Citibank, the fourth biggest bank in the U.S., has ditched their plans to follow in JPMorgan’s footsteps and create their own cryptocurrency for inter-bank transfers, leading to speculation of where they will turn next. A host of options are on the table should Citibank still want to pursue the crypto route, and XRP fans have wasted no time in throwing their coin’s hat into the ring.
SWIFT the Early Favorite
Dubbed ‘Citicoin’, Citibank’s crypto project was first developed back in 2015 by the group’s innovation lab in Dublin, echoing JPMorgan’s early entry into the blockchain space. The project was never announced or even formally acknowledged by the bank however, and has now been axed, according to current innovation lab chief, Gulru Atak, who told Coindesk:
Based on our learnings from that experiment we actually decided to make meaningful improvements in the existing rails by leveraging the payments ecosystem, and within that ecosystem we are considering the fintechs… or the regulators around the world as well, including SWIFT.
SWIFT is the international payment system that has been connecting banks for decades and faces a fight on its hands to keep up with the technological advancements offered by cryptocurrencies. What they do have on their side however is integration, given how deeply enmeshed they are within the banking landscape.
SWIFT did recently sign a deal with R3, which allows them to offer fiat transfers on the blockchain using the SWIFT GPI, something that banks like Citibank may well turn to instead of shifting to cryptocurrencies wholesale.
XRP Fans Offer an Alternative
It’s no secret that Ripple Labs is aiming to replace SWIFT (or integrate with it, depending on which side of the bed Brad Garlinghouse got out of that morning), and the news that Citibank was going back to the crypto drawing board drew XRP fans to social media to offer an alternative:
— BlueNET Crypto (@BlueNETGaming) March 18, 2019
Just use XRP, save time and money. Join or fall.
— Damien Black (@realDamienBlack) March 18, 2019
Given that Citibank is one of the big banks that Ripple is trying to woo, the confirmation that they are looking at cryptocurrency-based payment solutions will not have gone unnoticed at Ripple towers, meaning that Citibank receptionists all around the world should prepare for XRP-themed hampers to be arriving at their desks this Easter.
What do you think? Will Citibank turn to XRP, or will they stick with tried and tested SWIFT in these blockchain times? Let us know your thoughts below!