Brad Garlinghouse, chief executive officer of Ripple Labs Inc.

David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Brad Garlinghouse, chief executive officer of Ripple Labs Inc.

Ripple’s cryptocurrency product for cross-border payments will go live for the first time with three financial institutions.

The San-Francisco-based financial technology firm said Monday that xRapid, which uses the cryptocurrency XRP to carry out international transactions in “a matter of minutes,” is now commercially available.

It will be used by payment providers Mercury FX and Cuallix, as well as cooperative financial firm Catalyst Corporate Federal Credit Union, Ripple said. Chief Executive Brad Garlinghouse was set to announce the news at the start-up’s annual Swell conference, a two-day event attended by industry representatives, on Monday.

“I’m really excited to bring the product into the market at a time when there is a lot of skeptcism about digital assets and their real use case,” Asheesh Birla, Ripple’s senior vice president of product, told CNBC.

“Here’s something where we’re finding a ton of value and providing a ton of value to our customers using digital assets to move money more efficiently.”

Ripple says there is a distinction between it, a private company, and XRP, which is the native digital currency of an open source network known as the XRP Ledger. There has often been confusion between the two.

Of the 100 billion XRP tokens in existence, Ripple owns 60 percent. But the company has kept 55 billion of the tokens locked up in an escrow account, to “create certainty of XRP supply at any given time.” That means it only has access to 13 percent of the digital currency, according to Ripple.

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