Xago, a Cape Town-based blockchain startup company, announced today the launch of its Ripple (XRP) gateway and custom-built exchange for South Africa. The exchange connects to and utilizes RippleNet to trade, send and receive XRP only, the native digital asset used by Ripple.

Incubated out of CiTi’s Bandwidth Barn Xago was founded by Jurgen Kuhnel (CEO), Sonya Kuhnel (COO) and Mark Chirnside (Chairman) in 2016.

“By solving the double-spending problem the Bitcoin blockchain opened up digital peer-to-peer payments without the need for a trusted 3rd party through the process of mining. Ripple took this one step further and built a faster and more cost-effective decentralized ledger to compete in the high throughput and fast clearing retail and banking environments.”
– Xago CEO, Jurgen Kuhnel

Once the exchange has sufficient liquidity, Xago will launch its payment switch which connects to the retailers through their existing hardware and software systems.

Where Xago is utilized, it will replace the need for acquirers and card networks for retailers, and with the use of RippleNet and XRP enable cross-border payments in the future.

Consumers will be able to pay for goods and transact at the point of sale using only their mobile and mobile number, bypassing traditional payment rails.

Xago’s mobile number based identity system is built to connect mobile devices, the blockchain, and retailers in one seamless experience.

Together with significantly lower transaction fees, the Xago platform is gearing to compete in the high stakes retail environment. This will enable clients to create new and innovative products that will ultimately benefit the end consumer.

“This is no small step on the journey of Xago.io. With this launch and with the welcomed constructive approach we take with regulatory compliance and best practice, this platform holds the promise to reduce cost and friction, at a very interesting time in the payments arena. Personally I am honoured to be involved as an investor and as Chairman.”
– Xago Chairman, Mark Chirnside

In late 2018, Xago received investment from African Technology Investments Ltd. It has spent the first half of 2019 setting up operations and engaging with the regulators and the broader ecosystem to build a product that will add value to clients and comply with regulations going forward.

The company has a broad vision for payments across Africa and plans to expand services into other markets in the future.

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