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Santander Expanding Ripple-Powered Payments After Volume Triples

Santander to allow clients in Latin American countries to send money to the U.S. for free through tech developed by Ripple.

Spanish banking giant Santander plans to expand Ripple-powered global payment solution to Latin America, a Santander spokesperson told Cointelegraph on Aug. 19.

Citing rising transaction volume, Santander wants to expand Ripple’s xCurrent technology to a number of Latin American countries after first introducing the technology in Spain, Brazil, Poland and the United Kingdom in April 2018. 

U.S. payment corridor 

Specifically, the bank intends to enable zero-fee transactions from unspecified Latin American countries to the United States via mobile app called One Pay FX. To date, only customers in the U.K. and Spain can send money to the U.S. through One Pay FX. 

Based on Ripple’s xCurrent technology, One Pay FX is independent from XRP and does not need the digital currency to work, the Santander spokesperson explained to Cointelegraph. 

They added:

“XCurrent does charge for the service. Santander is the one that does not charge fees with its solution. Santander has always used xCurrent for One Pay FX, which does not need XRP to work.”

Future plans

Santander’s One Pay FX transaction volumes have tripled from January 2019 to June, while volumes for Spain surged 120% over a yearly period in April, according to a report by Coindesk. 

But while Santander has not revealed when it expects to start rolling out the technology to Latin America, the bank reportedly plans to bring One Pay FX solution to the U.S. to enable American customers to send money abroad.

Apart of One Pay FX, Santander is also developing another international payment service dubbed Pago FX, which will be available for global non-Santander clients.

Recently, an executive at the U.K. pension and welfare agency cited Santander’s One Pay FX solution as one of the examples of successful blockchain applications that can potentially disrupt the payments industry.

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Bitex Partners With Bantotal For More Cross-Border Payments in Latin America

BTC exchange Bitex has partnered with Uruguay-based financial software company Bantotal to expand its cross-border payments offerings in Latin America.

Bitcoin (BTC) exchange Bitex has partnered with Uruguay-based financial software company Bantotal in order to expand it cross-border payments system on the Bitcoin blockchain to Latin America.

CoinDesk announced the companies’ new partnership in a report on Aug. 13. According to the report, the upshot of this partnership is that Bantotal’s clients will have access to Bitex’s exchange services via a marketplace that hosts traditional financial services in its BDevelopers program.

Per the report, Bitex will act as a middleman service for cross-border payments. The exchange’s role is to convert from fiat currency to BTC, and then back to fiat again in order to facilitate these cross-border transactions.

Manuel Beaudroit, the chief marketer at Bitex, explained:

“If I want to do a payment from Argentina to Chile, I don’t need to buy dollars with the Argentinian pesos then transfer the dollars to the U.S. then move the dollars to Chile and exchange them into Chilean pesos […] I can just send a payment from Argentina to Chile directly.”

Bitcoin Argentina VP Leo Elduayen reportedly thinks that this partnership will majorly boost Bitex participation from within Latin America. According to the report, Bantotal provides services to over 60 financial institutions ranging across 14 countries, and a spokesperson estimated that 20 million people use the company’s money management services.

Bitex in Argentina

As previously reported by Cointelegraph, Bitex similarly partnered with an Argentina-based bank — Argentinian Banco Masventas (BMV) — back in May. As stated in the report, Bitex partnered with BMV in order to allow its clients to conduct cross-border payments.

José Humberto Dakak, a principal shareholder at BMV, apparently commented that the bank hopes to improve its digital and smartphone-based services with the partnership. He further remarked:

“One of the initiatives is to use Bitex as a strategic partner to provide our overseas customers with payment and collection services at the Bitex Exchange.”

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Chile-Based Remittance and Payment Firm CurrencyBird Joins RippleNet

CurrencyBird has reportedly become the first Chilean remittances company to the join RippleNet platform.

Chile-based peer-to-peer remittance company CurrencyBird has joined RippleNet, Ripple’s global blockchain-based network of payment providers, according to an announcement published on July 25.

