Ripple’s xRapid Pilot Project Gets Two More Companies

Two more companies have announced they will join Ripple’s xRapid pilot project, setting the stage for broader mainstream adoption of the institutional cryptocurrency. Telecommunication giant IDT and global payment provider MercuryFX officially announced the new partnership with Ripple on Tuesday.

MercuryFX and IDT Join xRapid

Both companies plan on using the infrastructure behind XRP to streamline real-time payments, which can help boost efficiencies and reduce costs across their global operations. The xRapid platform will assist Mercury and IDT settle retail remittances and corporate transactions much more quickly.

Alfredo O’Hagan, who heads IDT’s consumer payments segment, issued the following statement that appeared in a press release prepared by Ripple:

“We’re excited to pilot Ripple’s xRapid solution for on-demand liquidity. We expect that xRapid will enable us to settle more transactions in real-time and at a lower cost.”

Mercury founder and CEO Alastair Constance said:

“Digital assets promise fast transaction speeds but XRP is far faster than all of them, including bitcoin. Cutting settlement times from hours and days to just three seconds or less will remove billions of dollars in unnecessary intermediary fees.”

Broad Institutional Support

Earlier this month, MoneyGram announced it was joining hands with Ripple to enhance internal operations after learning that the platform offers lower fees than the Bitcoin network.

XRP has attracted broad institutional support thanks to three-second transactions and full integration within traditional payment networks. The Ripple company has already forged partnerships with the likes of American Express and dozens of Asian banks. These partnerships have been key in helping XRP reach record valuations in recent months.

Unlike other cryptocurrencies, Ripple’s XRP tokens are largely held at the company’s San Francisco-based headquarters. For this reason, many blockchain enthusiasts have described XRP as a centralized cryptocurrency. Though this makes it less attractive for blockchain purists drawn to decentralized protocols, it has made Ripple more viable from the perspective of banks and other financial institutions.

The value of XRP was relatively unaffected by the news, as the broader cryptocurrency market remained under pressure following a regulatory announcement by the South Korean government earlier this week. XRP was last seen trading around $1.34, where it was down slightly from Tuesday’s closing price. At current price levels, Ripple has a market cap of nearly $53 billion, according to data provider Trade volumes over the last 24 hours exceeded $2 billion, with South Korean exchanges accounting for the bulk of the transactions.

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

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Chief Editor to and Contributor to, Sam Bourgi has spent the past nine years focused on economics, markets and cryptocurrencies. His work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, CBOE and Forbes. Avid crypto watchers and those with a libertarian persuasion can follow him on twitter at @hsbourgi