Ripple’s XRP losing competitive advantage: BIS and SWIFT going real-time

Rick Steves

Nexus is a model for connecting multiple national payment systems into a cross-border platform that could enable international payments to happen as quickly as sending a text message.

The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) has partnered with the Monetary Authority of Singapore, the country’s financial supervisory authority, to publish a blueprint for the multilateral linking of domestic real-time payment systems across borders.

Building on the bilateral linkage between Singapore’s PayNow and Thailand’s PromptPay launched in April 2021, the blueprint also leverages the experience of the National Payments Corporation of India’s (NPCI) development and operation of the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) system.

The blueprint is titled Project Nexus (link to .pdf) and envisages the creation of ‘Nexus Gateways’ that serve to coordinate compliance, foreign exchange conversion, message translation, and the sequencing of payments among all participants.

An overarching Nexus Scheme sets out the governance framework and rulebook for participating retail payment systems, banks, and payment service providers to coordinate and effect cross-border payments through the network.

Benoît Cœuré, head of the BIS Innovation Hub, commented: “Project Nexus is trying to achieve the equivalent of internet protocols for payments systems. That means creating a model through which any country can join by adopting certain technical and governance requirements.”

Project Nexus requires participating countries to adopt the protocols once to gain access to the broader cross-border payments network. Countries won’t have to negotiate payment linkages with each jurisdiction on a bilateral basis.

Andrew McCormack, head of the BIS Innovation Hub Singapore Centre, said: “Country-to-country and regional payment connections already exist. But they require significant coordination efforts, which increase exponentially with more participants. Three countries require three bilateral links but 20 countries would require 190 bilateral links.”

Nexus is a model for connecting multiple national payment systems into a cross-border platform that could enable international payments to happen as quickly as sending a text message, the Bank for International Settlements announced.

Ripple’s XRP, what about now? SWIFT announces cross-border payments in seconds

BIS proposes to connect national systems internationally to improve speed, cost, and transparency of cross-border payments, which basically sums up the mission of blockchain firms such as XRP-powered Ripple, ex-Ripple founder Jed McCaleb’s Stellar (XLM), and newly launched Algorand-powered Six Clovers.

SWIFT has just announced cross-border payments in a matter of seconds with its new messaging product SWIFT Go, which is complementary to cross-border settlement services such as BIS’ Project Nexus and Ripple’s On-Demand Liquidity.

Yesterday, Ripple announced the go-live of its On-Demand Liquidity in Japan, thus setting the stage to drive more adoption of crypto-enabled services in the Asia Pacific.

The news further proves the utility of the XRP Ledger in a turbulent period for Ripple Labs due to the ongoing lawsuit with the SEC, which claims XRP to be a security for its “decentralized nature“.

SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce has recently come forth to clarify that the agency could file complaints against firms for unregistered security offerings even if said instrument is not a security in the eyes of the SEC.

The same Commissioner has released a public statement together with SEC Commissioner Elad Roisman – “a gift from the heavens” – admitting to the lack of clarity within the digital asset space, further contributing to Ripple’s claim that it had no fair notice that XRP could be deemed a security.

Ripple’s Fair Notice defense is believed to be a threat to the SEC’s future enforcement actions against the crypto ecosystem. The agency itself warned the Court that a Ripple win on Fair Notice would nullify the Howie Test.

In June, BIS opened an Innovation Hub in London to push for digital currencies. Later that month, the institution praised CBDCs against Bitcoin, while adding that stablecoins are no game-changer as they have the potential to fragment the liquidity of the monetary system.

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