Whether or not this was an accident, we can’t really tell yet, however this week at the Bangkok Fintech Fair a spokesperson for Ripple has mentioned that at present, Ripple are working with between 40 and 50 international central banks, including the Bank of Thailand.
We all know that one of the features that sets Ripple apart from it’s competitors is that it does aim to integrate its platform into a mainstream central banking system, unlike Bitcoin on the other hand who want to turn mainstream but won’t do so without remaining totally decentralised. Therefore, this announcement, or slip-up probably doesn’t come as much of a surprise to many people. Let’s face it, Ripple probably don’t have time to make an announcement every time they speak to a central bank.
What this does do however is shed some light on Ripples operations and future prospects. We have recently heard news of a Santander partnership in the works, as well as a potential partnership between Western Union and Ripple, but the existence of 40 other partnerships already in the works certainly amplifies Ripples position in the markets.
You can see the statement from the Bangkok Fintech Fair here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bFqlq3yPeEQ (skip to around 32 minutes in if you’re in a rush).
This was made as a part of a panel discussion, focusing on cross-border payments, something which Ripple has always been keen on being a part of. They see that the best way to enable such payments is by opening up partnerships with the central banks who already have the infrastructure to accommodate such cross-border payments.
The central banks, like the Bank of Thailand are umbrellas, which go on to cover a vast amount of smaller local banks, so by getting the big, government run central banks onboard, Ripple hope that the smaller banks operating within their jurisdictions will follow along.
My opinion is that this announcement was not an accident. It seems very honest and quite open, it’s an organic part of the discussion into cross-border payments. I suppose there is every chance that the integrity of this announcement can be put into question, is the 40-50 number a complete overestimate? If not, then it certainly comes at a promising time for the team. If it is, then they best start getting partnerships together, fast, because people are getting very excited about this.