XRP, XLM, And The Quest For Remittance

The world of cryptocurrency has always been designed to be the alternative to the fiat ecosystem where people can easily transfer money from country A to country B without much waiting time and unnecessary fees. While Bitcoin was also designed to be the direct competitor of wire transfer and fiat currencies, it didn’t quite live up to the hype in that specific department since 2017 until today due to its low transaction speed and high transaction fees.

On the other hand, there are some altcoins that are built with speed and low cost in mind. These altcoins are able to transport money from and to different countries within less than a minute and with a fraction of a cent for their transaction fees. What are these altcoins that can give SWIFT a run for its money? Let’s find out.

XRP

The biggest and most popular altcoin that’s designed specifically for remittance is definitely XRP. It is used by Ripple for its RippleNet project, which is directly competing with SWIFT for bank wire transfer options. RippleNet has some banking partners in some countries (such as the US, Mexico, and the Philippines). When RippleNet’s banking partner wants to send money to RIppleNet’s overseas banking partner, XRP will be used as a bridge currency to convert from fiat A to fiat B.

For example, if Ben in the United States wants to send money to Jorge in Mexico, Ben can transfer USD through RippleNet’s US banking partner, and his USD will be automatically converted to XRP and transferred to RippleNet’s Mexican banking partner. The XRP will then be automatically converted back to Mexican Peso and Jorge will receive the peso.

The whole process can be finished within a few minutes and they also cost much less compared to standard SWIFT wire transfer. Average on-demand liquidity (ODL) for RippleNet has been slowly growing.

XLM

One of the biggest competitors to both SWIFT and XRP’s RippleNet would be XLM. It’s the native cryptocurrency of Stellar platform, the project created by Jed McCaleb, the same man who co-founded Mt.Gox and Ripple. And as you might have guessed already, XLM and the Stellar blockchain work very similarly to XRP. Both of them require ID tags whenever you want to transfer your funds to centralized exchanges and their wallets cannot have 0 coin in it.

And yes, just like Ripple, Stellar also aims to directly approach banks in utilizing its platform. Stellar is partnering with IBM to create IBM Blockchain World Wire where it’s intended to tackle the usual problems in the wire transfer world (high fees and slow transfer time). 

The difference between RippleNet and IBM Blockchain World Wire is that IBM plans to lobby central banks to issue their own CBDCs (Central Bank Digital Currencies) on top of Stellar blockchain. XLM will be just one of many possible bridge currencies, whereas XRP is the only bridge currency in RippleNet ecosystem.

Other Possible Candidates

Obviously, there are also other candidates that try to tackle SWIFT and its crypto competitors. Projects like DASH, NANO, and others are intended to become people’s alternatives in cross-border transactions. However, the majority of them don’t have enough big support from traditional companies. It’s different from XLM and XRP where they are fully supported by top partners.

When it comes to technology, NANO and DASH are quite capable of challenging XRP and XLM. However, their marketing efforts, their partners, and their liquidity are not there yet.

Can Crypto Overcome Traditional Remittance?

Overall, crypto transactions have been proven to be much more advanced than traditional remittance. You can send XRP or XLM from any country in the world, and your other wallet will still receive it within seconds and at a very low cost as well. This is why technologically XRP and XLM are poised to overcome traditional remittance technology like SWIFT.

However, banks are more about politics rather than technology. Many of these bankers also have a stake at SWIFT, which might make them unwilling to give up their own interest. It’s hard for traditional finance to adapt and give up their own profit shares. However, if IBM and Ripple can explain how they would benefit from this, we will definitely have a much more mainstream crypto adoption as remittance is a very big thing.