Like EOS, Ripple has been investing big over this period – with top news focusing on regional expansion (South America) and a key partnership with MoneyGram.
Welcome to our second bi-weekly roundup of the most discussion-worthy news content related to Ripple’s blockchain network and cryptocurrency XRP. Plus a brief look at periodical price movements.
Ripple agrees to invest up to $50 million in MoneyGram to accelerate XRP adoption
According to an official statement published by Ripple on June 17th 2019, the company has officially entered a “strategic partnership” with money transfer company MoneyGram which will see the former pledge a potential $50 million investment.
This relationship will see Ripple become a key partner to MoneyGram for “cross-border payment and foreign exchange settlement using digital assets”. MoneyGram will, as a result, use XRP as part of its day-to-day operations
MoneyGram will be implementing xRapid technology from Ripple to accomplish this; a solution for on-demand liquidity, which allows for instantaneous cross-currency payments and conversions.
Speaking directly to Fortune, Ripple CEO Brad Garlinhouse stated
“This will eliminate the need to deploy foreign bank accounts. That’s why MoneyGram has negative working capital. It will help customers and also smooth out their treasury operations…“
“Hundreds of partners are now using XRP, which has a total implied value of about $18 billion and is the third most valuable cryptocurrency after Bitcoin and Ethereum.”
Additionally, in the official announcement, Garlinghouse is quoted as having said
“This strategic partnership will enable MoneyGram to greatly improve its operations and enable millions of people around the world to benefit from its improved efficiency.
“This is a huge milestone in helping to transform cross-border payments and I look forward to a long-term, very strategic partnership between our companies,”
Chairman and CEO of MoneyGram, Alex Holmes, had the following to say:
“Through Ripple’s xRapid product, we will have the ability to instantly settle funds from US dollars to destination currencies on a 24/7 basis, which has the potential to revolutionize our operations and dramatically streamline our global liquidity management.”
Helpful XRP benefits cited, with regards to the partnership, include: low transaction fees (“fractions of a penny”) and low average transaction times (2-3 seconds).
Ripple to open office in Brazil, start of Latin America expansion
Leading this new regional division will be Luiz Antonio Sacco, who has been working with Ripple since March 2019 and holds the title ‘Managing Director of Brazil & South America’ . Sacco has led South American operations for firms such as The Warranty Group and SafetyPay, and previously held a Vice President position at American Express.
According to the official press release, this new operation is the first step for Ripple to “expand its footprint in South America” with the aim aim of bringing “additional financial institutions onto RippleNet ro help provide excellent, efficient cross-border payment experiences for their customers”
The company expanded on their plans for the region as well as RippleNet at ‘CIAB Febraban’, a three-day event (June 11-13) which describes itself as “ the largest congress of information technology and digital for the financial sector”. CIAB Febraban drew 26,000 visitors and was comprised of 3,500 congressmen, and 180 exhibitors.
Furthermore, Ripple currently has 12+ Brazilian financial institutions and money transfer services on RippleNet. Including: Santander Brazil, BeeTech, and Banco Rendimento.
Siam Commercial Bank Retracts Statement: No XRP Plans
In the latest in a series of tweet-led breaking news from Thailand’s largest commercial bank, Siam Commercial Bank (founded 112 years ago), ‘SCB’ posted a statement via Twitter on June 7 which read:
This clears up prior tweet made on May 22, which contained the following message
“XRP System will be announced soon. Please follow our official schedule on social media again.”
GateHub Hack: $10-$84,000 in XRP Stolen
This story broke last month, however we were not aware of it upon publication of the previous issue. Due to its significance, it is being included here.
XRP community member and creative director at 2K/DENMARK Thomas Silkjær was the first to have discovered suspicious activity surrounding exchange GateHub. Silkjær details his findings in an extensive blog post published on June 5th, 2019, in which he claims to have reported this information to GateHub on the same day he found it.
Thomas Silkjær refers to a theft of 201,000 XRP tokens worth around $84,000. It occurred on June 1st, 2019 and was attributed to one particular account (r9do2Ar8k64NxgLD6oJoywaxQhUS57Ck8k) and transaction ID (F6E9E1385E11649A6C2F88723A821AF209B54030886539DCEF9DDD00E6446948).
Following this, Silkjær cites an additional 23,200,000 XRP having been stolen from 80–90 victims and their XRP Ledger wallets, of which 13,100,000 XRP has “already been laundered through exchanges and mixer services.”
He concludes that
“A theft that involves multiple victims needs to be handled via law enforcement in various countries. We strongly advise victims to file a complaint with the relevant authorities in their jurisdictions.”
The next day GateHub released an official statement credited to GateHub Founder and CEO, Enej Pungercar acknowledging the key claims made by Thomas Silkjær – along with a metered apology.
“Although we have not identified any action or omission by GateHub that may have facilitated or allowed this apparent theft to occur, we apologize deeply to all of our customers for this issue and pledge to get to the bottom of it…
“At the moment we estimate that approximately 100 XRP Ledger wallets were compromised. So far it looks like all the victims had their XRP Ledger wallets hosted on GateHub, but we cannot yet rule out that some wallets were not.”
Pengercar promised that an investigation was fully underway, along with the following early conclusions about the theft,
- API requests to victim accounts were all authorized with a valid access token.
- No suspicious logins were detected; no signs of “brute forcing”.
- Increased volume of API calls coming from a small number of IP addresses (all with valid access tokens).
He finishes with the promise that GateHub
“will post an official statement after the internal investigation has been completed.”
Information correct as of 22:28 PM, 27th June 2019