R3, the enterprise blockchain giant, has announced an exciting partnership with the major bank transfer network SWIFT. The news was originally revealed at the Paris Fintech Forum and confirmed in a January 30 press release from SWIFT. R3 subsequently confirmed the news on Twitter:
— R3 (@inside_r3) January 30, 2019
According to the press release, R3 Corda will be integrated with SWIFT’s Global Payments Innovation (GPI) to create a new platform called “gpi Link.” This blockchain-based payment network will offer “fast, secure, and transparent” settlement between banks and will aim to provide a “new standard in cross-border payments.”
SWIFT is, of course, a world-class leader in bank transfers and messaging. It has brought on more than 11,000 institutional and corporate clients across more than 200 countries, making this one of R3’s biggest partnerships to date. The partnership also brings the two companies into closer competition with Ripple, which is also aiming for streamlined cross-border payments.
The Ripple Connection
However, the competition with Ripple may become something of an overlap. On social media, many Ripple fans have been celebrating the fact that gpi Link will make use of Corda Settler, which relies on Ripple’s XRP token as a means of settlement. This means that SWIFT now has an indirect connection to Ripple, despite Ripple’s attempts to distance itself from SWIFT.
That said, the connection is somewhat overhyped: although XRP is currently supported by Corda Settler, other settlement methods are planned for the future. Since SWIFT and R3’s gpi Link is merely being trialed, the platform’s connection to Ripple could become vastly reduced by the time it graduates from its test stage.
Furthermore, the relationship between Ripple and SWIFT is still distant, as was demonstrated when the CEOs of both companies interacted at the Paris Fintech Forum. Although SWIFT’s Gottfried Leibbrandt praised the XRP token, Ripple’s Brad Garlinghouse criticized SWIFT’s centralization and lack of liquidity, and the likelihood of an official partnership between the two continues to diminish.
Nevertheless, the price of the XRP token has surged by 10% following the announcement. Although it is impossible to prove whether the SWIFT-R3 partnership is responsible for the price increase, it certainly seems to be the biggest event of the day for Ripple. R3 Corda, which does not have an associated coin, will surely benefit greatly as well, making this big news for blockchain any way you slice it.