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15 Feb, 2018 09:25

Ripple says Saudi banks will use its blockchain network

Ripple says Saudi banks will use its blockchain network

The parent company behind the centralized and third-largest cryptocurrency, Ripple, will work in the banking system of the oil-rich Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the firm claims.

Saudi Arabia and Ripple, the company behind the XRP coin, will cooperate by using xCurrent, software that enables banks to instantly settle cross-border payments with end-to-end tracking.

“Central banks around the world are leaning into blockchain technology in recognition of how it can transform cross-border payments, resulting in lower barriers to trade and commerce for both corporates and consumers,” said Dilip Rao, Ripple’s global head of infrastructure innovation.

The Saudi central bank will be the first to use Ripple’s blockchain network.

Ripple is being traded as a cryptocurrency, but it is more of a token than digital money. It peaked at $3.31 in January, but is trading at around $1.15 this week. The idea of the token is to act as a bridge between international bank transactions, not to become an alternative for fiat currencies. The majority of ripple tokens are held by the parent company, meaning that it can regulate their price.

Ripple is often criticized by cryptocurrency enthusiasts, who say XRP undermines the whole idea of digital assets being deregulated and decentralized. The company’s CEO Brad Garlinghouse has publicly said that Ripple “works within the system,” and is not opposed to the traditional financial system.

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