xCurrent, which is Ripple’s most popular product is about to get an upgrade. This product is being positioned to take on the SWIFT network. It will be better integrated with xRapid by Ripple.
xRapid relies on XRP to offer on-demand liquidity for international transactions. According to Ripple, using XRP eliminates the need for pre-funding the bank accounts of the destination country.
About xCurrent 4.0
Asheesh the SVP of product at Ripple said that the new version of xCurrent would make it possible to plug in on-demand liquidity using xRapid. The rollout started in September and customers such as American Express are being moved to the new version.
Asheesh did not say when the upgrades would conclude. However, he did note that xCurrent is tailored to the needs of each customer. Nonetheless, all new customers would start at V 4.0.
Are There Takers?
Asheesh was clear that the upgrade was optional. He said that in nations where the law was unclear, users could continue with existing versions of xCurrent. Thus far, no one has upgraded to 4.0 with xRapid integration.
When BBVA was contacted, they said that they had tested the product a year ago. However, they did not specify which one. A communications manager at Banco Santander was clear that the bank only uses xCurrent. Thus far, they had not made any upgrades.
The xRapid Acceptance
In October, Ripple revealed that Cuallix, MercuryFX, and Catalyst Corporate Credit Union had implemented xRapid to be used in payments. In the current system, a bank can spend months to set up an account in a foreign nation and fund them with enough currency for liquidity.
Using xRapid, a bank can trade the currency from the nation of origin for XRP and use XRP to buy fiat of the destination nation. Thus far, it has helped to cut costs and cut down the set up time.
Market makers on crypto exchanges are required to offer the liquidity for each transaction. Ripple works with Coins.ph, Bittrex, and Bitso to facilitate payments in xRapid between USD and Philippine Pesos and USD and Mexican Pesos. Mexico and the Philippines are both major destinations and the infrastructure is top notch. The company will start with the two and move on from there.
Multi-Hop And Bulk FX
Those who choose not to integrate xRapid into xCurrent will still enjoy some major benefits. The company introduced a new feature called multihop. It makes it possible for payments to be sent via a chain of users. The current system relies upon few center banks like Citi, which are essentially hubs.
Multi-hop will allow small banks to use the same reach as a large bank. Given concerns about compliance, each hop on the chain will need to receive pre-approval. However, once set up, the hop takes only milliseconds.
The bulk FX feature is another improvement. It lets users purchase fiat in bulk. Thus, they can pre-fund a foreign account at once and offer a consistent exchange rate to consumers.