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German bank Fidor was the first to use the Ripple network to allow cross-border payments, in the first part of 2014. American institutions Cross River Bank and CBW Bank quickly followed, and later on, Ripple began working with Earthport. From that point on, success followed, and more prominent banking institutions, such as HSBC and Bank of America, utilize the Ripple protocol to perform operations in astonishingly quick times. The consensus protocol validates account balances and transactions in the network, improving overall integrity by avoiding double spending. The system will automatically delete malicious advances from morally shady people looking to send one deal to multiple gateways. The consensus ledger that the Ripple system implements is versatile and fast enough that each day, more and more banks and financial institutions are adopting it as their preferred way to perform their business operations. Ripple provides an improvement on the traditional way that banks use to work. The transactions are completed, settled and registered in a matter of seconds despite the high amount of traffic that the platform experiences everyday. That is a vast improvement over, say, the Bitcoin system, which takes an average of ten minutes to complete an operation.