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Ripple to issue USD-backed stablecoin - Industry roundup: 8 April

Ripple to issue USD-backed stablecoin

Ripple has announced its plans to launch a stablecoin pegged 1:1 to the US dollar (USD). The stablecoin will be 100% backed by US dollar deposits, short-term US government treasuries, and other cash equivalents. Ripple says that these reserve assets will be audited by a third-party accounting firm, and it will publish monthly attestations.

The stablecoin market is valued at approximately US$150bn today, and is forecast to exceed US$2.8 trillion by 2028. Ripple says it will issue its stablecoin to meet what it sees as clear demand for stablecoins that deliver trust, stability, and utility. 

At launch, the stablecoin will be available on the XRP Ledger (XRPL) and Ethereum (ETH) blockchains, with plans to expand to additional blockchains and decentralised finance (DeFi) protocols and apps over time.

“Issuing our stablecoin on the XRP Ledger and Ethereum will serve as a pivotal entry point to unlock new opportunities for institutional and DeFi use cases across multiple ecosystems,” said Monica Long, Ripple President. “The XRP Ledger’s native capabilities, including a decentralised exchange and automated market maker, were built to utilise XRP as the bridge asset. Bringing a trusted stablecoin onto XRPL will drive more adoption and development, contributing to a vibrant ecosystem.”

Ripple specialises in blockchain-based enterprise grade solutions that financial institutions and enterprises need. It will leverage both XRP and the stablecoin in its payment solution to improve the customer experience further and serve as the first enterprise use-case of the asset at scale. There is demand from Ripple’s customers in emerging markets to enable stablecoin payouts.

The firm says it is committed to regulatory compliance and has a growing license portfolio in key regions around the globe. The company and its subsidiaries collectively hold a New York BitLicense, nearly 40 money transmitter licenses across the US, a Major Payment Institution License from the Monetary Authority of Singapore, and a Virtual Asset Service Provider registration with the Central Bank of Ireland. Earlier this year, Ripple agreed to acquire Standard Custody, one of the few crypto companies that holds a NY Trust Charter, to expand its license footprint to serve enterprise customers better.

Ripple’s stablecoin is expected to be available later this year, subject to applicable regulatory approval. 


S&P 500 stock buybacks will likely exceed US$1 trillion in 2025

Companies in the S&P 500 are expected to repurchase stock worth US$925bn in 2024, according to Goldman Sachs Research (GSR), which has increased its previous estimate of US$840bn. The upgraded forecast relies partly on stronger-than-expected growth in earnings and margins, particularly among mega-cap tech companies. 

The info tech sector remains the single largest source of repurchases in the S&P 500. The “Magnificent 7” accounted for 26% of buybacks in the index in 2023, and fourth-quarter filings show they are currently authorised to repurchase US$215bn in stock, 30% higher than the level authorised at the same time last year. Signs of an improving economy since the third quarter of 2023 also informed GSR analysts’ forecast upgrade.

In 2025, buybacks will likely grow further still, exceeding US$1 trillion for the first time, according to GSR analysts. Some of that will be momentum carried forward from the events of 2024. History suggests the US general election in November will lead to elevated policy uncertainty in the second half of 2024, incentivising companies to postpone large increases in buybacks until 2025. 

The anticipated start of the Fed's easing of policy rates in the middle of 2024 should also drive somewhat looser lending conditions by 2025. Taken together, the GSR analysts’ model points to 16% growth in S&P 500 share repurchases in 2025.


AXA and AWS developing global B2B risk management platform

Insurance and asset management firm AXA and Amazon Web Services (AWS) have announced their intention to jointly develop and build AXA Digital Commercial Platform (DCP) and associated software services to enable next-generation risk management.

AXA DCP is a secure risk management platform that combines industry, business, and environmental data with geospatial analytics and genAI technologies aimed at helping clients globally to monitor their assets and navigate complex and interconnected risks, including natural disasters, supply chain disruption and cyber threats.

By leveraging AWS analytics capabilities, AXA intends to make numerous services available over the next two years for existing clients and millions of AWS global clients through the AWS Marketplace and the AWS Data Exchange.

To deliver DCP, AXA will use Amazon Bedrock, a service that offers a choice of foundation models from AI companies, to provide corporate clients with real-time data and analytics, including extensive historical data sets to identify and assess factors that could disrupt operations or impact reputation, safety, security, or financial performance. These insights should, in turn, help AXA’s risk prevention services and underwriting and claims experts to predict outcomes better and mitigate risk when developing insurance products.


