The top priority for Ripple, which owns digital asset XRP, right now is ramping up volume on RippleNet, according to Chief Technology Officer David Schwartz. RippleNet is a decentralized network of banks and payment providers, which uses Ripple’s financial technology to provide a smoother way to send money globally.
In an ‘Ask Me Anything’ session on Friday, Schwartz along with Asheesh Birla, senior vice president of Ripple’s product management, answered questions from the XRP community on Twitter.
“I think one very, very important thing is getting volume on RippleNet and getting transaction flow to be where we want it to be,” Schwartz said.
The company had appointed Schwartz as chief technology officer on Wednesday, replacing Stefan Tomas who left Ripple to start his own firm called Coil – which aims to support online content through micropayments.
Ripple may launch xRapid this year
Another priority for the company is its product xRapid, which uses XRP to offer on-demand liquidity. The product aims to lower costs substantially and enable real-time payments in emerging markets, thereby making it a viable option to service cross-border payments.
When asked when the product would be launched, Birla said, “There’s no set time for production just yet… We hope to have it by this year. I would say that the pilots were really good learning both for us and our customers.”
Schwartz added that decentralization was also a priority for Ripple, saying “You can’t build a thousand relationships based on trust very easily, whereas if you have a system that doesn’t require trust, you can interoperate with everybody by just firing up your own instance.”
Ripple targets smaller payment providers for xRapid
On the topic of partnerships with existing payment services providers, Birla said, “For Western Union to take advantage of xRapid, they would have to move all their volume over to something like xRapid because they already have fixed costs and optimized liquidity flows.” He added that the company is now targeting upstart payment providers.
Western Union has been testing xRapid for its payment settlements, but the product has not saved money so far, CEO Hikmet Ersek told business magazine Fortune in an interview last month.
Schwartz had recently been on a tour of Europe, where he shared his views on the blockchain industry and discussed the technology behind XRP Ledger. When asked about some takeaways from the tour, he said that he had spoken to a lot of banks and “…one of the things that I learned from banks that I didn’t really fully appreciate is that they are in fear of being disrupted by new technologies.”
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