Ripple’s XRP Gaining Traction as Western Union Confirms Partnership

Ripple XRP rallied on Thursday, with prices testing two-week highs after Western Union confirmed a pilot partnership with the San Francisco-based company.

Western Union to Pilot xRapid System

After much speculation, Western Union’s Chief Technology Officer Sheri Rhodes indicated that the global money transfer system will in fact integrate Ripple’s xRapid.

“We continue to explore possible blockchain applications for our business, and we are piloting some settlement tests with Ripple for certain corridors,” Rhodes said, as quoted by Yahoo Finance and CCN.

She added: “For blockchain in general, we’re looking at areas such as transaction processing and settlement, working capital optimization, regulatory technology, and digital identity. We have a strong platform and system that work well today, but we continue to explore and test whether these technologies could potentially reduce costs and improve the customer experience.”

Ripple also issued the following statement: “We’ve been testing different products with Western Union for a while. We’re excited about our work towards a pilot implementation of xRapid, which uses XRP in payment flows.”

The partnership with xRapid (and not RippleNet) is significant because it means Western Union will be using XRP tokens to boost real-time liquidity. One of the main arguments against investing in XRP is that financial institutions don’t have to adopt the currency when partnering with Ripple. Rather, banks pay Ripple (the company) to use its protocol without actually holding or implementing XRP tokens. In the case of Western Union, the money transfer service will use XRP to streamline payment flows.

Although Western Union is only the fifth company to test xRapid, it is the second major money transfer service to do so. Last month, MoneyGram signed on to xRapid for currency transfers.

XRP Price Levels

Ripple’s XRP reached a session high of $1.17 on Thursday for a market cap of $45 billion, according to data provider CoinMarketCap. The coin was last seen trading around $1.10.

Nearly $1.6 billion worth of XRP was transacted on global exchanges Thursday, placing it fifth in terms of overall trade volume behind bitcoin, Tether, Ethereum and Litecoin. The South Korean won facilitated more than half the daily transaction amount, with Bithumb, Upbit, Coinone and Korbit handling the volumes.

To be frank, Ripple’s acceleration Thursday wasn’t unique. Cryptocurrencies as a whole jumped to two-week highs, as calm returned to the market following a prolonged period of instability. The market’s total value peaked peaked at $481.5 billion, the highest since Jan. 31.

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.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Author:
Chief Editor to Hacked.com and Contributor to CCN.com, 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