According to an announcement from the Ripple team, PNC Bank – a top ten lender in the United States with over $6.0 billion in deposits – has officially joined RippleNet to tap its increasingly popular blockchain solution for cross-border payments and settlement.

Ripple is developing several blockchain-based solutions that enable cross-border money transactions between banks in a faster and cheaper way than the current systems allow.

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As noted by Ripple, PNC Bank serves over 8 million customers and has retail branches in 19 states, which helps the third largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization to enhance its position within the US banking sector. However, today’s agreement with the PNC Bank means things are shifting into a higher gear. ‎

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Although Ripple is regularly grouped with other cryptocurrencies, its purpose is different ‎as it also operates a ‎decentralized payment settlement solution for banks and financial institutions that is fast and ‎scalable.‎ Because its xRapid solution has a much shorter transaction time, there have been major companies testing the product such as Western Union and Moneygram, but none have committed to it fully.

Ripple’s cryptocurrency, however, has failed to react to the growing acceptance of products developed by the California-based blockchain specialist.

Earlier in May, Ripple revealed some results from the first pilot for xRapid. The company said financial institutions using the service paid between 40 and 70 percent less than they usually pay traditional foreign exchange providers for the same service. Also, transactions with xRapid took minutes, while the average cross-border transfer using traditional means takes 2-3 days.

According to the company statement, “the addition of a top U.S. bank like PNC on RippleNet fuels the network’s positive momentum. RippleNet has grown to more than 100 financial institutions and continues to expand steadily each month. RippleNet has also recently expanded its reach to over 40 countries and six continents.”