by David Drake
The Ripple-Western Union integration trials were announced February 14th of this year. According to Ripple, they have been experimenting with the array of products available at Western Union and are excited about the current pilot test of XRapid that utilizes XRP.
The announcement came after Ripple’s recent collaborative agreement with banks and firms offering money transfer services. After Ripple declared on December 13th last year that Japanese and South Korean banks will start test trials of Ripple’s blockchain technology, the price of its digital currency, XRP went as high as 70%.
When Ripple’s $4 billion deal with Saudi Arabia’s Central Bank was closed, XRP had a price surge, from $1.03 to $1.14, resulting to a 10% increase on its market cap.
A boost for XRP
Will Ripple-Western Union integration trials boost Ripple’s value? Jose Merino, Chairman and Co-founder of SID Limited, thinks so.
He says: “The market news on Western Union testing with the XRP blockchain is likely to affect Ripple positively if they ultimately decide to launch with it.”
Ripple ranks third on the coin market, trailing behind Bitcoin and Ethereum and bypassing Bitcoin Cash this February. The digital currency has a market capitalization of $37.3 billion and was trading at $0.92 as at February 27th 2018 at 21:49. According to Steve Kuh, Founder and CTO of Group Project, the ongoing trials will prove XRP’s application in the financial market.
“Running trials on Ripple-based blockchain by Western will boost the value of Ripple in the Coin Market since it would prove the concept in a real-world environment, it would show improved processing efficiency of Ripple, and it would save costs. As more major banking players consider and sign up with Ripple, the demand will drive up the value of Ripple.” Kuh says.
Though its trading price has gone up and down this month, XRP tends to bounce back to continue on its course. It is establishing a global brand uniquely its own.
There is also the possibility that these real-world integrations may backfire in terms of long-term agreements. A partner firm may opt to have its own blockchain technology rather than continue to work with Ripple.
Merino argues: “But like everything in life, nothing stops Western Union in the long run having its own blockchain, given the scale of their own financial trading globally as they have a big advantage, namely: Western Union has the direct channel to the end users of their service and in the end that is the most important thing in the value chain.”
However, having established Ripple’s brand globally, there will always be another company, another bank, that will partner with Ripple. Just a few days ago on the 27th February, India’s private bank, IndusInd Bank, partnered with Ripple to boost its transaction payments within and outside India. According to the bank, $65 billion moved into India in 2017.
Another target on the horizon for Ripple is Google Pay, with experts predicting that XRP could go as high as $600 if a Ripple-Google partnership pushes through. The possibilities are, indeed, endless.
Disclaimer: David Drake is on the advisory board for most of the firms mentioned or quoted in this article.