Apple gives further legitimacy to Ripple with new integration
Apple integrates Ripple Interledger technology highlighting that cryptocurrencies are slowly moving to the mainstream.
The ability for Ripple to facilitate quick currency trades has attracted lots of attention. But when it comes to consumer applications of cryptocurrency tools, getting Apple's seal of approval can make a huge difference.
Ripple's goal, to act as an intermediary for currency exchanges so that they are executed faster than through traditional channels, makes it attractive for many parties involved in the payments industry – something Apple is keen to grow through their Apple Pay platform.
Apple didn't invent any of the pieces of Apple Pay. Near Field Communications (NFC) chips, the Secure Element chip used for holding data (that Apple calls the Secure Enclave) and transaction tokenisation that allows one-time codes to be sent rather than static credit card numbers, were all tools established by other parties.
What Apple did was take them all and bring them together in a user-friendly way.
The Ripple Interledger allows transactions to be completed in just four seconds – far faster than traditional currency exchanges. That makes it a valuable commodity in the finance industry. And its fees are far lower than those of BTC so it's attractive to many businesses.
The integration of the Interledger with Apple Pay will likely happen through the Payment Request API the company introduced to support browser-based payments. So, while it's not likely we'll see "tap and go" XRP payments any time soon, we could see them happen for browser based-transactions. But with Apple supporting the platform, it would seem that Ripple is more likely to have a longer future than some alt-coins.
With the number of cryptocurrencies on the market now heading over the 2500 mark, it's likely we'll see a contraction with some either disappearing or being subsumed by or merged with others. For Ripple, the integration of their platform with a service as well known and widespread as Apple Pay is likely to help its long-term prospects.
Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author holds STELLAR, BTC, EOS, NEO and XRP.