Every week, we’ll be offering a quick rundown of the most relevant news in finance and technology.
High-flying Earthport continues to reach new milestones as the payment network’s unique approach to cross-border payments make it an irresistible partner—signing 31 customers this year, including HSBC, Santander and Standard Chartered. Now, the company, which has expanded into 60 countries, has announced that it’s reached cash-flow break-even. [Earthport is a Ripple Labs partner.]
94% of finance professionals report an eagerness to use blockchain technology to simplify and reduce costs in trading, according to a survey conducted by Greenwich Associates. Respondents believe that distributed ledgers could reduce the risks of unsettled trades or counterparty failure, while freeing up working capital.
Foreign exchange markets have traditionally been dominated by big banks, but the space increasingly represents an opportunity for exchange operators that have until now focused on securities and commodities. On Sunday, Deutsche Boerse AG purchased currency market 360T for 725 million euro ($793 million). CME Group was also believed to be in the running. Earlier this year, stock exchange operator BATS bought Hotspot FX for $365 million. The global forex market represents about $5.3 trillion in daily trading. [CME Group is an investor in Ripple Labs.]
Barclay’s Simon Taylor published insights on the potential of distributed ledger technology. Taylor’s breakdown of distributed ledgers—between permissionless and permissioned—attempts to clarify the distinction between so-called “blockchain without the Bitcoin” systems, though these emerging technologies may ultimately require a more nuanced take.
The Federal Reserve announced members for both Faster Payments and Secure Payments Task Force Steering Committees. The responsibilities of these committees are to engage stakeholders in payments and advance the agenda presented in the January report Strategies for Improving the U.S. Payment System. [Ripple Labs is part of the of the Faster Payments Task Force Steering Committee.]