Ripple’s xRapid Goes Live

Ripple marks the beginning of its Swell 2018 conference by launching its cross-border liquidity system. 

The xRapid system, a central pillar of Ripple’s payments systems, is now live after a couple of weeks of speculation that the much talked-about, crypto-powered system was ready to come out of its pilot stage.

A Ripple Insights blog, launched following an announcement at the ongoing Ripple Swell event, tells us that xRapid will initially begin operations with mulitple customers, including MercuryFXCuallix and Catalyst Corporate Federal Credit Union. The first two of those companies took part in the pilot scheme for xRapid, which uses XRP to execute cross-border payments, with exchange partners at either end providing the necessary local fiat liquidity to realise the transaction in reduced times and at reduced cost.

Initially, US exchange Bittrex will provide that service for the US Dollar, with Bitso being the source of Mexican Pesos, which appears to be the major operational corridor of the service initially.

We’re told MercuryFX will specifically be working with xRapid for transactions between Europe and Mexico, while Caullix will integrate xRapid into its systems Payllix and Cuallix, which provides facilities for some of the many US residents who send money to family and businesses located within its southern neighbour’s borders.

Catalyst Corporate Federal Credit Union will use xRapid on behalf of its members as part of a brand new cross-border payment service.

While Ripple will no doubt be pleased to have xRapid – part of the trio of systems that make up its RippleNet service, alongside payment logistics service xCurrent, and not-yet-online business/domestic payments channel xVia – online, it is a fairly low-key launch for a service that has received much hype in the last few months. Rumours of the xRapid launch started a market trend that has seen the price of XRP as much as 150% higher than the 2018 low it found in August over recent days.

However the price of XRP has – as yet – remained unaffected by this news being made public. It currently sits at $0.57, down 1% over 24hrs.

Nevertheless, it is an actual genuine in-the-wild use-case for the cryptocurrency, and one that will no-doubt effect demand for XRP as the number of banks and other companies using the system grows over time and the fiat currency options within the xRapid system grows. How that will effect the XRP price in the long-term is unclear, however, as Ripple holds massive reserves of the pre-mined crypto which it can release as it sees fit.

This has led to charges that XRP is, in a monetary policy sense, centrally controlled. However, with so much of the company’s value intrinsically tied to the value of the crypto it created – but has, ironically, spent much of 2018 trying to distance itself from – there seems no immediate drive for Ripple to deflate its price