Ripple, the San Francisco-based digital currency network operator, has opened a headquarters in London in a move to leverage growing demand in Europe.

Daniel Aranda, Ripple's newly appointed managing director of Europe, will relocate from the company's headquarters in California to lead the London office that opened this month. Most of Ripple's partners are based in Europe, such as the Santander Group in Spain, which last October invested several million dollars in the company, and Ripple said it continues to see a strong customer interest regionally for its cross-currency settlement solutions.

Europe is "unique" as an established global financial center that leads the industry in its embrace of new technologies and modernizing its banking infrastructure, Aranda said.

"We see enormous potential here," Aranda added. "European banks are proving to be first adopters of distributed financial technology and, in particular, Ripple's solutions."

A prominent startup in the field of distributed-ledger technology, Ripple now has four offices in four cities globally, including Sydney and New York. Observing "tremendous traction" for its real-time transaction settlement protocol in the Asia-Pacific region, the firm last year established a subsidiary, Ripple APAC, in Sydney, said Ripple CEO and co-founder Chris Larsen.

"[A]nd we're looking forward to similarly rapid growth in Europe starting with the new office in London," said Larsen, who called England's capital "one of the most important financial centers of the world."

In his new role, Aranda is tasked in part with building local sales and an implementation team, working with the recently hired Patricia Pittomvils as sales director of Europe. Pittomvils has a 10-year background in global payments infrastructure at companies such as Clear2Pay, Fundtech and VocaLink, and she was a regional sales manager at Swift for 10 years.

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