SBI’s Ripple-Backed ‘MoneyTap’ Set to Launch Soon
One of Japan’s largest financial institutions will soon launch a new consumer payments application backed by Ripple’s technology, signaling an important milestone in the quest to bring blockchain adoption mainstream.
SBI Ripple Asia, a joint venture of SBI Holdings and the San Francisco-based Ripple, Inc. is preparing to launch the ‘MoneyTap’ mobile application on Android and iOS.
MoneyTap is the first major consumer-oriented application launched on the Ripple protocol in Japan. The app enables consumers with domestic bank accounts to send money instantly 24 hours a day, seven days a week using a QR code, phone number or bank account.
The new platform is powered by Ripple’s xCurrent, a solution that allows banks to instantly settle cross-border payments. Sources have yet to confirm whether XRP, the cryptocurrency launched by Ripple, can be used on MoneyTap.
As Hacked reported back in March, initial roll-out of the app will be accepted by several financial institutions, including SBI Net Sumishin Bank, Suruga Bank and Resona Bank. These firms are part of a larger consortium of financiers that represent more than 80% of Japan’s banking assets.
Ripple to Expand Commercial Application
In addition to MoneyTap, Ripple is planning to launch a commercial application of its cryptocurrency-focused product as early as next month, according to Sagar Sarbhai, who heads the firm’s Asia-Pacific and Middle East regulatory department. According to Sarbhai, the new product will be focused on xRapid, which offers low-cost liquidity for payment providers and other financial institutions.
“I am very confident that in the next one month or so you will see some good news coming in where we launch the product live in production,” Sarbhai said of xRapid in an interview with CNBC.
The xRapid technology relies on XRP to bridge currencies, which allows payment providers to process faster cross-border transactions.
Despite facing multiple lawsuits alleging XRP is a security, Ripple is riding a tidal wave of momentum from several high-profile partnerships with leading payment providers. Chief among them are American Express, Western Union, Money Gram and Santander. Ripple also has partnerships with more than 120 banks and financial institutions, especially in the Asia-Pacific region. Although not tied to XRP directly, these developments add value to Ripple’s blockchain technology, which could spearhead wider adoption at the currency level.
XRP, which was little changed Monday morning, is trading at a fraction of its all-time high. One unit of XRP is currently valued at just over $0.28, according to CoinMarketCap. The coin reached $3.29 on Jan. 3, according to CryptoCompare.com.
XRP has a total capitalization of $11.2 billion, placing it fourth among active cryptocurrencies in terms of value.
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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