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British FX Firm Currencies Direct Pilots Ripple Tech

A foreign exchange (FX) brokerage based in the UK has announced that it successfully tested distributed ledger startup Ripple’s xRapid product, which uses the digital asset XRP.

Currencies Direct said Monday that it conducted several money transfers using xRapid, which it claimed were completed within seconds compared to the use of traditional systems, which can take upwards of five days. The company called the pilot “a technological proof of concept for XRP as a means of value transfer, achieving superior speed of payment and end-to-end transparency,” according to the release.

Currencies Direct chief product officer Brian Harris went on to declare the pilot program “a resounding success,” saying that using XRP to facilitate future transfers can help the firm “significantly improve” customer service.

He added:

“Our goal is to offer the best possible service. We believe that utilizing cryptocurrencies in this way – as a transfer of value, rather than as a store of value – is the next logical step for our industry. It is, after all, the intended purpose of cryptocurrencies and we’re proud to be leveraging new technology to deliver the most convenient and seamless experience for our customers.”

Harris added that the pilot’s success “represents a revolutionary step for the industry,” according to the release.

Ripple released the results of several xRapid-based pilots earlier this month, pointing to an overall drop in both transaction times and related fees for those who took part in the tests.

Elsewhere, financial firms have recently begun utilizing blockchain technology to reduce foreign transaction costs and times.

Last week, Germany-based Commerzbank facilitated a 500,000 euro transfer using R3’s Corda platform. The bank transferred the funds on behalf of multinational conglomerate Thyssenkrupp, which was able to confirm that the transaction occurred successfully immediately, rather than have to wait for confirmation, as previously reported.

Image via Shutterstock

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Commerzbank Conducts €500k FX Transaction Using R3's Corda

Germany’s Commerzbank and multinational conglomerate Thyssenkrupp successfully conducted a foreign exchange transaction on a blockchain platform, Reuters reported Thursday.

Thyssenkrupp transferred 500,000 euros using R3’s Corda platform through a EUR/PLN FX Forward deal, or a contract locking in an exchange rate between the euro and the Polish zloty at some point in the future. Because the blockchain used will store the entire transaction as a single immutable record, neither the corporation nor Commerzbank need to worry about transaction reconciliation, the news organization reported.

That is because confirmation of the deal was sent immediately to Thyssenkrupp, Reuters reported. Future deals conducted on a blockchain will similarly be confirmed immediately, which will cut down on both delays and manual errors caused by the current reconciliation process.

Commerzbank manager Nikolaus said in a statement that reconciliation is “a major issue for banks” when it comes to foreign exchange trading. He continued:

“Significant resources are dedicated to resolving the issues that occur during the matching process. This deal demonstrates how the use of distributed ledger (blockchain) can transform and digitalise the processes in this space.”

Despite the trial’s success, Commerzbank wants to continue studying the technology, according to Reuters. In particular, the “technical, regulatory and legal requirements need to be further developed” in order to fully realize the “efficiency benefits of using blockchain.”

Commerzbank image via Cineberg / Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.