Bank of America ad in New York
Bank of America ad in New York. Buck Ennis/Crain's New York Business

The second biggest bank in the United States – Bank of America, has discretely tested Ripple’s distributed ledger technology and we can only speculate what else they are planning for the future.

For the moment, Ripple only identified Bank of America as a “customer” as part of a presentation that was held at a seminar at the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

A Ripple spokesperson did not want to comment on the statement above but shared that Ripple and Bank of America did administer a mutual pilot.

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The spokesperson did not share any other details (nor did Bank of America) except saying:

“Bank of America has been part of Ripple’s Global Payment Steering Group since 2016 and we did a pilot with them.”

It is a well known fact that Bank of America is part of Ripplenet’s steering group that advises them on rules and standards.

However, the recent news of a mutual pilot shows more than just friendly advice connections.

This would be a serious change in direction for Bank of America as until now, Cathy Bessant – their chief technology officer was skeptical of the technology as a whole.

She noted that the bank’s portfolio of blockchain patents (the largest of all financial institutions) is present only if good use cases do arise.

Another sign that Bank of America is preparing to enter the blockchain sector is the fact that they are job hunting for a product manager who would drive a ‘Ripple project’ team.

We can see that the project is outlined as “a decentralized ledger technology-based solution to cross border payments marketed to GTS clients”. For those who are not aware –  Global Transaction Services (GTS) is Bank of America’s division that is employed with financial institutions and other large companies’ treasury departments.

About the presentation

The presentation we are talking about was led by Ripple’s head of government and regulatory affairs for the Asia-Pacific region – Saga Sarbhai, as part of a seminar for fintech and financial inclusion in the Pacific Islands.

The exact slide targets Ripple’s xCurrent service and is called “A Snapshot of Our Customers” and we clearly see Bank of America’s logo at the top. Below it we can see 15 other financial institutions’ logos which are not arranged in alphabetical order, if you get what we mean.

The presentation was posted on IMF.org later on and even circulated around Twitter. It seems that Bank of America have tested the xCurrent service that powers an independent xRapid product and is also sold occasionally to fund operations.

xCurrent customers include Santander, American Express and PNC and do not involve XRP.

It is actually Santander that shared that xCurrent will premier online international transfers to the United States for some of their customers from Latin America.

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