Ripple (XRP) to Unify Platforms with its New Convergence System?
Current and future Ripple (XRP) users will be interested to hear the news of Ripple’s new system, dubbed Convergence, which combines all three of its leading products into one slick, seamless platform. The software products of xVia, xCurrent and xRapid are set to be combined into one convenient solution that provides effortless synchronisation across all its functions.
Jim Chauncey-Kelly, director of talent acquisition at Ripple, labelled the engineering of its emerging Convergence platform as Ripple’s “biggest push” in terms of infrastructure. Mr Chauncey-Kelly cited an example where a new Convergence platform could make a world of difference to Ripple as a whole:
“If American Express (one of our clients) wants to send $500 to a bank in Thailand, there is an immediate quote of what that exchange is and the money goes through. This is something that brings together all of our products to further enhance RippleNet which is very exciting”.
Although his post was later deleted, it sparked intense speculation that this new Convergence system could be released sooner rather than later. Chauncey-Kelly later attempted to provide some clarity on the situation by confirming that “there isn’t a software actually called ‘Convergence’” but that there will be a “convergence release soon” of xCurrent, xVia and xRapid. The new platform would also help to boost demand for the Ripple XRP coin with more financial institutions prepared to use it as a credible utility coin to facilitate fiat currency transactions.
It has only been largely positive news on the Ripple front for many weeks now. Its xRapid platform has recently been connected to leading crypto exchanges such as Bittrex, allowing their users to exchange XRP for USD. Meanwhile, a recent survey of Coinbase users found that the overwhelming majority (96%) were in favour of Ripple being added to the Coinbase platform. Although many people seem to be selling Ripple in the cryptocurrency exchanges at present, the company is stronger than ever, with world-leading developers expanding its technology to underpin its long-term future.
Ripple’s xCurrent software is its enterprise solution for payment processing of cross-border transactions, complete with end-to-end tracking. Traditional banks can utilise xCurrent to message each other in real time to confirm payment details before initiating a transaction and confirm delivery once payment is reached. The traditional Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) transactions have long been considered an antiquated system, susceptible to cyber-hacking. xCurrent is the ideal state-of-the-art solution. The most important feature of xCurrent is that it can complete cross-border transactions in a matter of minutes that would have taken several days via SWIFT in previous years.
The xVia payments interface is still in the developmental stage, with organisations invited to request early access to the software. Once complete, it will provide corporate businesses, payment providers and high-street banks with the capability to send payments across a plethora of networks using a single standardised interface. There’ll be no requirement for organisations to have to install an expensive suite of software. Instead, organisations will be able to tap into xVia’s API and seamlessly submit payments worldwide with the utmost transparency through RippleNet. xVia has the potential to revolutionise the reconciliation process using rich data transfers, with invoices attached directly to payments.
Ripple has also confirmed this week that its xRapid platform is ready for launch. The long-awaited platform will provide on-demand, low-cost liquidity for financial institutions and payment providers, whilst accelerating the speed of cross-border payments further. Ripple’s chief marketing strategist, Cory Johnson, confirmed that xRapid will be entering its production phase in the next quarter, with the potential for inclusion in this much-talked-about ‘convergence’ system. Ripple and many of its partners have been testing the water with xRapid for some time. A series of cross-border payment trials have been conducted, including one between the US and Mexico. Ripple confirmed that financial institutions trialling xRapid managed to save up to 70% on what they would have historically paid to foreign exchange brokers to transfer funds cross-border. This would equate to overall savings of $21 billion per annum.
Mercury FX, one of the companies testing xRapid, were quick to comment on its “unbelievable” speed. Nevertheless, Western Union admitted xRapid was “still too expensive” to transform its business model yet. When the time comes for Western Union to adopt xRapid, there is almost certain to be a significant spike in the value of Ripple XRP. That’s because Western Union is arguably the world’s leading overseas money transfer provider. The ability to reduce the capital requirements for liquidity in a cost-effective fashion will – eventually – transform such services.
Ripple also looks set to test the water in the Far East, with Hong Kong set to begin use of the platform for cross-border payments. If Hong Kong goes to plan, it’s almost certain that Ripple will have its sights set firmly on mainland China.