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mars75 last won the day on December 7 2017

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  1. Although arguments can be made against the notion of future adoption of the XRPL by the financial system thru supporting the retention of the current international payment system or emphasizing the technological progress in the SWIFT payment network, they fail to address critical flaws in today’s system. Hackers, political pressure, regulators, and the shrinking correspondent banking system are all legitimate issues that are impacting banking operations. Most international payments are facilitated through the SWIFT network today. SWIFT is a messaging network used to send and receive information on financial transactions between financial institutions. Currently, more than 11,000 financial institutions from around the world are linked to the SWIFT network for operations. Typically, the originating bank is required to have a working relationship with the destination bank in international wire transfers. If there is none, the originating bank can search the SWIFT network for a correspondent bank that has one with both banks.(2) Once found, the transaction is transferred through Nostro accounts held at the intermediary bank for a fee to the destination bank. Although SWIFT’s inception has proven to be beneficial in enabling international payments between banks globally, it’s reliance or the monopolistic position has become a double-edged sword. Due to their international relationships, SWIFT was viewed as an apolitical organization that was independent of any country’s domestic foreign policy. Unfortunately, this has not been proven the case the past few years as political disputes now threaten to fragment the international payments space. Regardless of your political views towards Iran, the United States pressure on SWIFT to disconnect Iranian financial institutions from the network has been unprecedented. While the action undergone by SWIFT contradicts the European Union’s desires. Although the EU intends to maintain trade with Iranian institutions, SWIFT complied with the US requests.(3) With the consequence being that now the international payment network has become weaponized to exert political pressure onto countries or regions. This undermines the trust within the network as participants can ultimately be on the wrong side of political discourse. Along with Iranian FIs, there has been heavy speculation from US media sources and diplomats that Russian financial institutions might face similar sanctions to their Iranian counterparts in the future.(4) Further eroding any participant confidence in SWIFT remaining apolitical. SWIFT’s inability to remain impartial to the network’s participants is already beginning to have repercussions. In Europe, there has been a political push back on the US influence over the payment network. Germany's foreign minister, Heiko Maas, has publicly stated that the EU should "strengthen European autonomy by creating payment channels that are independent of the United States — a European Monetary Fund and an independent SWIFT system".(5) Even more striking were Maas’ comments that the EU had already begun the process of developing an alternative payment system. Both Iran and Russia have also taken similar responses to the EU. Iran has begun implementing an alternative banking platform for banking transactions with foreign institutions.(6) Meanwhile, Russian financial institutions have prepared themselves to be disconnected from the SWIFT network at a moments notice and have begun to adopt another alternative payment system CIPS. CIPS or the Chinese Alternative Global Payments System is also an alternative payment platform provided by China. CIPS was intended to make transactions between China and Russia easier while enticing other countries to utilize the system.(7) Russia has also begun to develop its own payment system called the “System for Transfer of Financial Messages” (SPFS). Essentially, the global political environment has pushed regions or countries to develop or adopt alternative solutions to SWIFT. Creating an ever growing, fragmented international payment network that will require interoperability between systems. SWIFT’s security has also been exploited these past several years, further testing the participant's trust of the network. Along with the frequency of these hacks occurring, the severity of them is increasing. Of the top five biggest SWIFT hacks by money lost, four of them have occurred within the past two years.