Ripple has launched an initiative that aims to give entrepreneurs in the blockchain space a better start in business – as long as they boost its own ecosystem.
Announced Monday, Xpring (pronounced "spring") will to invest in, acquire and provide grants to "serious" projects and companies run by "proven" entrepreneurs, a company release states.
The venture capital fund will only provide support to startups and projects that make use of the digital asset XRP and the open-source XRP Ledger – blockchain technology with which Ripple has built tools aimed at enterprise businesses.
The firm said, "as one of the few blockchain companies with traction for a non-speculative use case, we feel we're uniquely positioned to support entrepreneurs in a meaningful way."
Ripple has appointed Ethan Beard, ex-director of the Facebook Developer Network, as senior vice president to head up the Xpring startup incubator and Ripple's developer program.
Beard commented in the release:
"Blockchain and digital assets have the ability to solve important problems and XRP – with it's speed, scalability and demonstrated real-world use case – is a great tool for startups and entrepreneurs to build businesses around."
In other Ripple news on Monday, the company revealed that Mitsubishi, Standard Chartered and Thailand's Bank of Ayudhya (Krungsri) – a subsidiary of MUFG Bank – are to pilot payments between Singapore and Thailand with Ripple's xCurrent blockchain product.
The trial aims to demonstrate the commercial viability of using xCurrent for high-speed cross-border payments between independent banks, according to the firm's release. Ultimately, Ripple hopes to bring a financial advantage for firms using the product in what is a highly competitive sector.
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