Well, well, well. Ripple, the company behind the controversial XRP cryptocurrency which has been criticized for obfuscating the nature of its partnerships with financial organizations, has announced a tie-up with global payment network MoneyGram.
MoneyGram, which saw a $1.2 billion acquisition from Alibaba’s Ant Financial affiliate collapse following security concerns from the U.S. government, said it has agreed to pilot XRP, the cryptocurrency controlled by Ripple, within its payment flows using Ripple’s xRapid product.
Ripple reached a record-high of $3.65 per coin earlier this month which briefly made it the world’s two largest cryptocurrency based on total coin market cap. That price represented a huge surge from $0.006687 one year prior, but concern around the actual usage of XRP has seen it drop down to $1.72 as of today.
That concern was best expressed in a New York Times article published last week — when the coin market cap of XRP hit $140 billion — explaining that more than 100 banks use Ripple’s software, but yet there’s just one publicly announced customer using XRP. That’s Mexico money transfer business Cuallix. Further, financial industry sources cited by the Times expressed skepticism that any banks would adopt XRP.
Ripple’s CEO, Brad Garlinghouse, sparred with Times journalist Nathaniel Popper on Twitter, claiming that Popper had written his story without conducting two interviews that the company had arranged for him.