One can say that cryptocurrencies are the digital gold of 21st century and one wouldn’t be wrong. From the start of this year, we experienced a rapid growth of the cryptocurrency market.
Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency to start the growth rally followed by Ethereum.
But since last week, Litecoin and IOTA showed the most potential for gaining ground.
One other cryptocurrency is gaining ground more rapidly than other since the last couple of days. And it is none other than one of my favorite cryptocurrencies, Ripple.
It has grown so rapidly during these two days that it has been able to claim back its fourth position in terms of market cap. As cryptocurrency enthusiasts, it’s our duty to unravel the mystery behind this recent surge. So without further ado, let’s find out the cause.
WHAT IS RIPPLE?
Ripple is an open source peer to peer cryptocurrency that wants to revolutionize our payment methods. That is why Ripple is not only a cryptocurrency protocol but also a real-time gross settlement and remittance system.
The Ripple project wants to deal away with our current RTGS method with their blockchain based solution. The project first started back in 2012 making it one of the first few projects in the field of the blockchain. Since then a lot has changed.
Our payment methods are extremely slow, for an overseas payment it can take as much as 5 days to settle. That is quite unreasonable for a life that so fast paced like ours. While we are sending data from one point of the world to another literally at the speed of life, our payment methods are still something from the last century.
And Ripple is here to change that once and for all.
Ripple doesn’t use PoW to verify transactions like other popular cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum etc. Instead, it uses a consensus mechanism which is extremely fast and convenient.
This allows Ripple to settle transactions within 4 seconds – how about that!
Compare that to the speed of transaction of the Bitcoin network which takes about 45-60 minutes to go through.
Or Ethereum, which has an average transaction speed of 5 minutes. But due to the recent congestion in both Ethereum and Bitcoin networks, these numbers have increased even further.
SERVICES PROVIDED BY RIPPLE
Ripple mainly provides three types of service to their commercial customers.
- xCurrent – Using this service banks can use Ripple’s blockchain technology to process payments (both overseas and domestic) for their customer.
- xRapid – The xRapid service allows payment providers to source on-demand liquidity.
- xVia – xVia is specifically designed for businesses. This allows businesses to handle payments using RippleNet.
WHY ARE BANKS INTERESTED IN RIPPLE?
Commercial banks are here for one purpose only – business. So history is evident that whenever a new technology has been invented dramatically reducing bank’s costs they have adopted it.
And Ripple is one such technology of this age. Using Ripple’s xCurrent service banks and corporates can settle payments within seconds. Not only this but using xCurrent will also reduce the cost by quite some margin.
Right now doing an overseas transaction requires the payment to go through several partner banks before reaching the destination bank. This is extremely inefficient and costly as the partner banks take their fees and there is the cost of exchange also.
But Ripple does this all for you for fraction of the cost by getting rid of the partner banks. Using RippleNet two banks can create a safe passage between them and maintain decentralized ledgers to quickly carry out transactions. For a normal Ripple transaction, the fee is only a few cents.
Plus Ripple uses dynamic exchanging techniques that allows one to exchange their currency to another at the best rate possible. So, if at one point the best rate for exchanging USD to INR can be had by exchanging USD to GBP then to INR, Ripple will take that path.
Apart from this, Ripple is also extremely secure, eco-friendly, reliable and moreover provides resources to track funds in real-time also audit efficiently.
That is why big banks, financial institutions, and corporates from all over the world like SBI, Standard Chartered, Axis Bank, UBS, UniCredit, Santander etc are either commercially using Ripple and XRP or testing out the technology.
REASONS FOR THE RECENT PRICE SURGE
Ripple has grown quite a lot in this year. But the most notable surges happened during May and the last couple of days. Both XRP’s price and market cap have grown around 12000% in this year alone!
Currently, XRP has a market cap of $30 billion while one XRP costs about 79 cents on an average.
I believe that the recent surge in XRP’s price is not caused by just one reason alone. But it is the combined effect of several reasons that got the investors and speculators really excited. I have tried my best to sum them all up.
With recent price we can say that Ripple may soon reach $1 mark in coming weeks. That’s what we have been saying to our readers.
SUCCESSFUL TRIALS ALL OVER THE WORLD
As I mentioned above a lot of financial institutions all around the globe are extremely excited about using Ripple and XRP. Just a few weeks back Axis Bank of India successfully implemented RippleNet to allow its customers to get instant payment from UAE’s RakBank and Standard Chartered’s Malaysia branches.
There are more successful trials like this happening every day and this reason alone is enough to make people invest in Ripple, thus increasing the price.
PARTNERSHIP WITH AMERICAN EXPRESS
Asian and European banks were the most optimistic about Ripple until Amex joined in. This new partnership opened up a new horizon for both Ripple and American Exchange customers.
American Exchange now allows its corporate customers to carry out instant payments to businesses in the UK that bank with Santander. This news also got a lot of people excited because American Express is one of the most renowned names in the field of banking in both America and worldwide.
JAPANESE AND SOUTH KOREAN BANKS’ COMMERCIAL TRIAL
SBI Holding and SBI Ripple Asia together have gathered 61 important banks of Japan to create Japan Bank Consortium. These banks are already on track to make them “Ripple” ready.
These banks from Japan and more banks from South Korea carried out trials using RippleNet and they will be continuing to do so for a month or so.
This event had a huge impact on cryptocurrency investors from Japan and Korea, who flooded cryptocurrency exchanges from that region like Korbit, Bithumb, Koinone etc with XRP buy orders.
HEDGE FUND ANNOUNCEMENT
On November 28th longtime cryptocurrency investor and founder of TechCrunch Michael Arrington showed his support for Ripple buy creating a $100 million hedge fund completely denominated in XRP.
Michael announced the hedge fund called Arrington XRP Capital at the Consensus Invest event in New York.
He reasoned that using a cryptocurrency for a hedge fund is particularly useful because then people will not have to convert their cryptocurrency assets back into fiat currency to invest.
Moreover, a cryptocurrency like XRP will allow even foreign investors to contribute to the fund without paying heavy fees and make the experience easier for everyone.
Michael also committed to also pay the fees and salaries using XRP as it will make them “better investors”. This hedge fund surely drove everyone crazy and made them hold on to their XRP.
People with a greater risk appetite have started seeing Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as potential investments. Especially investing in cryptocurrencies and trading them have become quite trendy in the youth generation.
Now that Bitcoin has become extremely expensive and gone out of the reach of most people, they are searching for alternate promising cryptocurrencies. And Ripple surely is one of them.
SPECULATION INVOLVING COINBASE
Another speculation is doing round that Coinbase is soon going to add Ripple to their cryptocurrency portal. In an interview with CNBC, even the CEO of Coinbase Brian Armstrong said that his company was going to add some promising new cryptocurrencies to their exchange.
Ripple can obviously be one if their requirements for a promising cryptocurrency include popularity, real use case and great market cap and volume.
Some Daniel Cohen has also started an online petition on Change.org to request Coinbase to add Ripple to their portal. The petition has already reached 16,612 signatures out of the 25,000 required.
The only thing I find amusing about the petition is that the petitioner is requesting donations to his BTC address.
FINAL WORDS – SHOULD YOU BUY RIPPLE?
Coinsuggest refrains from advising investors from investing in any specific cryptocurrency. Because cryptocurrency investments are extremely risky. But we try our best to present all the useful information to help you make educated choices.
I personally think Ripple is a great project and it has the potential to become the next Bitcoin. You can read my full analysis of Ripple and 2018 price prediction.