Ripple Names Its First Three Preferred ‘Gold Standard’ Crypto Exchanges

Siamak Masnavi

On Thursday (16 August 2018), Ripple gave its "gold standard" seal of approval (for making xRapid payments) to three cryptocurrency exchanges around the world (one in the U.S., one in Mexico, and the other in the Philippines).

xRapid, Ripple's solution for fast, reliable, and inexpensive cross-border payments, uses the digital asset XRP to offer on-demand liquidity, which dramatically lowers costs for making real-time payments to/in emerging markets.

In the announcement posted on its "Insights" blog a short time ago, Ripple says that for xRapid to be most successful, "there needs to be a healthy ecosystem of digital asset exchange partners around the world" that allow alow quick and efficient conversion of one fiat currency to XRP at the source end and conversion of XRP to another fiat currency at the destination end.

Today, Ripple named its first three "preferred" crypto exchanges:  

  • Bittrex (for xRapid transactions that move through US Dollars)
  • Bitso (for xRapid transactions that move through Mexican Pesos)
  • Coins.ph (for xRapid transactions that move through Philippine Pesos)

Ripple explained how an xRapid payment from U.S. to Mexico would work (using Bittrex at the U.S. side and Bitso at the Mexico side):

  • "A financial institution, that has an account with Bittrex, initiates a payment in US dollars via xRapid which is instantly converted into XRP on Bittrex."
  • "The payment amount in XRP is settled over the XRP Ledger."
  • "Bitso – through its Mexican Peso liquidity pool – instantly converts the XRP into fiat, which is then settled into a destination bank account."

Cory Johnson, Chief Market Strategist at Ripple said:

“Bittrex is one of the biggest names in digital asset trading in the U.S. The same goes for Bitso in Mexico and Coins.ph in the Philippines. That makes today’s announcement an important development for xRapid. We’ve seen several successful xRapid pilots already, and as we move the product from beta to production later this year, these exchange partners will allow us to provide financial institutions with the comfort and assurance that their payments will move seamlessly between different currencies.”

Later, Johnson explained via a tweet why for naming its initial set of preferred partners Ripple had chosen Mexico and the Philippines:

Ron Hose, CEO of South East Asia’s e-wallet and financial services company, Coins.ph, had this to say:

“We are excited to be partnering with Ripple to bring the benefits of blockchain technology to cross-border payments, making sending money home more affordable for 10M+ overseas filipino workers."

It seems that Ripple has selected these three exchanges because of their large XRP holdings, which means that they can provide higher levels of liquidity. And by endorsing such exchanges, it is able to in crease their liquidity even further.

 

Featured Image Credit: Image Courtesy of Ripple

Kraken OTC Head Says It’s Too Early to Call Bitcoin a 'Safe Haven' Asset

Michael LaVere
  • Kraken head of OTC trading Nelson Minier says it's too early to call bitcoin a "safe haven" asset.
  • Compares the current atmosphere of crypto trading to how Wall Street used to be. 

Nelson Minier, head of over-the-counter (OTC) trading at crypto exchange Kraken, says that it is too early to call bitcoin a “safe haven” asset, despite the cryptocurrency gaining popularity in that regard. 

Too Early for Save Haven Status

In an interview with Nasdaq TradeTalks, Minier compared the current state of bitcoin and crypto-assets trading to how Wall Street used to operate in the past. 

According to Minier, 

Wall Street ain't what it used to be. The first 15 years I was on Wall Street, it was fun. I was very fortunate. I started in the CDS market which feels a lot like crypto. Here you have a lot of financial innovation, a lot of trading. It feels very much like that...there's a lot of energy and enthusiasm about this progress and where it's going.

Bitcoin has been gaining popularity as a so-called “safe haven” asset. According to the growing belief among analysts and investors, BTC is an attractive alternative to fiat and the traditional stock markets as a hedge against economic downturn. 

However, Minier believes it’s too early to label bitcoin as a safe haven, given the high price volatility. 

He continued, 

So, I’m not so sure that it’s a safe haven asset yet, but I do think that it’s starting to act like one. I think that people are starting to portfolio manage, are starting to come in slowly. And when the market is getting shaky you saw Bitcoin rise, I mean, you wouldn’t see that before, it was trading like a risky asset.

Despite calling bitcoin's safe haven status premature, Minier admitted that “we're heading that way for sure.”