Blockchain startup Ripple has inked a partnership with money transfer service LianLian International to process real-time cross-border payments into China.
Under the terms of the deal, the Hong Kong-based LianLian will adopt xCurrent, Ripple’s enterprise blockchain product, which the San Francisco-based firm advertises as an instantaneous settlement solution.
“Cross-border payments related to China’s e-commerce market reached $1.07 trillion in 2017. There is a huge opportunity to make these payments quicker and more cost-efficient,” said Emi Yoshikawa, Ripple’s director of joint venture partnerships. “With RippleNet, LianLian will now be able to provide merchants and consumers with on-demand payments, which they weren’t able to before. We look forward to connecting other RippleNet members to LianLian.”
The partnership is the latest evidence of Ripple’s targeted pivot into Asia, which has seen the company’s technology adopted in major fintech markets such as Japan and South Korea.
As a result of the partnership, the more than 100 existing members of RippleNet, the company’s enterprise blockchain, will be able to connect to the Chinese market, making RippleNet even more attractive to prospective clients.
Notably, though, the LianLian partnership will not involve XRP, the native currency of the public Ripple Consensus Ledger (RCL). Though Ripple says that xRapid, a blockchain product that uses XRP for on-demand liquidity, is more cost-effective and efficient than its other blockchain solutions, most financial institutions have opted to instead connect to RippleNet.
The most high-profile company to adopt XRP is MoneyGram, the world’s second-largest money transfer service, which recently began using xRapidin an open-ended pilot. However, MoneyGram later clarified that this pilot program was confined to the company’s internal operations and would not yet be integrated into consumer-facing products.
In January, two other international payment providers adopted xRapid, and Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse has suggested that more firms will join the network in 2018.
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