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Compared to its peers, Bitcoin and Ethereum, Ripple has the wealthiest community in terms of project support. There is no doubt that throughout this year, Ripple has shown that it can bring the biggest names to its list of followers.
At the same time, the team has worked hard to get banks to integrate their systems. But there is still a lot of work that needs to be done if Ripple really wants its technology fully integrated into the banking system.
Analyst Patrick Tan from BBN Times says that for the most of the years of its existence, Ripple, a San Francisco-based company claimed to one-up this inefficient and sometimes archaic system by leveraging the blockchain technology underpinning Bitcoin to create what it called the “internet of value.”
Ripple, in the crypto sphere is a veritable institution in that sense. It has survived numerous cryptocurrency routs and is just slightly younger than Bitcoin itself and far older than Ethereum. From late Fall last year to early January this year, Ripple saw an enormous 1,300% jump in the value of its digital token, with many hopping aboard the Ripple train on the basis that unlike other cryptocurrencies, Ripple had a narrowly defined purpose and a clear utility — to help banks move cash from one point to another faster and more cheaply — particularly across borders.
Then there’s RippleNet, which is targeted at the Brussels-based Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication — better known as SWIFT — a messaging system used for the control of money flows across the planet. SWIFT was famously hacked (several times) and today connects around 11,000 financial companies.
RippleNet doesn’t need Ripple’s digital token XRP to work, but it was hoped that XRP would become a key ingredient in the mix. For instance as an intermediary currency akin to the dollar. Today if you want to convert Afghan afghanis to South Korean won, you’d first need to swap out to dollars — the idea being that XRP could serve as that bridge.
We already wrote of how Changpeng Zhao, Binance’s CEO confirmed that they are adding XRP as a base pair. As this news broke, XRP began to surge, finding legs as Zhao made the aforementioned announcement. At the time of writing, Ripple’s go-to asset is currently valued at $0.44 a pop, moving 11.5% higher on the back of the Binance news alone.
Ripple Will be Adopted by Banks Soon
Ripple’s CEO Brad Garlinghouse said that the future of Ripple is bright as many banks will be using the XRP ledger by the end of 2019. The XRP ledger is an open-source codebase that can perform over 1,500 transactions in every second. It requires the XRP coin.
“I have said it before that by the end of 2019, the xRapid ledger will be a significant tool in banks around the world. Before 2019 comes to an end, I believe that dozens of banks will embrace Ripple.”
Now, with its adding to Binance, as far as market cap rankings, the addition of XRP base pairs may help widen the ~$2 B gap that already exists between XRP and ETH, putting XRP more firmly in the second place position behind Bitcoin. If one of the main arguments against fiat currencies is central bank manipulation, the same argument can be used against Ripple as well.
2018 as the Year of Howling Success
If we look at some of the best moments of 2018 for Ripple and the XRP that is used by some of its products (such as xRapid) we have to start from January when Ripple announced that IDT corporation and MercuryFX would join MoneyGram and Cuallix in taking part in pilot studies of xRapid. Just three days after that, Japanese financial services giant SBI Holdings announced that its upcoming crypto exchange SBI Virtual Currencies would be supporting only one cryptoasset at launch: XRP.
In February Ripple announced that Lianlian International, a leading Chinese money service had joined RippleNet, and would be using xCurrent to power cross-border transactions between China, the U.S., and Europe. Also, the same month Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) had signed an agreement with Ripple to help banks in the KSA improve their payments infrastructure using xCurrent.
In March Ripple announced that the Japan Bank Consortium (JBC) would release smartphone application “MoneyTap” powered by Ripple’s blockchain technology. Also, the same month was the first for Cory Johnson, a former anchor and editor-at-large for Bloomberg Television, as Ripple’s Chief Market Strategist.
In April, more than a handful of banks have signed up to the network and Ripple has even managed to sell equity stakes in itself to Standard Chartered and Banco Santander. But of the over 100 banks which have signed up, only Swedish bank Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken is moving commercial payments over to RippleNet.
In May, Coinone Transfer, a payments business and a subsidiary of South Korean crypto exchange Coinone, joined RippleNet to use xCurrent. Also, they announced Xpring, a new initiative that is investing in companies and projects run by proven entrepreneurs.
In June Ripple introduced the University Blockchain Research Initiative (UBRI), “a collaboration with top universities around the world to support and accelerate academic research, technical development and innovation in blockchain, cryptocurrency and digital payments.”
July was significant for David Schwartz, who had been appointed to Chief Technology Officer (CTO). In Augustm, Ripple named three exchange partners for xRapid: Bittrex would “act as the preferred digital asset exchange for xRapid transactions that move through US Dollars;” Bitso and Coins.ph would be the preferred exchanges for Mexican Pesos and Philippine Pesos respectively.
In September, Ripple confirmed that Saudi Arabia’s National Commercial Bank(NCB), the country’s first bank, had joined RippleNet. Also, they announced that Siam Commercial Bank (SCB) would be “the first financial institution on RippleNet to pioneer a key feature called ‘multi-hop’, which allows them to settle frictionless payments on behalf of other financial institutions on the network.”
With xRapid Becoming Commercially Available, Ripple Highlighted Record Year
In October Ripple announced that arguably the biggest news of the year for anyone who has invested in XRP: xRapid had finally become commercially available and moved into production with MercuryFX, Cuallix, and Catalyst Corporate Federal Credit Union. On November 14th, Ripple announced that it had a new strategic partner: CIMB Group.
Last news came just a day ago when Philippines-based pawn-broker and remittance firm Cebuana Lhuillier said that they will be making use of RippleNet products to aid its presence in the remittances industry. The company will utilize xCurrent: a new enterprise software solution (developed by Ripple) that aims to provide an easy and efficient means for processing cross-border settlement and end-to-end communication and tracking.
“Using xCurrent will improve efficiency on how we provide service to our clients. This will also highlight Cebuana Lhuillier’s commitment to further innovate and evolve—true to our reputation as best-in-class in our industry,” said Jean Henri Lhuillier, CEO and President of Cebuana Lhuillier.
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