Blockchain payments firm Ripple has launched its operations in Brazil to expand its presence in the South American region.
The blockchain-based solutions provider has roped in fintech entrepreneur and executive Luiz Antonio Sacco as managing director to build the Ripple ecosystem in the region.
Ripple said that it will participate in CIAB Febraban between 11 and 13 June, where it will showcase RippleNet, a payments network that enables easy cross-border payments for financial institutions and payment providers.
Using RippleNet, Ripple claims that customers can avail benefits such as faster payments, end-to-end visibility into fees, payment status and customer information, lower capital requirements for cross-border payments and standardised connections and rules across different networks.
Ripple global operations senior vice president Eric van Miltenburg said: “In January, Ripple surpassed 200 customers on RippleNet. The company is experiencing rapid customer growth across all markets, and is launching in Brazil in response to high customer demand in South America.
“We are fortunate to have Luiz on board to expand our presence in the region and help our customers address the challenges of cross-border payments.”
Ripple claims to have more than a dozen Brazilian financial institutions and money transfer companies as clients including Santander Brazil, BeeTech and Banco Rendimento.
Sacco said: “We’re excited to grow our ecosystem in the region and bring additional financial institutions onto RippleNet to help provide excellent, efficient cross-border payment experiences for their customers.
“Brazil is a leader in fintech innovation and positioned to forge a path for the rest of Latin America to follow.”
Last year, the company launched the University Blockchain Research Initiative University Blockchain Research Initiative (UBRI) to support academic research, technical development and innovation in blockchain, cryptocurrency and digital payments.
As part of the initiative, the company has committed resources to Brazilian universities, including the University of São Paulo and Fundação Getulio Vargas.
It is working with more than 15 professors from the two universities to support academic research and technical development across disciplines including law, business and engineering.
“We believe that academic institutions will play a key role driving the blockchain industry forward. USP and FGV are innovative, forward-thinking institutions that are investing in blockchain research to explore new use cases and help prepare students for future jobs in this space,” Sacco added.