Bank of America Plays in Ripple Blockchain Sandbox

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America’s second largest bank is reportedly considering building on Ripple Labs’ xCurrent product.

Bank of America has previously been cited by Ripple as a customer.

xCurrent, Not XRP

Importantly, xCurrent does not utilize XRP, Ripple’s popular cryptocurrency offering.

Ripple supporters were ecstatic as always on Twitter. Again, the Bank of America partnership so far reportedly has nothing to do with XRP.

Banks, including Bank of America and JP Morgan, have a fundamental desire to remain at the center of the storage and movement of money.

The banking industry was far from prepared for the blockchain revolution, which began right after a major financial crisis over a decade ago.

Blockchain offers solutions for “value storage” as well as money movement. Banks have to reconcile a potential future where they, rather than technologies associated with things like the Silk Road, are viewed with suspicion.

In the blockchain future, a farmer in Nebraska can send or recieve a loan to one in Mongolia, with no friction or interference.

DeFi: The Decentralized Future

These are the types of transactions banks simply can’t enable. Neither party requires a bank account to complete the transaction, and settlement happens before the eyes of both.

That’s just one example.

Banks have been working to build their own solutions, and financial services generally have embraced the mobile wave with vigor. There’s a fintech app for virtually everything, including borrowing money and managing your expenses.

Blockchain’s takeover won’t be a single event, but the culmination of a lot of them. The work of Ripple and other companies can’t be undervalued from this perspective: they are potentially attracting massive user bases by attracting massive companies to blockchain.

Any industry that generates a lot of paperwork is ripe for blockchain disruption. Until the last few years, it seemed banks and legacy financial services might be the last to embrace the future.

More recent times have shown that banks, too, are nimble.

Increasingly, western financial options promote speed, automation, and ease of use. Look at PayPal’s recent mobile enhancements, or the dozens of top-rated mobile banking applications in the Google Play Store.

Are these moves coincidence, or a behavior in response to the rise of cryptocurrency, which comes with most of these features built-in?

What banks lack in user sovereignty, cryptocurrencies lack in “stability” and regulatory approval.

Thus is your standard crypto-fiat trade-off. Take it or leave.

Bank of America is cautiously approaching blockchain, and Ripple is far from its only potential match. The bank previously patented something that referenced Ripple’s distributed ledger technology. The firm also continues to cautiously invest in blockchain efforts.