Bank of America recently filed a patent application for a new settlement system, according to data from Google Patents. Settlement systems are not novel in the global banking system. After all, that’s what banks do. The exciting thing about this particular patent is that it cites the Ripple ledger.
The application for this patent appeared on last June 6th. It details a system that uses distributed ledger technology (DLT), which is just another name for blockchain networks, that would serve as an interbank communication tool. The prospective new system would enable banks to enable real-time settlement of transfers and payments with each operation broadcasted through a decentralized and shared ledger.
We know what you’re thinking. A new messaging system can’t possibly be that sexy or persuasive, even if it works on a blockchain. Well, it just so happens that SWIFT, the standard global system to do international transfers is nothing but a messaging system that works on the obsolete technology of the ’70s.
xCurrent, which is Ripple’s alternative to SWIFT, is also mostly just a messaging system, albeit a much more sophisticated one that works on blockchain technology and digital communications.
The proposed decentralized network will verify the identities of both payee and payer, then enable a communication channel between the relevant institutions. Several of the illustrations in the application cite the Ripple DLT explicitly. Ripple’s native cryptocurrency, called XRP, is not mentioned, on the other hand. It’s not too surprising because while XRP can improve the performance in Ripple’s technology, it is not a mandatory element in the network.
Ripple is working hard to secure strategic partnerships with banks all over the world. The Ripple Net already includes more than 200 members and a new bank from the world joins every week, on average.
Banco Santander, which is considered to be the world’s best bank, is already using a Ripple-based payment mobile app in Western Europe at the production stage. The app allows for moving money instantly all over the Euro Zone. And last week, Santander created an economic corridor from the United Kingdom to Poland also using XRP’s technology.
Another effort from Ripple to promote blockchain technology and XRP adoption is called Xpring. It’s Ripple’s new projects and investments incubator. So far it’s spent about half a billion USD supporting 20 XRP-based projects. One of those is Forte, a blockchain-based gaming platform. Xpring has been around since May of last year.
The patent application doesn’t mean that Bank of America is going to adopt Ripple’s tech directly or right away. But the fact that quite a few of the elements in its patent reference Ripple in some way means that the bank sees the value inherent in Ripple‘s ideas and achievements. In the worst-case scenario, it’s publicity for Ripple that money can’t buy.
As we write this, Ripple’s XRP is trading at USD 0.321479, and it’s lost 2.08% against USD in the last 24 hours. It’s capitalized at USD 13.7 billion, which gives it the third spot in the cryptocurrency world by market capitalization.
Ripple’s XRP was the best performing coin during 2017 and 2018, which is no mean feat since each of those years was, respectively, the worst and the best in the crypto sphere’s history.
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