NEW YORK (Reuters) – A division of PNC Financial Services Group Inc. ( PNC.N ) will use the technology created by Ripple to process international payments, companies said today, a possible forerunner of the use of blockchain in traditional finance.
PNC Treasury Management will use xCurrent, a system developed by Ripple, to accelerate the way its US customers receive invoices paid by foreign buyers, Ripple said.
In recent years, banks have increased their investments in distributed books, an umbrella under which the so-called blockchains fall, in the hope that it will help them simplify some of the most cumbersome processes. Despite the fanfare, few blockchain systems have been deployed up to this point.
Distributed books are databases managed by a computer network rather than a centralized authority.
Several banks have tested or implemented xCurrent, which uses "bidirectional messaging" that can eventually insert them into distributed registers, but which "is not a distributed ledger" itself, David Schwartz, Ripple's Chief Technology Officer, told a Reuters in June. He added that for the moment it is unlikely that banks will use mixed books distributed for payments.
Ripple is among the best known startups that build blockchain technology, or software that emerged for the first time as the system that supports cryptocurrencies.
Ripple also supports the use of a cryptocurrency called XRP, of which it holds a large share, and which it hopes will be used by finance companies for payments together with the xRapid payment platform.
PNC Bank will not use XRP or xRapid to make payments per hour, said in an interview Asheesh Birla, Ripple's senior vice president for product management.
"Banks will not be the first to adopt xRapid," said Birla. He added that xRapid was more focused on emerging markets than the United States.
XCurrent uses an immutable "interlaced" protocol which, according to Ripple, improves existing payment networks because it offers instant regulation.
Making sure that banks use xCurrent is a first step towards adopting their other product, Birla said.
"It's a way to put the big toe in the water," Birla said. He added that the next step would be "how do you use xRapid which is our liquidity product".
Report by Anna Irrera, Editing by Rosalba O & # 39; Brien