A Ripple Labs executive said that the long-awaited commercial product of the company, xRapid, could soon be released. The value of Ripple's XRP tokens has grown by more than twenty percent in the news, even though it has since fallen slightly. The availability of xRapid will mark the biggest move of a blockchain-based product in the current use.
Sagar Sarbhai, responsible for the regulatory relations of Ripple Labs for the Asia-Pacific and the Middle East, made comments during an interview earlier week. Speaking of xRapid, Sarbhai said "I am very confident that in the next month or so you will see some good news coming where we launch the product live in production." Although perhaps not intended to be an official statement, these observations serve to confirm other rumors that xRapid is approaching the end of its testing phase, and will soon be put into use in the real world.
Ripple developed xRapid as a protocol for cross-border fiat transfers. To use xRapid, a bank or other financial institution will purchase the Ripple currency with its native currency, which will then be used to purchase a foreign currency, thus completing the transfer. If released soon, as we say, xRapid will be the first blockchain-based product made available for widespread use.
Ripple Labs intends to xRapid compete with the Swift network, which is currently the most common means by which banks transfer large amounts of currency across borders. Western Union and Moneygram are also exploring its use. There is little debate about the fact that blockchain solutions can far outweigh those of Swift, which often takes several days and is much less secure. Ripple Labs claims to have partnered with over a hundred banks, with many others expressing interest.
Not surprisingly, the news about the imminent release of xRapid provokes a substantial increase in the value of Ripple. With many blockchain platforms coming out of the development phase, it is likely that investors will begin to evaluate them more about business partnerships and functional applications than potential uses, as they do now. Furthermore, xRapid is a good example of how the mainstream use of blockchain can start behind the scenes, with consumers using cryptocurrencies that will emerge much later.
Ripple Labs has two other basic products under development. Named xCurrent and xVia, both are also currency transfer solutions. The release dates for these services have not been announced. It is worth noting that, despite significant progress, Ripple's success is not guaranteed. Many other blockchain systems are being used to transfer fiat, including IBM's Blockchain World Wire (as previously reported by Crypto-News), which will offer the same service via the Stellar platform and the XLM token.
Ripple Labs Attention focused on legacy financial institutions, and its very public focus on business development and profitability, played a key role in the success of the XRP token, which currently has passed the ETH and has become the second most valuable by market capitalization. It is reasonable to assume that future growth will therefore depend on the rate of adoption of xRapid and other Ripple products. Although this is all but certain, there should be no doubt that blockchain technology will play a significant role in the future of global finance and the circulation of assets.
Featured image via BigStock.