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  1. Here is a brief outline of the state of Ripple's growing bank ecosystem: Partner banks are integrating the Ripple platform and all Ripple software comes with ILP The banks are forming a mini network and will be able to enter into bilateral and possibly multilateral transfers within network The ILP on integrated bank software will not transact through the public RCL, rather the ILP serves as a subledger that facilitates escrowing (now "holding") of fiat until the transfer is executed Banks are concerned about holding a volatile asset (XRP) on their books as well as the large degree of regulatory uncertainty surrounding the space So how will banks start to take advantage of the ability of XRP to tighten spreads? While banks are not yet ready to hold and transact with XRP themselves due to volatility and regulatory concern, they are able to take advantage of pooled multinational liquidity on regulated exchanges. In this way they can take advantage of instant fiat conversion and lower spreads by sampling bids and offers against XRP on a regulated and licensed exchange. Where's the [inferential] evidence? My sense is that the decision to pursue this strategy (among others) is what prompted Kraken's flurry of acquisitions in the beginning of the year, followed by SBI's investment in Kraken, followed by Ripple repointing their website to Kraken as a place to buy XRP (although it should be noted that Ripple does not officially support the purchase of XRP by individuals on any exchange or gateway). It's notable that Kraken trades in euros, US dollars, Japanese yen, British pounds, and Canadian dollars. Here's the chronological series of events below: 1/19/2016 - Kraken acquired Cavitex, helped with Candian customer acquisition 1/19/2016 - Kraken acquired Coinsetter, likely in part for their pending BitLicense application Although Kraken withdrew their application for a BitLicense, Coinsetter has a pending application that would now likely apply to Kraken as well assuming amendments were made. Don't hold your breath though, nothing has happened in the BitLicense arena for a while (although recently the second ever BitLicense was issued to... Ripple). 2/01/2016 - SBI Holdings (Ripple Partner) invests in Kraken 4/12/2016 - Japanese Money Group participates in series B round for Kraken, they are one of the "largest FX brokers in Japan, servicing more than 270,000 clients" 6/28/2016 - Kraken acquired CleverCoin Recently - Ripple deploys "How to buy XRP" page to point to Kraken Kraken and Ripple are working together? Not necessarily (but their offices are basically next door to each other), Kraken (and CoinBase for that matter) seem to be repositioning themselves to as FX platforms and have long been supporters of BTC. Kraken happens to support XRP while Coinbase does not. Notably, Kraken is not promoting XRP publicly and continues to speak glowingly of BTC in public statements. Nonetheless, Ripple and its partners likely see Kraken as an opportunity to test the theory that XRP will help to tighten FX spreads. Once they're fully licensed... expect fireworks.
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