Ripple has slipped in the launch of its new xRapid product without the accompanying fanfare which usually greets such events.
The xRapid tool is designed to accelerate Ripple’s cross-border payments network, so news of its impending release impacted on the XRP price with almost instant effect, taking another small jump as the product went live. Payment providers Mercury FX and Cuallix were earmarked to use the service, along with cooperative financial firm Catalyst Corporate Federal Credit Union. Asheesh Birla, Ripple’s senior vice president of product commented on the launch:
“I’m really excited to bring the product into the market at a time when there is a lot of skepticism about digital assets and their real use case.”
Ripple receives plenty of flack from cryptocurrency investors who feel that the centralized nature of the XRP is not in keeping with the original concept of digital currency which was completely based around decentralization and user transparency. Ripple maintains that there is a clear distinction between it, a private company, and XRP, which is the digital currency of an open source network known as the XRP Ledger, a fact which causes some confusion.
In other news following the launch of xRapid, Ripple is leading a new caucus called Securing America’s Internet of Value Coalition (SAIV) in order to promote cryptocurrency. Three companies with links to Ripple have joined the coalition including Hard Yaka – a digital assets investment firm and PolySign – a financial services company seeking to act as a crypto custodian. The fourth member of the group which includes Ripple Works Foundation is Coil, a company developing digital payments solutions.
SAIV have hired a DC-based lobbyist firm Klein/Johnson Group to promote their work, which is principally aimed at warming both the government and the SEC towards innovative emerging technologies such as cryptocurrency rather than adopting a punitive stance.
Klein/Johnson will be paid USD 25,000 and XRP 10,000 for their services which, according to Ripple’s executive chairman partly paying in crypto, “gives them some upside and gives them some risk… Hopefully, it gives them a taste of the industry in a way that hits home”.
The industry still awaits some clarification on cryptocurrency from the SEC which has provoked a flurry of delegations to Washington in past months, notwithstanding letters to the SEC from crypto pioneers and members of the US Senate. Many think it’s past time that the regulatory body looked more carefully at the stance it took this June when SEC chair Jack Clayton said that it had no intention of making changes to existing legislation to accommodate digital currencies.
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