both solutions for removing friction and fees from the multi-trillion dollar currency exchange market.
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The additions come at a time when banks are looking to remain competitive in the face of an onslaught by technology startups threatening to erode their business. Many are weighing the benefits of Bitcoin’s blockchain or other distributed ledger technologies, including Ripple.
A handful of institutions have already adopted Ripple’s protocol, and several more have disclosed their consideration of the technology. Ripple is looking to woo banks through practical solutions on top of its protocol that speak in functional terms that banks can relate to. CEO Chris Larsen also said that the company has been gathering feedback from potential clients. “Through hundreds of conversations with financial institutions over the past two years, we’ve gleaned important feedback about what to develop next,” he commented.
Also unveiled was the implementation of the Interledger Protocol (ILP), which is sought to scale Ripple to potentially handle an unlimited number of transactions and improve privacy.
To convey the message that the startup is in the business of practical solutions, it has been renamed from ‘Ripple Labs’ to simply ‘Ripple’. “We’re no longer experimenting. We’re delivering,” says the company’s blog.
Ripple also announced that it has received $4 million in funding from Santander InnoVentures, the venture capital arm of Spanish financial services conglomerate Santander Group. The funding brings Ripple’s Series A total to $32 million, following a $28 million round in May.