(8) The sophistication of these attacks is becoming so advanced for SWIFT’s liking that they have begun to issue warnings and urge participants to increase their security measures.(9) In some attacks, hackers have been able to order payments to banks in other countries by copying preformatted payment requests into the SWIFT messaging software. Even further eroding trust in the network’s security, it was discovered that the NSA had breached SWIFT’s security and have developed tools for its operations. Thru leaked documents and files by a hacker group, the public was made aware of how the NSA had accessed the messaging system. Possibly setting in an uncomfortable feeling for financial institutions located in Eastern countries that the SWIFT network is a possible vector for attacks. Structurally, the correspondent banking system has been on a gradual decline for several years while total volume and value of payments through SWIFT are increasing. The Financial Stability Board conducted a study in which the FSB found that from 2011 to the end of 2017, active correspondent relationships declined by 15.5 percent across all currencies.(1) While for 2017 alone, it declined by 4.1 percent. More recent studies have concluded that 2018 saw declines in active relationships and corridors of about 3.5% and 2% respectively.(11) With the global correspondent banking network now declining by about 20% and the number of active corridors having fallen by roughly 10% the past seven years. This decline in active correspondent relationships has also coincided with the increased concentration within the correspondent banking market. Remaining participants in the network have their market share increase as competing banks exit the system. Both these trends pose respective risks and issues to the banking system. An increase in the volume of payments with the decrease in the number of correspondent relationships is theorized to increase the length of the payment chains. Implying payments will need to be facilitated thru more intermediary parties to reach the same destination. Possibly adding more exchange or transaction fees along with increasing the settlement time. Meanwhile, a concentration in the correspondent banking market introduces an unwelcoming scenario. Theorized consequences include a decrease in the competition of services, leading to higher costs and more fragile networks. As the payment network relies on fewer participants to facilitate payments, the failure of a participant will have greater repercussions as they are more relied on. Ultimately, the global political environment is causing a fragmentation of the global payment system while the financial system is gradually entering a delicate state. Both trends have already begun to force global and financial institutions to adapt and find alternative systems. Regardless of what SWIFT can develop to enhance it’s services to its participants, there will be issues the organization cannot resolve. Interoperability will more than likely be the key in enabling the future global payment space to withstand any geopolitical shocks, along with providing a crucial capability if the financial system is under strain due to the structure of the correspondent banking system. Placing Ripple’s xCurrent or ILP in an advantageous position. 1. https://bankingjournal.aba.com/2018/11/basel-decline-in-global-correspondent-banking-relationships-accelerates/ 2. https://www.investopedia.com/terms/c/correspondent-bank.asp 3. https://www.ft.com/content/8f16f8aa-e104-11e8-8e70-5e22a430c1ad 4. https://www.voanews.com/a/us-diplomat-russia-should-release-ukrainian-sailors-by-christmas-/4688911.html 5. https://www.businessinsider.com/germany-wants-european-rival-to-us-backed-swift-payment-system-2018-8 6. https://en.mehrnews.com/news/139715/Iran-welcomes-foreign-banks-to-join-its-alternative-to-SWIFT 7. https://ethereumworldnews.com/after-ripple-chinas-cips-now-competes-with-swift-departure-from-us-dollar/ 8. https://medium.com/@kvantorcom/top-5-biggest-swift-hacks-52fca78145c 9. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-cyber-heist-warning/swift-warns-banks-on-cyber-heists-as-hack-sophistication-grows-idUSKBN1DT012 10. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-cyber-swift/hacker-documents-show-nsa-tools-for-breaching-global-money-transfer-system-idUSKBN17H0NX 11. https://www.bis.org/cpmi/paysysinfo/corr_bank_data/corr_bank_data_commentary_1905.htm
  2. @KarmaCoverage It shows when desired, Corda has the ability to tap into the XRPL for liquidity. Nothing more, nothing less. I don't necessarily believe banks will be carrying each other's CBDCs as reserve currencies due the constant management entitled to it and it's possible consequences (see right now).
