Senior vice-president of global operations Eric van Miltenburg says Ripple is working to catch up with demand in the fintech-friendly region of Southeast Asia.
“[It’s an] incredibly important market for the company, given interest from regional banks in using blockchain for payments.
The demand here is significant, so it’s an easy decision for us to continue to invest in this market and make sure that we can… also seek out new customers, new partners and new ways that we can work with the market.”
About half of Ripple’s clients are located in Asia, including InstaReM, CIMB Bank, SCB and BDO. The company also has a longstanding relationship with the Japanese financial giant SBI, which invested in Ripple back in 2016.
In addition to boosting its blockchain-based payment solution xCurrent, Ripple is looking to expand its cross-border payment solution xRapid across the region. Ripple recently hired a new business development lead for xRapid, who will head the firm’s APAC (Asia Pacific) efforts.
The euphoria of bullish price action may have led the #XRPCommunity to have overlooked that as of March 2019 Ripple has successfully filled a seemingly new role on its Singapore team.
"APAC Business Development Lead, XRapid "
Prices go up and down but builders keep building.
— Eric Dadoun (@EDadoun) April 3, 2019
The Philippines-based crypto exchange Coins.ph has confirmed it’s adopting xRapid, which is designed to give banks and financial institutions a way to move money around the world using XRP as a bridge currency.
Crypto exchanges are central to Ripple’s rollout of the XRP-based solution, and will accept fiat from financial institutions, convert it to XRP, and send it to a corresponding crypto exchange in another country, where it is instantly converted back to fiat.
The head of regulatory relations for Asia-Pacific and the Middle East at Ripple, Sagar Sarbhai, told CNBC the company is working to bring xRapid to countries that are already crypto-friendly, while informing lawmakers elsewhere about the benefits of relaxing regulations.
“A couple of years ago the narrative was: blockchain good, crypto bad. What we’re now seeing is more and more regulators, policymakers taking the whole space in one conjunction.
So, I think that narrative, thankfully, is now changing because policymakers, regulators are seeing that there is a strong benefit that digital assets, cryptocurrencies bring in.”