The Rise and Rise of Ripple
With Ripple, banks are able to handle international transactions much more efficiently.
Despite Ripple only gaining prominence in the last few years, Ripple, as a company has existed since 2004, though back then it was known as Ripplepay. Innovatively, at the time the team involved was already exploring options into creating a decentralized system where individuals or organizations could make their own money. Since those early days, Ripple has grown and changed shape in a number of ways, though the goal has more or less been the same.
As of today, Ripple is headed by CEO Brad Garlinghouse. Garlinghouse has a wealth of professional and technical experience previously serving as Yahoo!’s Senior Vice President, president of consumer applications at AOL, and held a board position at Ancestry.com, among many others.
The majority of the current team can be found on Ripple’s leadership page.
As a protocol, Ripple may be one of the most complex cryptocurrencies out there today. It essentially was created to make transactions between banks easier and safer. It does this by acting as an exchange where one party can send to another party through them using their cryptocurrency XRP.
Ripple’s goal is to try to remove the friction involved in making payments between different banks in an attempt to speed up transactions and make them more direct. This is an issue that is particularly frustrating when making transactions between different countries.
Ripple believes that by using a mediator such as their XRP coin they can remove this friction and increase liquidity. By doing this, transactions can happen in real-time or at least as close as possible to real time. On top of this, by making transactions more direct, Ripple believes they will reduce or even remove transaction costs entirely.
Ripple’s ability to act as an exchange makes it unparalleled in much of the cryptocurrency world, and, most importantly, in the banking world. Currently, its technology is being used to support a number of banks around the world.
Ripple’s biggest rivals are Ethereum and Bitcoin. In regards to Bitcoin, Ripple does have a number of technical advantages, but Ripple is not completely decentralized. On the other hand, Ethereum can be more widely used for decentralized applications. However, in terms of adoption by banks and financial institutions, Ripple has a clear competitive edge.
As Ripple are primarily concerned with supporting bank transactions, they have been slow in getting the XRP coin adopted by retail users. That said, supposedly 200,000 online stores now support it as a payment method. XRP can also be purchased and traded in a number of exchanges.
Ripple is hugely popular and is widely debated about within the crypto community. A number of banks already use Ripple’s xRapid solution for liquidity, and they are very confident that in 2019 a number of banks will use the cryptocurrency to process their transactions. Ripple is already being used by some of Japan’s largest banks and if they manage to continue this trend, it may see wide-scale adoption.
Valuation of Ripple (XRP/USD)
According to CoinMarketCap, as of the 22nd October, Ripple is considered the 3rd largest cryptocurrency, beaten only by Bitcoin and Ethereum. It has a market cap of $18,086,814,912 and one coin costs $0.452197. Additionally, Ripple has a max supply of 100,000,000 XRP, with 39,997,634,397 XRP in circulation and a volume of $265,615,434 USD.
Looking over the history of Ripple’s pricing, it was relatively stable during its first few years between 2014 and early 2017. However, since then it has been more volatile, shifting quite dramatically. At its peak, Ripple once reached $3.79 per XRP, on January 4th, 2018.
Ripple has successfully managed to convince banks to use its network unlike any other cryptocurrency before. This is a huge milestone, but its centralized position has alienated those in the cryptocurrency community who believe on a decentralized cryptocurrency should be adopted.
Ripple is growing carefully and cautiously and if it continues on this path, it may knock Ethereum and Bitcoin out of the picture in the near future.