CurrencyBird has thus ostensibly become the first Chilean payments company to join RippleNet, a network of institutional payment-providers such as banks and money services businesses that use solutions developed by Ripple to send money globally.

The company states in the post that the partnership will allow it to add new routes to its more than 50 already existing destinations, new currencies, better prices and faster transfer speeds. 

In 2018, family remittances in Latin America and the Caribbean amounted to $85 billion, according to data from non-profit organization The Dialogue. During 2017 and 2018, remittances from Chile have reportedly continued to increase, and may have even doubled, generally due to intra-regional migration. 

According to data from the World Bank, Chile received $66 million in personal remittances in 2018. 

As recently reported by Cointelegraph, in its Q2 2019 report, Ripple withdrew one billion from escrow each month over the quarter for a total of three billion XRP. Of the three billion, 2.1 billion were reportedly reinvested into escrow contracts, while the other 0.9 billion were reportedly used to fund XRP developments via Xpring and RippleNet partnerships.

RippleNet exceeded 200 global customers earlier in 2019, after adding five new clients — JNFX, SendFriend, Transpaygo, FTCS and Euro Exim Bank — to use XRP in cross-border payments.

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Latin America’s Biggest Investment Bank to Sell $1 Billion in STOs Using Tezos

São Paulo-based BTG Pactual bank has teamed up with Dalma Capital to sell over $1 billion worth of STOs through the Tezos blockchain.

Latin America’s biggest investment bank, BTG Pactual, plans to shift its security token offerings (STOs), a pipeline of over $1 billion in sales, onto the Tezos blockchain. The announcement appeared in a joint press release published on Tezos Foundation’s website on July 3.

The new initiative is a collaboration between BTG Pactual and Dubai-based asset manager Dalma Capital, who plan to tokenize a number of traditional assets using the Tezos blockchain and smart contracts platform. 

According to the announcement, Dalma Capital is planning to use the Tezos blockchain for digitizing assets in multiple industries, including real estate, equity, lending, as well as global sports clubs. Meanwhile, BTG Pactual intends to boost its expertise in tokenization, which includes the ongoing ReitBZ (RBZ) STO, based on Ethereum (ETH) blockchain.

BTG Pactual’s ReitBZ token is backed by distressed real estate assets in Brazil and aims to enable the bank to provide real estate services to international investors at lower costs than traditional methods. 

Andre Portilho, BTG’s Partner responsible for the STO project, said that the bank will continue to use the Ethereum protocol, while it also sees Tezos as a “global player with a robust blockchain for asset tokenization.”

Tim Draper, an early Tezos investor and known bitcoin (BTC) bull, encouraged BTG Pactual and Dalma Capital’s new initiative in the press release, expressing confidence that Tezos has a “strong use case for security tokens.”

Recently, members of the community around Tezos have expressed concerns over an alleged upcoming hard fork of its blockchain. At press time, Tezos (XTZ) is ranked 21th largest cryptocurrency by market cap, which is around $830 million, according to Coin360.

On July 1, Huobi Group announced a joint initiative to develop a new public blockchain for  decentralized financial (DeFi) services, expecting it to host STOs, as well a other means of asset issuance.

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Huawei Considering Launch of Blockchain Services in Latin America

Chinese telecommunications hardware giant Huawei is studying the entire Latin American market and considering expanding its operations.

Chinese telecommunications hardware giant Huawei is studying the entire Latin American market and considering expanding its operations, Cointelegraph Brazil reports on June 13.

Per the report, a Huawei executive said at the CIAB Febraban conference on June 11 that it is possible its blockchain-enabled products and services will soon be available on the continent. The executive in question — who asked to remain anonymous — noted:

“Everything will depend on the outcome of our market analysis and in case there is a market demand for blockchain we will make our services available in this area. Today we are focused on storage, 5G and telecommunications.”

The company claimed to have several contracts with the Brazilian government for storage solutions and to be in talks for 5G infrastructure deals. In April last year, Huawei also launched its blockchain-as-a-service offering through its cloud platform, which reportedly allows the creation and management of blockchain applications at low cost.

