Ripple has deepened its relationship with its biggest Asian partner, the Japanese financial giant SBI – with a remittance deal it has labeled the “first live on-demand liquidity offering in Japan.”
Ripple and SBI already co-run the SBI Ripple Asia cross-border payments initiative, but the new development focuses on remittances, specifically those made between the Philippines and Japan.
The company is continuing to fight a protracted legal battle in the United States over a regulator’s assertion that XRP is a security. That position is refuted by Japanese regulators, who have previously stated that the token is not a security in their view. Ripple has spoken of the possibility of relocating abroad, with the SBI chief and Ripple board member Yoshitaka Kitao claiming previously that Japan would be an ideal venue for a Ripple migration.
Ripple wrote of its Asia focus:
“With growing e-commerce clout, increasingly mobile populations and rising clarity around cryptocurrency regulations, Asia Pacific is one of the fastest-growing regions for Ripple with transactions growing 130% year-over-year.”
It also noted that its move had “set the stage” to “drive more adoption of crypto-enabled services in the region,” adding that “leveraging XRP to eliminate pre-funding” would let it and SBI “free up capital and accelerate the expansion of their own payments businesses.”
The American firm took the opportunity to remind the world that it had hired a new Southeast Asia head – the former CEO of Everstone Capital, Brooks Entwistle, claiming that it was “perfectly positioned to deliver on APAC’s growing need for faster and more affordable approaches to cross-border payments today” and build a “tokenized future.”
The new deal cements the Ripple-SBI bond yet further – and involves the SBI subsidiaries SBI Remit (Japan’s biggest money transfer provider) and the Japan-based SBI VC Trade crypto exchange. It also involves the Filipino mobile payments service Coins.ph.
Ripple claimed that USD 1.8bn worth of remittances “flow every year from Japan to the Philippines,” adding that the Philippines “is the third-largest destination for remittances from Japan,” while Japan has “one of the highest remittance costs in the world,” almost double the G8 (the countries from The Group of Eight) average.
Earlier this month, Kitao backed Ripple’s XRP Ledger network, claiming that it was a suitable fit for the growing non-fungible token (NFT) industry.
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