SBI Group’s “strategic” partnership with Ripple and R3 could reshape the payments industry as a whole

Opinion:

SBI Group is a humungous financial services company based in Japan, which has investments in sectors like Information Technology, Biotechnology, life science, mobile/wireless, environment, and energy.

SBI Holdings, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, engages in the online financial service businesses and investment activities in Japan and internationally.

The most important and well-known in the cryptocurrency realm is the joint venture partnerships with the likes or Ripple or R3 and many more.

SBI Holdings has completed a circle of partnerships which might seem random on the surface but has more to it. These partners include Ripple, a U.S. based company that is trying to disrupt the banking and financial sector as a whole through its blockchain-based payment products and solutions, and R3, an enterprise blockchain software company which is involved in research and development of DLT.

SBI + Ripple

Ripple has over 200 partnerships with various banks and financial players which are spread across the world. Ripple is leveraging its proprietary products like xVia, xCurrent, and xRapid to process payments in a more fast, secure and transparent way than the traditional ones.

SBI Group partnered with Ripple and created a joint venture called “SBI Ripple Asia Co., Ltd.” to provide a next-generation payment platform powered by DLT [Distributed Ledger Technology] to financial institutions and remittance transfer providers in Asia as a joint venture of SBI Holdings and Ripple, a US FinTech venture.

Moreover, the JV promotes to create a next-generation settlement platform for international and domestic use which will largely reduce the remittance cost and the time required for the payments to be completed.

One of the important outcome out of this partnership was MoneyTap, which makes use of Ripple’s xCurrent DLT technology to facilitate inter-day banking transfer, which provides a 24-hour/7 payments service to all the customers in Japan.

SBI Group’s CEO, Yoshitaka Kitao has always been very bullish when it comes to XRP and plans to make use of the cryptocurrency to capture Japan’s financial industry. Kitao had stated:

“XRP is faster, cheaper and more scalable than any other digital asset. I strongly believe it will become the global standard in digital currencies.”

Ripple and R3 have settled their legal dispute on September 10, 2018, which provided a path for the joint venture between R3 and SBI.

SBI + R3

R3, an enterprise blockchain software company which leads a consortium of over 250 banks and financial industries, central banks, in research and development of distributed ledger technology partnered with SBI Holdings to create a JV called “SBI R3 Japan Co. Ltd.” on January 28, 2019.

R3 is concerned with the development, maintenance, and marketing of their application “Corda” which is an open source blockchain project which allows the building of interoperable blockchain networks that transact in privacy utilizing their smart contract technology.

The company recently announced that Corda network was live and that XRP will be used as a currency to settle transactions.

SBI Holdings plans to make use of the partnership of Ripple and R3 to extend a solution across all the sectors of the industry which is not only faster but secure and tamper-proof.

Recent reports by SBI Holdings stated:

“R3-Ripple solution: Become a global standard for financial operations such as international money transfers and trade finance”

Strategic Partnerships

SBI plans to make use of these partnerships not just to disrupt the traditional financial systems but also use these across all industries, which include real estate, healthcare, supply chain, Forex industry, global cash management, etc.

Entry of XRP into either one of the above-mentioned markets, especially the “Forex industry” could make a huge difference in how we perceive XRP and the price, as a result, would sky-rocket to unfathomable amounts.

Most importantly, will Ripple lose its grip on the remittance industry to R3? The recent partnership of R3 with SBI puts R3 in a more comfortable position as compared to Ripple. However, this is not the full story, but just a glimpse of what SBI might be planning behind closed doors.

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