Bank of America Is Reportedly Piloting Ripple’s Distributed Ledger Technology

Charlotte, North Carolina-based Bank of America (BoA), the second-largest US bank with over $2.3 trillion in total assets, is reportedly testing out Ripple’s distributed ledger technology (DLT)-based financial products. The bank might be planning to do more with the San Francisco-based Fintech firm’s technology.

Ripple’s management said, during a presentation delivered at a seminar hosted by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) last year, that BoA is a “customer.”

When questioned about this recently, a Ripple representative stated that the bank would not confirm or deny whether it was a client, however, it said the companies had participated in a pilot together. 

A Ripple spokesperson said:

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

The spokesperson didn’t provide any new details regarding the pilot program.

It was reported earlier that BoA is a member of the steering group that offers advice on the  rules and standards for RippleNet, a decentralized network of banks and other financial service providers that use Ripple’s products. 

BoA CTO Cathy Bessant has said she’s bearish on distributed ledger technology and that the bank only acquired blockchain-related patents so that it can begin using the tech if it’s needed in the future.

Earlier this month, BoA posted a job opening for a project manager who would lead a team working on a “Ripple project.”

The project involves developing “a decentralized ledger technology-based solution to cross border payments marketed to GTS clients.” 

GTS (global transaction services) is a division of BoA that works with the treasury departments of large firms and financial service providers.

Saga Sarbhai, Ripple’s head of government and regulatory affairs for the Asia-Pacific region, delivered a presentation in December 2018 at an IMF seminar in Samoa on Fintech and financial inclusion in the Pacific Islands. A presentation slide about Ripple’s xCurrent, titled, “A Snapshot of Our Customers,” included a Merrill Lynch (BoA’s investment bank) logo.

The presentation was posted on IMF.org  and was recently found on Twitter. An IMF spokesperson stated that the document was genuine and that a Ripple company employee gave the presentation.

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