Ripple Labs Inc. will be acquiring a 40% stake in Tranglo, a cross-border payments specialist in Asia.
Ripple said that the acquisition would help the company meet the demand for the use of its native token XRP in transactions. This comes a week after Brooks Entwistle became Ripple’s managing director in Southeast Asia. Entwistle is a former executive at Goldman Sachs and Uber.
Tranglo is based in Malaysia. The cross-border payments specialist has processed over 20 million transactions, totaling $4 billion. Ripple is expanding into Southeast Asia in particular to meet the“demand for cheaper, faster and more reliable cross-border payments with the use of crypto,” Entwistle said in an interview.
XRP as a Neutral Bridge Currency
This acquisition fits well into Ripple’s strategy to become a global forex facilitator. Recently, Ripple said its XRP token would be an ideal neutral bridge currency for central bank digital currencies (CBDCs). In a whitepaper entitled ‘The Future of CBDCs,’ Ripple explains why central banks should issue CBDCs and describe issues they may have to overcome.
Because each central bank will have its own priorities when establishing a CBDC, it’s likely they may each take a different approach. Although, CBDCs will still need to be exchangeable across the global market. Ripple says this interoperability will require open payment protocols and neutral bridge assets.
Since companies have already used XRP for foreign exchange, Ripple explained that XRP would be ideal as a neutral bridge asset. That is if Ripple overcomes its current issues with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
XRP May Get Relisted
In December, the SEC filed a case against Ripple, saying its executives sold unregistered securities. However, during the latest session, Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn said:
“My understanding about XRP is that not only does it have a currency value, but it has a utility, and that utility distinguishes it from Bitcoin and Ether.”
This undermines the SEC argument of XRP being a security rather than a currency.
Judge Netburn also asked whether anyone selling XRP was committing a crime. SEC attorney Jorge Tenreiro said according to the statute he is citing to prosecute Ripple, others selling XRP are exempt. “If these are transactions by people in the market, they’re exempted by statute,” he said. This could set a precedent that would see XRP relisted, reigniting its hopes of becoming standard forex facilitating coin.