CNote aims to fight climate change through insured impact deposits

CNote, an impact cash management platform for corporates, has launched Climate Cash, a solution that allows its clients to combat climate change through insured deposit accounts.

The solution lets corporates deploy cash deposits into a US-wide network of mission-driven banks and credit unions actively funding clean energy projects, energy efficiency improvements and electric vehicle loans in underserved communities disproportionately affected by climate change.

CNote’s network of mission-driven depositories do not contribute to fossil fuel lending. The company says that a deposit into the Climate Cash strategy provides a transparent and accountable way for corporations and foundations to advance sustainability goals through the power of insured deposits.

Every dollar deposited using the solution is protected by full FDIC or NCUA insurance coverage while earning a return with flexible durations of overnight and 12+ months. CNote’s impact reporting provides data on the positive climate activities supported by Climate Cash deposits. Example initiatives supported by the Climate Cash solution include installing affordable solar power in low-income communities, funding energy-efficient appliances and green home/building upgrades, and increasing access to electric vehicle financing to reduce emissions.


Amadeus and Taxera to bring e-invoicing technology to travel sellers worldwide

Travel technology company Amadeus has signed a partnership with Taxera Technologies, a global tax compliance platform. The agreement will see e-invoice technology shared to travel sellers worldwide, offering access to streamlined, secure and automated processes.

Starting this year, e-invoicing will become mandatory in many markets. Under the VAT in the Digital Age (ViDA) plans from the European Union, for example, e-invoices can now be issued in compliance with new standards.  

However, each market will have its own specific characteristics. Through integration with the Taxera platform, a standardised feed will be offered to Amadeus’ travel sellers worldwide to provide required data to each governmental scheme to guarantee the delivery of a secure and validated sales document.

When fully deployed, travel sellers, including those utilising Amadeus Agency Manager and Amadeus Gestour, can reallocate time from administrative tasks to commercial priorities.


Central Bank of Ireland goes live on MAPS

The Central Bank of Ireland (CBI) has commenced using MAPS (Market Activities Processing System) to support its treasury and financial market operations, including related risk management tasks and accounting treatment. 

Since November 2016, MAPS is the Treasury Management System for Central Banks provided by Banque de France (BdF) and Banco de España (BdE). It offers a solution based on Adenza (formerly Calypso) software, which spans front office, back office, risk management, accounting and financial reporting functions. MAPS Global offer also includes a comprehensive set of hosting operational and evolution support services.

With CBI joining BdF, BdE, the Central Bank of Cyprus, De Nederlandsche Bank, and the Central Bank of Malta on the common shared platform, the MAPS user community continues expanding. MAPS is open to all members of the European System of Central Banks (ESCB), and other central banks are considering implementing it in forthcoming years. 


Trustly and Cross River Bank partner on FedNow transactions 

Cross River Bank is now live and processing payments on FedNow for all of the merchants currently powering their payments via Trustly’s Open Banking platform. This strategic partnership between Trustly and Cross River gives merchants access to fast and seamless transactions through FedNow. By actively processing transactions on the FedNow platform, the pair say they are extending their reach to provide merchants with enhanced bank coverage, further expanding their reach in delivering instant payment accessibility.

Both Trustly and Cross River continued their upward trajectory with substantial growth in real-time payments (RTP) volume from Q4 2022 to Q4 2023, witnessing an increase of 215.63% in total transaction volume and 229.14% in total processed volume. Additionally, Trustly, in collaboration with Cross River Bank, processed nearly 10% of the total RTP Network transactions.

“We are proud to expand our real-time payment services with Trustly, furthering our commitment to advance the adoption and efficiencies of instant payments, empowering businesses and consumers with seamless and instant access to their funds,” commented Gilles Gade, Founder and CEO of Cross River. 


Xoom enables PayPal USD as a funding option for cross-border money transfers

Xoom, PayPal’s cross-border money transfer service, has announced that US users now have the option to fund money transfers using USD converted from PayPal USD (PYUSD), a US dollar-denominated stablecoin. 

The new funding option should allow US Xoom users to convert the PYUSD in their linked PayPal Cryptocurrency Hub to USD and use that as a funding source to send money to recipients in approximately 160 countries globally with no Xoom transaction fees.

US Xoom users with a sufficient PYUSD balance in their PayPal Cryptocurrency Hub to cover an eligible Xoom transaction can select PYUSD to fund their transfer when using,, and the PayPal app. Users interested in funding transactions using PYUSD on Xoom can do so by following a few simple steps. 

Transactions not completed in USD are subject to a transaction exchange rate, including a currency conversion spread.

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