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Mojaloop wins ISO 20022 hackathon hosted by BIS – Are Ripple and XRP involved?

  • 3 min read
  • XRP
  • Mojaloop is one of 3 winners of BIS’s ISO 20022 and API Hackathon for its Interledger based solution to bridge the “last mile” for cross-border payments.
  • Technical details and the branding raise the question of whether Ripple and XRP could be involved.

The Bank for International Settlements (BIS), which is known as the central bank of central banks and is a major think tank for international monetary policy, recently held a hackathon that focused on the potential of the new ISO 20022 payment standard and APIs to improve cross-border payments. Yesterday, the three winners were announced. They are Atomic Wire, Mojaloop and The Isonauts (Virtusa & AWS).

As the official press release states, the winners presented “solutions for synchronising foreign exchange payments, bridging the “last mile” of cross-border payments, and resolving data correction and validation difficulties.” All three winning solutions will be presented to a global audience at the BIS Innovation Summit 2021, “including key payment industry players and central bankers.”

The winners were selected by a panel of experts from the Bank of England, Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures, DBS Bank (Singapore), European Central Bank, Federal Reserve System, Innovate Finance (UK), New Payments Platform (Australia), Payments Canada, SWIFT and Swish (Sweden). Mojaloop won:

[…] for its solution for bridging the “last mile,” bringing cross-border payments to users in emerging market economies who rely on mobile money transfer systems.

Are Ripple and XRP involved?

As part of its proposed solution, Mojaloop relies on the Interledger Protocol (ILP), which was developed by Stefan Thomas, former CTO of Ripple and current CEO of Coil. The Mojaloop Foundation’s mission is to promote financial inclusion, and Coil is one of its initial supporting members, along with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Google, ModusBox, Omidyar Network, and The Rockefeller Foundation.

While the ILP is not tied to any single company, blockchain, or currency, it is closely related to Ripple and XRP, providing an interface to the XRP ledger. In addition, Mojaloop has a close relationship with Ripple Labs as the company joined the foundation’s board of directors last September.

In its role, Ripple Labs is expected to help “provide the strategic vision, governance and technical guidance to ensure the long-term health and growth of the Mojaloop open source software and development community,” according to the press release at the time. Moreover, Ripple has been involved with the foundation since its inception in 2017, “providing technical guidance and technical support.”

Also striking is Mojaloop’s choice of words, calling its solution the “last mile” for cross-border payments. This term has been used all too often by Ripple in the past. Among other things, Ripple released its “Last Mile Playbook” in mid-2020, which outlines how Ripple partners can achieve widespread adoption in 14 key regions through the use of XRP.

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