Credit card giant Visa Inc. acquired British payments firm Earthport, which provides cross-border payment services for banks and businesses. Earthport is also partners with Ripple, the blockchain-based payment network, which begun back in 2015.
According to Reuters, Visa paid Earthport’s closing stock price four times on December 26, under the merger. Visa plans to expand its cross-border payments business by acquiring Earthport, which actually increased 10 percent in fiscal year 2018.
Earthport’s clients include Ripple, Bank of America, Hyperwallet, Transferwise, Payoneer, and Japan Post Bank. It streamlines cross-border transactions utilizing a single application program interface (API).Furthermore, Earthport launched the world’s first distributed ledger hub (DLH) in January 2016, enabling clients to use the group’s distributed ledger technology through a simple and inexpensive single API, which CCN notes is the first for the financial industry.
Not only does the API provide access to the Ripple ecosystem, it also features access to the large variety of payment methods which Earthport offers in more than 200 countries.
Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse stated in November 2018 that there are at least 100 SWIFT-connected banks that signed with Ripple. In addition he stated this will impair SWIFT’s (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) argument regarding blockchain and cryptocurrency roles in the banking sector.
“SWIFT said not that long ago they didn’t see blockchain as a solution to correspondent banking. We’ve got well over 100 of their customers saying they disagree,” Garlinghouse said.
CCN reports Garlinghouse donated $50 million to 17 universities around the world for this exact reason, in hopes of bolstering the adoption of blockchain. Though it is noted he made the donations in US dollars, not cryptocurrency.