Initial POC to connect Swift GPI with R3, for now

Expectations were high regarding the Panel discussion at the Paris Fintech Forum 2019 between Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse and Swift CEO Gottfried Leibbrandt. Especially since a discussion between the two that was going to take place at the Blockchain Economic Forum at Davos a week before, was cancelled in the last minute.

Siamak Masnavi (@siamakmasnavi twitter handle) freelance writer, wrote a detailed summary with all the highlights of the debate here. The biggest statement of the discussion, which you can view here, was a revelation by mr. Leibbrandt: “Later today we are announcing integration with R3”. And indeed Swift did follow up with an announcement.

As stated in the announcement, “the first stage of the PoC will work on R3’s leading blockchain platform, Corda, to bring the benefits of gpi payments – speed, ubiquity and certainty – to distributed ledger technology (DLT)-enabled trade. The PoC addresses the need for e-commerce and trade ecosystems to be supported by global, fast, secure and transparent settlement using fiat currencies by enabling ‘off-ledger’ payment settlement based on gpi”.

R3 also confirmed that Swift gpi will be integrated with the Corda Settler.

So, to my understanding, Swift gpi will be supported by the recently launched Corda Settler, to settle payments, using fiat currencies. This does not mean Swift will utilize XRP (despite the fact that the Corda Settler does use XRP).

Moreover, the announcement stated that “while the PoC initially addresses R3’s DLT-based trade environment, it will be extended to support other DLT, non-DLT and e-commerce trade platforms”. It will be exciting to see where Swift gpi will be extended. During the panel discussion at Paris, Brad Garlinghouse did state that there are ways that Ripple can work with Swift.

The statement by Luc Meurant, SWIFT’s Chief Marketing Officer, was also quite interesting: “while DLT-enabled trade is taking off, there is still little appetite for settlement in crypto-currencies and a pressing need for fast and safe settlement in fiat currencies”. What happens after there is more “apetite”, remains to be seen…