Navin Gupta, the Managing Director of South Asia and MENA at Ripple gave an interview in The Asian Banker, published on February 6th. It was an extensive interview with quite a few important points mentioned. This article will highlight the most important ones:
- It took two years to acquire the first 100 customers but it took only one year to acquire the next 100.
- Every one of the 200 financial institutions, of which 50% are from Asia and the Middle East, are production ready and are in the process of going live.
- Governments and central banks that Rippls is engaged with are trying to streamline digital assets and to bring it either into an existing framework or build new policies through which cryptocurrency and digital assets itself can be managed. For 2019, Ripple sees a favourable regulatory environment and clear regulatory signals in ASEAN such as Thailand, the Philippines and Singapore moving ahead on digital assets.
- The Middle East is Ripple’s fastest growing market place. While Ripple does not disclose the exact numbers it counts relationships with at least 9 banks from the UAE, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.
- To address interoperability and scalability, a key demand banks have put forward, it has further enhanced the framework using InterLedger Protocol (ILP). Last year we showed a live example in Berlin where we had seven different blockchains and we were able to take transactions across seven different ecosystems such as trade, logistics and energy.
- We currently have 8 customers who have signed on to use xRapid.
Note: As far as we know, Catalyst Corporate Federal Credit Union, MercuryFX and Cuallix are three already announced. Also JNFX, SendFriend, Transpaygo, FTCS and Euro Exim Bank were all announced recently. So thats 8. This estimation leaves out IDT and Viamericas that have been included in an official Ripple document to be using xRapid.
- Beetech in Brazil was able to eliminate SWIFT fees for all of its remittance corridors, dropping in its own fees from $20 to $2 per transaction in the process.
- To reach further scale in particular to connect banks in small frontier markets the next version, Ripple 2.0, will be expanding its hub or multi hub model. This addresses the issue that in the process of global banks retrenching from frontier markets, local banks in Asia/ME banks have seen a decline in correspondent banking network. To fill this gap, Ripple will further expand its hub model, potentially to South Asia, that started with Siam Commercial Bank in Thailand serving as a regional clearing partner for Ripple.
- There is a significant amount of movement from high street banks to be interest in the network boding well for accelerating Ripple’s network effect.
You can read the whole interview here.