  3. UPDATE: 12-5-2018 https://www.coindesk.com/r3s-new-corda-app-supports-payments-in-xrp-cryptocurrency
  4. EDIT 10-30-2018 (PAGE 28-32) BoC is working with MAS and BoE on blockchain cross border payments) https://www.bankofcanada.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/presentation-251018.pdf
  5. Something else to add to the GCash speculation: GXI description, https://businessmirror.com.ph/western-union-expands-digital-distribution-through-gcash-mobile-wallets/
  6. ***this is speculation*** In the wake of AliPay's announcement of launching a cross-border remittance service powered by blockchain technology, a closer inspection of the partnerships reveals several layers of Ripple associates. The cross-border remittance services into the Philippines will be offered by in a collaboration between GCash, AliPay, and Standard Chartered. With further details on Standard Chartered's involvement, https://www.pymnts.com/news/cross-border-commerce/2018/alipay-gcash-blockchain-cross-border-remittance-philippines/ Standard Chartered is currently a RippleNet adopter, primarily using it for cross-border payments between India and Singapore. The bank has also broadcasted it's plans on extending it's utilization of RippleNet to five other countries/pairs this year. https://www.finextra.com/newsarticle/32048/standard-chartered-to-extend-use-of-ripplenet-to-more-countries Standard Chartered acting as the settlement bank by offering it's infrastructure to both AliPay and GCash for remittance services, falls into Winters statement of expanding it's capabilities to other currency pairs with the Philippine Piso (PHP), the Hong Kong Dollar (HKD), and the Chinese Yaun/renminbi (CNY) being the suspects. GCash in itself also has an abundance of service and associate overlaps with Ripple. Currently GCash and it's services such as GCASH REMIT into the Philippines is consisted of SoftBank Payments and Globe Telecom. https://www.gcash.jp/?lg=e SBI Holdings' business relationship with SoftBank has been under speculation since SBI's involvement with Ripple but Globe Telecom can reveal other intentions of GCash. GCash is not the only notable subsidiary of Globe Telecom, Mynt is another subsidiary of Globe Telecom's financial technology arm that includes Ayala Corp and Ant Financial(AliPay/Alibaba). https://www.mynt.xyz/about-us/ The significance of Mynt pertains to an announcement this past March. Globe Telecom with Ayala Corp and Ant Financial thru Mynt, partnered with MoneyGram to provide remittance services into the Philippines to smartphone users for their GCash mobile wallets. http://news.abs-cbn.com/business/tech-biz/03/08/18/globe-fintech-arm-moneygram-launch-smartphone-based-remittance-service MoneyGram is well known in the Ripple community for it's involvement in trialing xRapid for a pilot which utilizes the XRP Ledger (XRP) for cross-border payments. http://ir.moneygram.com/news-releases/news-release-details/ripple-and-moneygram-partner-modernize-payments As of now, we publicly know that Mynt (Globe Telecom, Ayala Corp, and Ant Financial) partnered with MoneyGram to improve remittance services into the Philippines for GCash mobile wallet users. MoneyGram states that it's intention on piloting XRP this past January was because the digital asset offered negligible transaction fees and because the average transaction time involving XRP is 2-3 seconds. Interesting enough, this new remittance service provided by both Alibaba and GCash involves HKD and PHP. And the transaction time publicly shared took only 3 seconds... After Alibaba's failure to acquire MoneyGram this past January (same time as MoneyGram's announcement of it's xRapid pilot), Alibaba was adamant that they would still collaborate with MoneyGram to develop remittance and digital payments to several countries including the Philippines........ https://www.reuters.com/article/us-moneygram-intl-m-a-ant-financial/u-s-blocks-moneygram-sale-to-chinas-ant-financial-on-national-security-concerns-idUSKBN1ER1R7 Very interesting times indeed! Time will only tell EDIT: (more speculation in regards to GCash & Western Union) GXI description, https://businessmirror.com.ph/western-union-expands-digital-distribution-through-gcash-mobile-wallets/
  7. "The Governor also mentioned that the bank has begun working together with the Bank of Canada, the Monetary Authority of Singapore, and some private-sector organizations to upgrade inter-bank cross-border payments, including initiatives based on DLT." https://cointelegraph.com/news/bank-of-england-to-rebuild-settlement-system-to-interface-with-blockchain-platforms/amp?__twitter_impression=true
  8. I'll be honest to say I debated whether or not I should have included IBM/Stellar. I don't share your view on Stellar beating out Ripple in the region. Two of the big four banks in Australia (which dictates the region) are already xCurrent adopters while the other were in discussions with Ripple. Meaning in a small region interoperability between the big four banks will be critical. Whatever transpires there are two things that people need to take away in regards to Stellar. 1. Any transactions involving with RippleNet users will by default make Stellar users utilize the interledger protocol for interoperability. Meaning Ripple gains access to whoever is using Stellar in the region. Both IBM and Stellar are Hyperledger members and if they intend to use Quilt, they'll be using the interledger protocol as well. 2. The same criticism applies to Stellar that is used on Ripple in regards to XRP. As of now, IBM has not publicly disclosed any intentions of supporting or utilizing XLM to address liquidity in the region. As of now, no one knows what their intentions are.