When asked about the United StatesChina trade war and the possible effects on the company, the executive declared that he is confident that it will be resolved and noted that the only problem that needs solving is access to Google’s Android software licensing. Still, he promised that customers will not be seriously affected by U.S. measures.

The executive also said that he does not know about further cryptocurrency-concerning developments at the company, but believes there are no developments to report at the moment.

As Cointelegraph reported earlier today, blockchain software consortium R3 revealed that it is developing a blockchain platform in Brazil with banks Bradesco, Itau and B3.

Yesterday news broke that CIP, a facilitator of Brazilian banking and financial infrastructure, has officially launched its blockchain ID platform via a partnership with IBM using Hyperledger Fabric.

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VP of Largest Brazilian Bank: Local Banks to Soon Introduce Unique Blockchain Platform

Mauricio Minas, vice president of Bradesco bank, stated that Brazilian banks will adopt an unnamed blockchain platform on June 12.

The vice president of Brazil’s biggest bank, Bradesco, revealed that major local banks will introduce a unique blockchain platform on June 12, Cointelegraph Brazil reports on June 11.

Bradesco VP Mauricio Minas has delivered a speech devoted to the role of blockchain in the global financial system, speaking at major Latin American banking and fintech event CIAB Febraban on June 11.

The Bradesco VP unveiled the plans of local banking institutions to soon adopt an unnamed blockchain-powered solution, adding that a number of Brazilian banks have been developing applications using distributed ledger technology (DLT).

Speaking at the event, Minas expressed confidence in blockchain technology despite its nascent character, urging that the technology is able to “break traditional barriers,” as well as to change user behavior and the financial system.

The news comes on the heels of the recent report on Brazilian banks deploying a standardized blockchain identity solution co-developed by the country’s central bank, CIP, and global tech giant IBM.

Based on the open source DLT Hyperledger Fabric, the identity solution will be reportedly integrated into the Brazilian Payment System and will be used by all banking and financial institutions across the country.

Yesterday, Cointelegraph reported on leading cryptocurrency company Ripple’s launch of an office in Brazil with the wider aim to expand across Latin America.

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Ripple Launches Office in Brazil, Targets Further Expansion Across Latin America

Ripple will officially announce the launch of a Brazilian office at an upcoming fintech event.

Ripple, the firm behind third-biggest crypto by market cap XRP, has launched a Brazilian office with the aim to expand across Latin America, Cointelegraph Brazil reports on June 10.

According to the report, the official announcement will be made at CIAB Febraban, a major fintech and banking event that will place in São Paulo from June 11 to June 13.

The new office will be reportedly led by Luiz Antonio Sacco, former CEO at the Brazilian subsidiary of The Warranty Group, a global warranty solution provider.

Having joined Ripple in March 2019, Sacco stated that the company intends to bring more clients to its payment network RippleNet, targeting not only Brazil but also the rest of the South American continent. To date, Ripple’s payment solution has already been adopted by three clients in Brazil, including financial firms such as Santander Brasil, BeeTech Global and Banco Rendimento, the report notes.

Apart from enabling major payment benefits, Ripple is also planning to launch educational and training programs in collaboration with major universities in Brazil, including the University of São Paulo and Fundação Getúlio Vargas. Sacco noted that investment in education will play a key role in promoting blockchain technology, while the research in the field is expected to expand career opportunities in the region.

As previously reported, Ripple’s payment network, RippleNet, exceeded 200 global customers earlier in 2019, with the five clients — JNFX, SendFriend, Transpaygo, FTCS and Euro Exim Bank — using XRP in cross-border payments.

Recently, Ripple revealed plans to enable a higher degree of accuracy for reporting XRP volumes and sales, following a recent Bitwise report that claims that 95% of bitcoin (BTC) trading volume is fake.

On June 3, Cointelegraph reported on Brazilian state-owned bank Brazil’s National Bank for Economic and Social Development (BNDES) funding a documentary film through its own ether-based stablecoin, BNDES token.