Will the waves generated by Ripple continue into 2019? Of all the crypto-based projects making noise in 2018, Ripple and XRP coin have arguably been the loudest. Moving up both in terms of value and brand awareness, they are bidding to not only become the leading crypto company but change the face of banking. A lofty goal, indeed, However, as Ripple has proved already, it’s not impossible.
A Bad Year for All Isn’t So Bad for Ripple and XRP
At the start of 2018, XRP, which forms the basis of Ripple’s payment platforms, was among the top ten highest valued coins. Like Bitcoin (BTC) and every other major altcoin, 2017’s boom took the price of XRP beyond realistic expectations. However, the return to normality actually seemed to benefit this coin. By the close of the year, XRP had surpassed Ethereum (ETH) in terms of market cap to become the second most valuable crypto. In fact, as Forbes contributor Naeem Aslam has noted, XRP lost 50% of its value in 2018, while BTC and ETH lost 75% and 88% respectively. With that being the case, he and many others now see it as the strongest of the top three coins.
Fueling the digital token’s recent run of success was a string of innovations from Ripple. After convincing the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that XRP isn’t a security, the company debuted xRapid. Having previously teased investors with news of successful private trials of the payment platform, the software eventually went live in October. Essentially the crypto-based version of the already successful xCurrent, Ripple is now working to migrate major banking partners such as Santander to the XRP-powered network.
Partnerships and Scale Could Pay Dividends for Ripple Payment Platform
By offering a way to process cross-border payments faster and at a significantly lower cost, Ripple has won partnerships with MoneyGram, American Express, Turkey’s Akbank and more. Beyond its external growth, the community supporting Ripple and XRP has strengthened this year too. Compared to other emerging projects, more people with more stakeholders are working to make Ripple the industry leader.
However, it’s not all been smooth sailing – and neither will it be heading into 2019. For Ripple and XRP to stamp their dominance on the market, a few things will have to happen. Firstly, a listing on Coinbase will be almost necessary. Although other exchanges are putting up big numbers, the average novice will likely default to Coinbase when they want to buy Bitcoin and altcoins.
In tandem with a listing on Coinbase, Ripple will want to win favor with Goldman Sachs if it decides to enter the crypto market. With greater exposure and accessibility will come more investment. However, that will count for nothing if the project can’t scale. As we’ve seen with Ethereum this year, scaling is a problem across the industry. As impressive as xRapid is, it will need to increase its capacity if it wants to become the default payment method for banks. According to its website, Ripple can handle 1,500 transactions per second and can be scaled to match the same throughput as Visa (around 24,000 transactions per second). However, what investors will want to see is that type of volume being handled consistently on a commercial basis. If Ripple can do that in 2019, XRP has a real shot at dethroning Bitcoin and becoming the top crypto.
*Information in this article should not be taken as investment advice.
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