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AMEX gets into Blockchain Payments through Ripple Partnership


It’s been a great year for San-Francisco-based Ripple (XRP), which announced a new partnership with global banking giant American Express (AMEX).

Under the backdrop of its recent inaugural conference called ‘Swell’ in Toronto, Ripple has “swollen” dramatically and drastically in terms of its price, value, and relevance.

XRP’s value increased more than 30 times alongside the soaring prices of other digital currencies. Ripple’s price point rose from $0.35 CAD to $2.75 over a couple weeks.

This jump occurred shortly after a Series B round a couple months before their initial AMEX partnership announcement.

The Ripple surge

Since RippleNet’s founding, over 100 major global financial institutions and payments processors have joined. While AMEX joining is not revolutionary given RippleNet’s size, it’s noteworthy that a globally recognized consumer brand moved into blockchain.

Many firms hope that blockchain technology will reduce high costs and complexity of various processes, including settlements and payments.

Some experts say, though, that widespread use of blockchain is still several years away.

In order to solve this liquidity problem in remittances, American Express has introduced instant blockchain-based payments using Ripple. Currently, the service is only available for U.S. enterprise customers sending funds to U.K.-based businesses that bank with Santander U.K

“American Express has a long history of integrating new technologies,” said American Express’s chief information officer Marc Gordon. “This collaboration with Ripple and Santander represents the next step forward on our blockchain journey, evolving the way we move money around the world.”

The Remittance corridor for AMEX

The distributed ledger platform enables all parties involved to keep track of a transaction’s status and cost. The transference of XRP itself, “will come into play later on in the evolutionary dynamics,” said Marcus Treacher, global head of strategic accounts at Ripple.

Treacher said that another partnership between the RippleNet and the Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken (SEB) has already conducted $630 million-worth of transactions since their  launch in Q2 of 2017. What both these projects have in common is “a direct connection,” he said.

“It’s only a matter of time before central banks adopt blockchain to settle high-value, interbank fund transfers,” explain Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse. “A little under 100 years ago in 1927, famous pilot Charles Lindbergh could have flown cash across the Atlantic Ocean faster than most payments happen over that same body of water today.”

This project marks the latest development for AMEX after they joined the Hyperledger blockchain consortium and partnered with the bitcoin app provider Abra.

The Remittance network

Within Canada, Paycase created a remittance corridor between Canada and Central/South-America.

There is also potential for collaboration between Ripple and Paycase, since both use a Bitcoin blockchain. 

The principles and philosophy of blockchain should also lead one to believe that “corridors” are antithetical. It’s more likely that companies like Paycase and Ripple will collaborate in the future to enable a global remittance network. 


Image credit: American Express


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