To many Bitcoin zealots, Ripple Labs is the bankers’ Trojan horse into the (mostly) decentralized crypto realm. Still, while decentralists and anti-establishment figures bash the San Francisco-headquartered company for seemingly being in bed with governments, Ripple has trotted ahead with no holds barred. In fact, some would argue that the fintech startup is one of the best-performing ‘crypto’ companies of 2018, and it seems as though this trend is slated to continue into 2019.
Euro Exim, Meet XRP
On Tuesday, January 8th, American Banker reported that Euro Exim Bank, a lesser-known London-based financial institution, had overtly lauded XRP. Per American Banker’s Penny Crosman, this endorsement is an industry first.
In a company statement, Euro Exim divulged that it had embraced XRP and xRapid, in an apparent bid to quell liquidity and “visibility” qualms that are present in cross-border financial processes.
Graham Bright, Exim’s head of operations & compliance, noted that with talk mounting how decentralized ledger technologies can bolster the global financial system, his firm has gone ahead with joins hands with Ripple. Bright made it clear that his employer’s ambition is to create a “smooth, frictionless way” of transacting money globally and locally for Exim’s clients, which are situated in over eighty nations.
In spite of the executive’s (slightly) nebulous comments, this collaboration didn’t come straight out of left field. Bright noted that Exim was enticed to join Ripple’s network when C-suite members attended the Swell industry event, which saw Bill Clinton (yes the Bill Clinton) address a crowd of suits, blockchain engineers, inquisitive common Joes, and forward-thinking fanatics.
And, after nearly no deliberation, Exim determined that blockchain-based technology would bolster its offerings, while also drastically improving auditable transparency — something of utmost importance in Bright’s eyes.
Ripple Tech, Not Swift
This newfangled integration may also be a direct byproduct of Exim’s struggles with the heavily-centralized SWIFT ecosystem, rife with shortcomings, which Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse claimed that his firm may one day surmount.
Speaking to American Banker in an interview, Bright noted that on December 29th, in the aftermath of the holiday season, Exim sent a “payment instruction” to another bank via SWIFT.
The Exim executive noted that the transaction was “lost somewhere in the quagmire,” adding that the location of the process was unknown. With RippleNet and affiliated ventures, most of these issues are solved, as all transactions are visible on a ledger. SWIFT’s issues with long transaction times and high fees are also solved, as Ripple transactions are settled within minutes, if not seconds, with sub-cent fees.
This report came alongside a post from Ripple Insight (company blog), which divulged that one of the firm’s ventures, RippleNet, now supports upwards of 200 customers.
Speaking on the matter, Garlinghouse, a technology entrepreneur with two decades in the ‘biz’, claimed that 2018 was his organization’s best performing year on record. More specifically, through the company statement, Garlinghouse explained that Ripple saw its customer base swell by 100 clients in the year prior. The company chief even quelled concerns that growth has slowed, noting that Ripple continues to sign “two — sometimes three — new customers per week.”
This monumental growth statistic, which is impressive for any startup, whether in the cryptosphere or otherwise, was just the proverbial edge of the iceberg, however. Garlinghouse added that year-over-year, the transaction count on RippleNet swelled by 350%, as a growing number of clients have begun to utilize the XRP asset.
While this growth isn’t likely to continue indefinitely, many expect Ripple’s influence to continue to swell in the coming years.