Economy

MoneyGram to test cryptocurrency Ripple

MoneyGram to test cryptocurrency Ripple

Blockchain firm Ripple will be partnering with USA money transfer service, MoneyGram, to test out payment flows of XRP, Ripple's native cryptocurrency, the companies announced today.

The goal of the pilot is to "move money as quickly as information", Brad Garlinghouse, CEO of Ripple, said in a statement.

Detractors online had also expressed uncertainty or outright scorn in recent days regarding what problem XRP is created to solve. The process makes payments costly and slow, which causes headaches for both the companies and their customers.

MoneyGram, a major player in the $600-billion-a-year remittance market, is similarly afflicted.

The move is significant because the arrangement involves the use of XRP, Ripple's digital currency, which has recently soared in value but also faced questions about its practical uses. Fees would be lower and the payment flows more transparent.

MoneyGram will access and use XRP, the native digital asset of the XRP Ledger, in their payment flows through xRapid, Ripple's on-demand liquidity product.

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"This is very much part of Ripple's strategy to partner not just with banks but also with money transfer networks and emerging providers, such as mobile wallets", said Zil Bareisis, analyst at Celent.

Ripple, a bitcoin rival, claims it can settle digital transactions in three seconds or less, making it attractive to financial institutions.

"Ripple is at the forefront of blockchain technology and we look forward to piloting xRapid", said Alex Holmes, chief executive officer of MoneyGram, in a press release.

MoneyGram is testing a pilot program with one of the most popular cryptocurrencies. The value of many currencies fell after reports that bitcoin-crazy South Korea is preparing to ban all cryptocurrency trading. XRP traded as high as $2.35 on Thursday morning before falling back to just above $2.00 by the early afternoon.

XRP is the third-largest digital currency in terms of total market capitalization, trailing only bitcoin and Ethereum.


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