Ripple is considering breaking into the Chinese market to apply its distributed ledger technology (DLT) to cross-border payments, a Ripple executive told CNBC August 15. Jeremy Light, vice president of European Union strategic accounts at Ripple, said in a phone interview that the company is looking to enter the Chinese market to speed up international payments with its DLT. Light said that “China is definitely a country and region of interest.”
While blockchain is the technology that underpins cryptocurrencies, Ripple’s blockchain was initially designed to accelerate payments processing, which subsequently attracted over 100 financial establishments to its network. Though Ripple’s portfolio includes leading financial industry players like UniCredit, Santander, UBS and others, the company is likely to face strong competition of local fintech firms offering payment solutions.
In February, Ripple made an attempt to enter the Chinese market by partnering with Chinese payment service provider LianLian in order to offer faster and less expensive cross-border transactions to their customers across the U.S., Europe, and China.
Recently, tech giant Tencent implemented a pilot blockchain ecosystem for invoices, which enabled the issuance of China’s first digital invoice on blockchain. It is the only pilot of its kind to have received the official approval of the State Administration of Taxation, and has been designed for comprehensive use by consumers, merchants and tax authorities.
Ant Financial, the company behind mobile and online payment platform Alipay, entered into “definitive agreements” with investors to secure $14 billion in a Series C equity financing round in June. The company planned to invest the funds into accelerating Alipay’s blockchain and other innovative technologies in order to deliver financial services to unbanked and underbanked consumers.