Earthport Launches ‘Distributed Ledger Hub’ to Connect Clients to the Ripple Network

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UK-based payment network Earthport has launched the Distributed Ledger Hub (DLH), a point of access that takes the form of an API aimed at providing banks with full connectivity into the Ripple network.

Building on Earthport’s Distributed Ledger Gateway, the DLH aims to provide clients with full access to the benefits of blockchain technology “at minimal effort and cost,” through a single API.

Hank Uberoi, a former head of Goldman Sach’s global technology systems now CEO of Earthport, said in a release that his firm was planning to add more ledgers to the list upon consultation with its clients.

“It is our belief that there may be different ledgers that gain traction over time – some will have a regional affiliation, and some may be more aligned by industry sector,” Uberoi said. “Banks will need to have access to a growing universe of different ledgers to serve their own clients, further complicating their technical roadmaps.”

Earthport, which seeks to help accelerate the adoption and implementation of distributed ledger technology in the banking industry, said that the API is intended to “allow banks to swiftly move into this new world of payments” without the need to establish their own infrastructure or make any heavy investment in compliance and operational requirements.

Prior to the hub, Earthport teamed up with Ripple in August 2015 to allow nearly real-time cross-border payments as part of its mission as to provide the “fastest payments possible.”

At the time, Uberoi said that the company “has experienced significant interest in this protocol,” noting that the Ripple network allowed Earthport to provide its clients with major benefits that include immediate transaction settlement and reduced counterparty risk.

Yesterday, in an interview with Forbes, Chris Larsen, CEO of Ripple, said that he expects banks to be active in blockchain innovation this year.

Larsen said:

“Banks get a lot of criticism, but they aren’t resting on their laurels. They all have active innovation groups and they’re focused on new things like blockchain. A lot of innovation comes out of fintech, but it is sometimes overblown. When you have the full stack, you end up looking like a bank.”

2016 is expected to follow the trend set in 2015, a year throughout which we’ve seen the formation of a number of consortiums aimed at developing blockchain-based infrastructures, predominantly for the financial and banking industry.

The biggest collaboration to date is led by New York-based fintech firm R3CEV and aims to create a set of standards for the use of distributed ledger technology in the banking industry. Backed by 30 major financial institutions, R3CEV is currently developing an open-sourced, generic blockchain, which is expected to start operating in 2016.

In December 2015, the Linux Foundation welcomed the Hyperledger project, a collaborative initiative gathering some of the world’s largest tech firms and financial institutions, that aims to create an enterprise grade, open source blockchain dedicated to support business transactions.

2015 was also the year of Ripple, which has been gaining ground and attracting numerous banks including Westpac, ANZ, and CBA, which are all reportedly testing out the technology for domestic and international payments.