Ripple (XRP) might become the first cryptocurrency to integrate with Apple Pay.
An application of programming interface (API) that might accommodate Ripple has been added to Apple Pay, Finance Magnates reported. The API apparently works with works with Ripple’s Interledger Protocol, Global Coin Report claimed.
The Interledger Protocol is a suite of applications designed to facilitate payments between different blockchain ledgers and decentralized applications (DApps) such as cryptocurrencies. Interledger is a sidechain that provides a shortcut between blockchain applications.
The purpose of Interledger is to fix the infamous blockchain scalability problem. Existing blockchain technologies; such as Ethereum, can only handle very limited amounts of data. This means they can process around a dozen payments a second.
Has Ripple Solved the Blockchain Scalability Problem?
Widely-used solutions like Apple Pay cannot work with cryptocurrencies because the sheer volume of payments that would generate would crash the altcoin system. Or worse payments might take hours to process, which would enrage customers.
It sounds as if Ripple might have partially solved the blockchain scalability problem. One way it may have done is to provide a direct connection with bank accounts. The Ripple Team is planning to roll out Money Tap, a smartphone app designed to connect Ripple and bank accounts in Japan this fall.
Money Tap is supposed to allow Ripple users to quickly convert XRP into yen and deposit it directly into their bank accounts. This can provide a partial solution to the scalability problem by allowing a consumer to make a purchase with fiat currency from her bank account. The app would then deposit a specific amount of Ripple into the account to cover the cost of the purchase.
Such a feature would offer liquidity and enable persons with a lot of Ripple to make brick and mortar purchases or cash withdrawals with XRP. This would encourage merchants to take Ripple because they would be paid immediately in fiat currency. That means the wait for Ripple to convert into fiat currency would not delay payment.
Will Ripple Integrate Money Tap with Apple Pay?
It sounds as if Ripple might be planning to integrate Money Tap and Apple Pay.
That would be a smart move because Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) mobile devices are extremely popular; especially with less-tech-savvy members of the general public, such as journalists. It might get Apple Zombies using cryptocurrency which would be a make breakthrough.
The Ripple API registry is now available in the Apple’s Safari 11.1 proprietary web browser, and for MacOS and iOS 11.3, Finance Magnates reported. It is not known if a Ripple API for the world’s most popular operating system for mobile devices Android is available.
The Ripple Money Tap is scheduled to be tested by SBI Ripple Asia at three Japanese banks; SBI Net Sumishin Bank, Suruga Bank, and Resona Bank, in Autumn. If it works Money Tap will be rolled out to all 61 members of the Japanese Banking Consortium. News stories did not say if Money Tap will work with Apple Pay.
Will Ripple for Apple Pay be legal?
A Ripple for Apple Pay might be illegal in many countries. The Reserve Bank of India has banned banks in that country from taking cryptocurrency payments.
Other Central Banks like the People’s Bank of China, the European Central Bank, and the US Federal Reserve, have not gone that far but they have not been very supportive of cryptocurrencies. Central bankers might change their mind if Money Tap spreads outside Japan.
One reason why bankers would block Money Tap is liquidity. They might be afraid that XRP funds would not be available to cover payments. A potential flaw is that a fraudster might be able to make a payment backed by Ripple using Money Tap, then sell or move the XRP before the bank transaction processed creating the Ripple equivalent of a bounced check.
Money Tap will need some mechanism for preventing that probably a smart contract; or DApp, that locks in payment. Blockchain might make that possible with a tamper-resistant mechanism that automatically transfers funds. If SBI Ripple Asia has such a mechanism it may have the key to bringing cryptocurrency to the masses.
Will Ripple Take Cryptocurrency to the Masses?
If the news stories are correct Apple Pay would be the first Near Field Communications (NFC) app to support altcoin payment. NFC solutions like Apple Pay and Google Pay connect to cash registers and ATMs via a wireless signal. NFC is popular but not widely accepted by major retailers; such as Walmart in the United States, or widely used in India and China.
The next big step will be for Ripple to add an API for popular Quick Read (QR) code based solutions like Alipay, Walmart Pay, Chase Pay, Google Tez, and WeChat Pay. QR code solutions communicate with a register or ATM by scanning an image with a phone’s camera. Such solutions form the basis of mobile pay in large markets like China, and are spreading fast in the United States and India. Enabling Ripple payment via a QR code solution will be necessary to gain mass market acceptance in the USA, China, and India.
Ripple (XRP) might be the coin that takes cryptocurrency mainstream. That might make XRP a potential value investment among altcoins, because it might be the first cryptocurrency to reach a genuine mass market.