At the SBI Financial Results Briefing, SBI Group CEO Yoshitaka Kitao announced that the firm has already begun the discussions to create a project for R3 that uses Ripple (XRP) more extensively.
“We have already begun discussions to create a project to use XRP for R3. By using R3, XRP is used more extensively,” Kitao said.
SBI Group is one of the largest multi-billion dollar financial institutions in Japan that operate with three core businesses in asset management, biotech, and financial services. Since the creation of SBI Ripple Asia, a consortium of more than 60 Japanese banks, SBI Group has led the development and deployment of XRP-based products in Asia.
In May 2017, SBI Group led a $107 million funding round for R3CEV, the largest blockchain consortium in the history of the industry that raised hundreds of millions of dollars to develop enterprise-grade blockchain networks.
Since then, throughout the past year, SBI Group has worked with R3 to create a variety of blockchain-based systems to be utilized by large-scale conglomerates.
In April of this year, SBI Bank LLC, a major bank in Russia operated by SBI Group, joined the R3 blockchain consortium to cooperate with hundreds of financial institutions within the consortia in testing blockchain products.
“We regard blockchains as the core of FinTech innovation and are working on various measures both in Japan and abroad. Through this effort, we believe that we can contribute to the progress of the global blockchain field,” SBI Group said at the time.
According to local analysts that have covered the SBI Financial Results Briefing, the Japanese firm has not released any additional details regarding the integration of XRP in the new project the bank is currently developing.
But, considering the launch of MoneyTap, a mobile application that utilizes the Ripple network and specifically XRP to process cross-border transactions, analysts expect SBI Group to introduce a platform that extensively utilizes XRP and that encourages other banks in the R3 consortium as well as SBI Ripple Asia to use XRP.
Following a series of successful pilot tests, more than 61 Japanese banks are set to utilize MoneyTap to clear overseas transactions, accounting for more than 80 percent of asssets and market share in the country.
Earlier this year, in an interview with CNBC, Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse stated that the company intends to bring a dozen of major banks onto its blockchain network.
“It’s been an incredible 2018 for us. We’re now signing up one bank to a production contract per week. We announced that we signed the largest bank in Kuwait, the National Bank of Kuwait, so it [Ripple] continues to build momentum and the dynamic there is the network effect. The more participants, the more value in joining. So we’re seeing that momentum build,” Garlinghouse said.
The launch of MoneyTap and the new project of SBI Group to use XRP more extensively could support the mid-term vision of Ripple to integrate XRP into the existing infrastructure of leading banks and financial institutions.