American Express Partnership Sets Ripple Into High Priority Chinese Market

“xVia allows you to use a one standard connection to get you all the benfits of RippleNet and our products. Without xRapid they would use xCurrent and where xRapid is available, they can then add on xRapid and move money on demand using XRP and payout instantly. They get reach wherever xCurrent is available, whether that be a bank or a cash payout provider.”
Asheesh Birla, Senior VP of Product at Ripple.

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Ripple has been trying to walk its way through the ranks of various institutions over the past few months. This is nothing surprising judging by the fact that cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies are going to be around for a very long time. And as a firm that is into developing decentralised platforms for transactions they have been doing a pretty great job so far.
This past week, Ripple has been in talks with several Chinese banks and financial regulators as it seeks to secure a deal that will see them have their business solution, xCurrent, being tested by the Chinese firms. xCurrent is one of Ripple’s latest solutions for cross/over-border payments that also utilise end-to-end tracking. The company’s team made an announcement this week that made bare its plans of expansion in the Chinese territory with the use of blockchain technology. A Ripple top executive for the Asian sector, Sagar Sabhai made a public statement that

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“This year you will see more announcements coming in on China, in terms of ‎educating and differentiating us from some of the other cryptocurrencies that are out ‎there… As we speak, our team is strategizing about entering the market, but it’s still ‎very early days… We’re trying to get some regulatory clarity, we’ve started ‎engaging informally with banks, FIs and payment providers, speaking to regulators ‎and government bodies, trying to educate on what Ripple is and what our vision is,”

China has not been so friendly to cryptocurrencies especially in the first quarter of this year as it has already banned trading of digital coins domestically.  Not just that, the Chinese government is now looking at how to prevent its nationals from being involved in any forms of crowd funding outside the country.
Ripple is trying to work its way out of the circle of banned coins mainly due to its other services as a scalability solutions provider for banks and several other financial institutions.  As Ripple claims that a launch in the Chinese ecosystem is imminent, it may as well have one foot in the territory already, judging by how it recently partnered with Hong Kong based firm, LianLian. The partnership saw LianLian use Ripple’s RippleNet for e-commerce transactions and real time invoices. LianLian presently uses xCurrent to settle cross-border payments for its 150 million plus registered customers.
Through LianLian, Ripple has found a new partner in American Express (AmEx) via the latter’s partnership with LianLian. The AmEx-LianLian partnership’s joint venture, Express (Hangzhou) Technology Service Co., has a year to complete its preparations that will enhance operations. AmEx’s partnership with Ripple dates back to a year ago, however, the penetration into Chinese inroads is a relatively new development.
This partnership will enable Ripple to now operate on high priority markets in the Chinese business ecosystem. The joint venture partnership with Ripple will see a feature known as multi-hop being utilised to utilise both xCurrent and xRapid. the Craig DeWitt, Ripple’s Director of Product, best explains the benefits and functionality of multi-hop

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“Multi-hop gives Ripple members the ability to transact with banks or payment providers or digital wallets that they don’t have a direct relationship with. That’s important because in today’s world you need a bunch of bilateral relationships clunkily put together in a chain in order to move money. Multi-hop makes that thing of the past.”

In the Asian region Ripple has been able to establish itself well in Japan the most, having partnered with close to 61 banks in the country. Its Money Tap will be going out to several of these banks after first recipients Suruga Bank, Resona Bank, and SBI Net Sumishin Bank had it for use. Sarbhai is quite aggressive about taking over the Chinese market with Ripple and doesn’t believe the government have any grounds to stop them from operating within the country as he stated that

“If a Chinese bank wants to use our solution and the regulator sees no risk with the solution, I don’t see why the government, even in a so-called hostile environment, would have any issue with that. But this is early days in what you call the trade war and hostile environment,”

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