Visa Acquires Ripple Partner Earthport For $250 Million

December 29, 2018 05:00 UTC

Credit card giant Visa Inc. is acquiring British payments firm Earthport for $250.6 million. Earthport — which provides cross-border payment services to banks and businesses — has been partners with Ripple, the blockchain-based payment network, since 2015.

Under the merger, Visa paid four times Earthport’s closing stock price on December 26, Reuters reported. Visa was interested in acquiring Earthport because it wants to expand its cross-border payments business, which spiked 10% in fiscal year 2018.

Distributed Ledger Streamlines Payments

Earthport streamlines cross-border money transactions using a single API (application program interface) to clear and settle funds locally with its banking partners. Earthport’s clients include Ripple, Bank of America, Hyperwallet, Transferwise, Payoneer, and Japan Post Bank.

In January 2016, Earthport launched the world’s first distributed ledger hub (DLH). Using DLH, Earthport clients can use the group’s distributed ledger technology through a simple and inexpensive single API — a first for the financial industry.

The API not only provides access to the Ripple ecosystem, but also offers access to the wide array of payment methods that Earthport offers in over 200 countries.

(Earthport screenshot)

In November 2018, Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse said at least 100 SWIFT-connected banks have signed on with Ripple.

Garlinghouse said this undercuts SWIFT’s (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) contention that blockchain and cryptocurrencies won’t play a role in the banking sector.

“SWIFT said not that long ago they didn’t see blockchain as a solution to correspondent banking. We’ve got well over 100 of their customers saying they disagree.”

That’s the reason why Garlinghouse recently donated $50 million to 17 universities around the world to bolster the adoption of blockchain. Ripple made the donation in US dollars, not cryptocurrency, as CCN reported.

Ripple said interest in blockchain is soaring as people are starting to discover the game-changing potential of distributed ledger technology.

Brad Garlinghouse: XRP Could Surpass Bitcoin

Despite the current Crypto Winter, Brad Garlinghouse remains supremely optimistic about the future of Ripple, blockchain, and the cryptocurrency industry.

Garlinghouse pointed out that Ripple’s own cryptocurrency, XRP, remains the only digital currency to have successfully integrated the payments systems of big banks with its platform.

Garlinghouse — who predicts that XRP could eventually surpass bitcoin — has repeatedly said that XRP is independent of Ripple, and that XRP would continue to trade even if Ripple were to shut down.

It’s very clear XRP is not a security…If Ripple the company shut down, XRP trades on a hundred other exchanges around the world and XRP would continue to trade. Ripple is one important participant in the XRP ecosystem, but there are a whole bunch of participants.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

Last modified: December 28, 2018 23:01 UTC

More of: visa
@Samantha_Chang

Samantha Chang is a New York City-based financial editor who writes about crypto and business at . She is a law school grad and an alum of the University of Pennsylvania. You can reach her on Twitter at Samantha Chang or email her at schang121@juno.com.