December 20, 2017
By Team Ripple - December 11, 2017 (ripple.com)
Everyone is talking about the digital asset space. Wild price fluctuations, new XRP capital funds and Bitcoin (BTC) forks have made it virtually impossible for consumers or the financial industry to ignore the popularity and proliferation of these assets.
In fact, the digital asset landscape has grown so much that there are more than 1,300 types of assets on the market with a collective market cap of $450 billion as of this posting.
We examined the top digital assets for payments while comparing their speed, cost and scalability. Here’s what we found.
XRP is the only digital asset with a clear institutional use case designed to solve a multi-trillion dollar problem – the global payment and liquidity challenges that banks, payment providers and corporates face. In order to effectively solve this problem, speed, cost and scalability are of extreme importance. When you line up the top digital assets for these attributes, it’s clear that XRP is the winner.
XRP is a key enabler of the Internet of Value — Ripple’s vision for making money move at the speed of digital information. XRP’s speed, transparency, and scalability help financial institutions move money like information moves today — in real time.
It’s no wonder that real institutional customers are using and finding value in XRP and governments, regulators and central banks are increasingly recognizing the role it could play in the global system.
November 28, 2017
By Michiel Mulders - November 27, 2017 (bitcoinmagazine.com)
There is no disputing the fact that the Bitcoin network has scalability problems. Micropayment channels are a solution to increase the transaction rate and speed. Yet, this is not the golden solution. This micropayments solution needs a fixed amount of funds to be locked into each channel’s multisignature wallet and requires a transaction for each channel creation and closure. This hinders the Blockchain network from upscaling to a global payment system because Bitcoin’s capacity is limited.
A recently published research paper by a university in Zurich suggests implementing a new layer in between the blockchain and payment channels that enables off-blockchain channel funding to reduce stress on the Bitcoin blockchain.
What Are Micropayment Channels?
The paper mentions two challenges: “Micropayment channel networks create new problems, which have not been solved in the original papers. We identify two main challenges — the blockchain capacity and locked-in funds.”
Before we go any further into this proposed solution, it is essential to understand the concept of micropayment channels. Bitcoin’s blockchain network doesn’t allow you to send many micropayments of tiny amounts of bitcoin. Bitcoin’s block weight limit caps this at less than 10 transactions per second, on average.
Payment channels let users lock up a fixed amount of funds in a multisignature wallet controlled by the client and receiver. A channel can be opened by sending a transaction to the blockchain. Next, an unlimited amount of payments can be made between the client and receiver. These payments are performed off-chain and only exist between both participants.
Once a channel is closed, a final transaction containing end balances will be sent out to the Bitcoin network. This is the base implementation of micropayment channels; a more evolved implementation is the lightning network, which allows bidirectional payment channels.
Reducing many hundreds, thousands or even more transactions to just two transactions per channel are a drastic improvement. Still, it is not enough for bringing the Bitcoin network to the level of a world-wide payment system. A channel can only exist between two participants. So, if each person in a group of 20 wants to open five channels, this will require a lot of transactions — 200 to be exact. Besides that, there is no solution for when the amount of locked funds is exceeded for a specific channel.
The paper tells us about a new layer: “We introduce a new layer between the blockchain and the payment network, giving a three layered system. The new second layer consists of multi-party micropayment channels we call channel factories, which can quickly fund regular two party channels.”
The paper suggest a three-layered system in which the first and third layers already exist. The first layer locks the funds, and the third layer performs the actual transfers of currencies. The new second layer can be seen as a channel factory. It is responsible for creating multi-party micropayment channels and quickly refunding wallets when they are almost depleted. The paper calculated a savings of up to 90 percent for a group of 20 nodes with 100 channels in between them.
Instead of sending a blockchain transaction for each channel creation or closure, the paper suggests a system where just one transaction is needed to open multiple channels without further blockchain contact. Funds are locked into a shared wallet between a group of nodes instead of a specific channel. Furthermore, funds can be moved between groups with just an attached message with further details such as a receiver address. All of this happens off-blockchain.
The only addressed risk is that a user within a group can close the channel factory: the second layer. This induces a higher mining fee because more blockchain space is used. While this is not a big risk — a user won’t gain personal advantage by doing so — it does limit the usefulness of large groups.
Next, it is possible that the receiver doesn’t sign a transaction. The paper introduces the use of either timelocks or punishments for dishonest parties. They will focus on timelocks because they think it performs much better. After a timelock has elapsed, the current status of the channel will be broadcasted to the blockchain and the channel will be closed; no punishment is applied.
There is no risk in securing the funds. The multisignature wallet has a many-to-many constraint containing all signatures of the involved actors. Funds can only be spent when all actors have signed the transaction, so no one can be deprived of funds without signing for it themselves.
November 16, 2017
BY Polina Chernykh - November 16, 2017 (www.coinspeaker.com)
The partnership will allow businesses in the United States send instant transactions to Santander customers in Britain via the blokchain technology.
American Express has partnered with Santander UK and fintech firm Ripple to enable blockchain-powered international B2B payments. The solution is anticipated to speed up cross-border transactions between the UK and the US using the blockchain technology.
American Express’ customers will now be able to conduct payments on the FX International Payments (FXIP) platform that will route transfers via the Ripple’s enterprise blockchain network, RippleNet. According to companies, the service, which is already used by customers, will be expanded globally in the future.
”American Express has a long history of integrating new technologies into innovative products and services that differentiate and enhance the customer experience,” said Marc Gordon, chief information officer at American Express. “This collaboration with Ripple and Santander represents the next step forward on our blockchain journey, evolving the way we move money around the world.”
Unlike traditional payment systems, blockchain-based platform will reduce the cost of international transfers and simplify settlement process, while maintaining advanced security of payments.
“We’ve already seen evidence that blockchain technology is playing a transformational role in the way customers are served,” said Greg Keeley, Executive Vice President of Global Corporate Payments at American Express. “Not only does this partnership with Ripple help decrease the time it takes for international transactions to be processed, it can make our transactions more effective for our customers.”
Initially, the project will connect American Express’ customers in the US to UK Santander bank accounts, enabling instant, traceable cross-border non-card transactions.
“We’re taking a huge step forward with American Express and Santander in solving the problems corporate customers experience with global payments,” said Brad Garlinghouse, CEO of Ripple. “Transfers that used to take days will be completed in real-time, allowing money to move as fast as business today. It is just the beginning, and we look forward to growing this partnership to help other American Express FXIP customers.”
Santander was among the six major banks that partnered with Ripple last year to establish the first interbank group for the development of the blockchain network for global transfers.
Ripple leverages the power of the blockchain technology to enable frictionless payments all over the world. By using Ripple’s network, financial organizations can process their customers’ payments instantly and cost-effectively.
American Express is committed to transform business processes by using the blockchain technology. Earlier this year, the bank joined Hyperledger, the Linux Foundation-led cross-industry initiative aimed at creating an enterprise-grade, open-source distributed ledger technology. In 2014, the bank’s CEO, Kenneth I. Chenault, shared his view on the blockchain, saying it would play an important role in the industry.