  9. New post on a new website guys, pertains to the Australian Pacific region and why it's likely to see some major adoption in the future. https://www.xrp.tips/index.php/2018/05/14/ripple-integration-in-the-australian-pacific-just-around-the-corner/ So there will be a few changes in terms of where I will be posting guys. I'll be primarily using www.xrp.tips for the foreseeable future. I still plan on being active on XRPChat but just not as frequent. Hopefully you guys will still find my posts enjoyable, more to come!
  10. https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/small-biz/startups/newsbuzz/npci-plans-international-remittance-on-upi-platform/articleshow/63540688.cms
  11. The Gates Foundation and Ripple's formation of Mojaloop was to address the current financial system's inadequacies on providing services to individuals living below the poverty line and in remote areas of their respective countries. Mojaloop makes use of Ripple's Interledger Protocol to bridge mobile wallets to current digital financial services. Currently, the complexity and costs associated with developing digital financial services for new markets is daunting for banks to overtake. Further complicating the issue, making these new services interoperable with one another requires mass coordination between multiple parties on a grand-scale. Mojaloop provides financial providers, governments and mobile network operators a simplified and economical option for developing new inclusive payments platforms. https://ripple.com/insights/news/ripple-the-gates-foundation-team-up-to-level-the-economic-playing-field-for-the-poor/ Along with with the Gates Foundation and Ripple, Dwolla, ModusBox, Software Group and Crosslake Technologies contributed to the Mojaloop project. For Dwolla this isn't the first project they've crossed paths with Ripple on. Several years ago, both companies were developing and trialing the "Shift Card" alongside Shift (ShiftPayments). Whether or not there was any direct collaboration is unknown but Ripple did help in the development of the Shift Card, while the card is integrated into the Dwolla network. https://techcrunch.com/2014/08/12/shift-is-developing-a-debit-card-that-lets-you-spend-digital-currency-loyalty-points-and-regular-money/ https://techcrunch.com/2015/11/20/coinbase-partners-with-shift-payments-to-issue-bitcoin-debit-card/ https://gomedici.com/shift-payments-launches-new-mobile-app-to-track-payments-and-dwolla-balance/ More recently, Dwolla has been collaborating with startups to build solutions on tracking assets on the blockchain between the fintech ecosystem and traditional financial system. https://www.coindesk.com/dwolla-returns-blockchain-not-bitcoin/ Dwolla and Ripple also find themselves converging in another area of innovation, the FED's Faster Payment Task Force. Established in 2015, the FED's Faster Payments Task Force is responsible for multiple objectives with one being the assessment of alternative approaches for faster payment capabilities in the United States. Several hundred of stakeholders consisting of banks, regulators, and technology companies were gathered to create a guideline to modernize the U.S. payments infrastructure. The Task Force ultimately established a long-term target for new solutions to meet market needs by 2020. These needs pertaining to speed, efficiency, governance, and etc. Both Ripple and Dwolla submitted proposals on addressing the current issues the U.S. payment infrastructure faces. Ripple: https://ripple.com/insights/federal-reserve-task-force-ripple-improves-speed-transparency-global-payments/ Dwolla proposing it's payment platform utilizing it's API: https://www.forbes.com/sites/tomgroenfeldt/2017/01/25/feds-faster-payments-task-force-should-seek-implementation-in-three-years-dwolla/#1514dfa26088 Along with their proposals, Dwolla and Ripple (thru Ryan Zagone) were elected to the Federal Reserve’s Faster Payments Task Force Steering Committee. A committee to guide the members of the Task Force to obtain their long-term goals. https://fedpaymentsimprovement.org/faster-payments/about-the-task-force/roster/ This proximity is bound to lead to collaboration to address and meet the Faster Payments Task Force long-term goals for modernizing the U.S. Payment Infrastructure. I do know one thing. One of Dwolla's investors, Ashton Kutcher, seems to be a fan of Ripple currently. https://www.cnbc.com/id/47021465 (obligatory mention: Greg Kidd's GlobaliD is integrated with Dwolla's network) EDIT Ashton Kutcher reinforcing his support for Ripple.
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