In a world where cryptocurrencies are becoming increasingly popular, Ripple XRP has solidified its position as one of the leading cryptocurrencies in terms of market capitalisation. Even though XRP is considered to be a cryptocurrency, it is inherently different from other players out there like Bitcoin and Ethereum. To assume that Ripple XRP is the next Bitcoin will be a disastrous mistake.
Simply put, Ripple is a back-end infrastructure that supports real-time payment protocol for anything of value. This can be pretty much anything, ranging from fiat money, cryptocurrencies, and commodities, to any other unit that has a value like frequent flier miles and mobile internet data. You can think of Ripple as a technology services provider that facilitates currency exchange in real time, swiftly and efficiently.
What is Ripple?
To truly understand the beauty of Ripple and how it is already changing the way financial transactions across the world are performed, it is important to understand the concept of liquidity in international transactions.
Liquidity in a transaction is essentially the ease with which an exchange in a particular instrument or security can be performed, or the ease with which an asset can be converted into cash for withdrawal. By default, cash is the most liquid asset while real estate is the least liquid asset, mainly because it can take a long time to sell.
For domestic transactions like a sale through debit card or cheque deposits, liquidity is high since the exchanges are taking place in a single currency. However, when we consider the same for international transactions, we will notice that it is not as simple as its domestic counterpart. They face many hurdles and delays owing to currencies and country-specific regulations. There is also a variance in time and price that could very well affect the pricing on both sides of the exchange. Furthermore, international payments may take anywhere from one-five days to settle and are usually quite expensive.
That’s why, financial institutions need to pre-fund their Nostro accounts (accounts that the bank holds in foreign currency in another bank). These accounts with balances in local currencies improve liquidity and help make international transactions seamless. However, this means that at this very moment, an astounding amount is sitting dormant in these Nostro accounts across the world - capital that could be utilised more productively. Owing to the cost and complexity of maintaining these accounts, only a handful of banks can effortlessly process global transactions, while the rest have to rely on these big financial entities for processing international transactions, all of which is done for a fee.
Which is why when you want to send money from India to your nana in America, not only will it take a couple of working days, but you will have also have to pay a significant amount as the transfer fee.
This is where Ripple comes in.
Ripple protocol has been designed to perform every transaction through the cheapest price available in the market. It essentially serves as a neutral entity to facilitate transactions for financial institutions. It is based on a cryptographic, publicly shared ledger that stores all the necessary information and is powered by a network of peer-to-peer servers and its content are decided by consensus.
Instead of relying on Nostro accounts, banks and other financial institutions simply need to incorporate Ripple protocol into their own systems and watch the magic happen.
Ripple protocol provides the much-needed liquidity for a seamless transaction through an international network of financial brokers, market makers, hedge funds, or pretty much any entity that can offer their cash positions. This is just like having a global marketplace for cash. As a result, businesses need not keep funded accounts in the countries they send payments to. This also ensures that international payments do not take the conventional SWIFT trail, which is rather time-consuming, expensive and difficult to scale. In many ways, Ripple is quite similar to the age-old hawala system, except its highly digitalised and cryptographically secured.
As for Ripple XRP, it is a digital asset native to the Ripple consensus ledger and serves as an efficient way to bridge the gap between the numerous currencies that are in use worldwide. For instance, assume that you, a resident of India, want to send money to your friend in Argentina. For this to happen successfully, Indian Rupees (INR) will have to be first converted into US Dollars (the most common currency) which will then be converted into Argentine Peso.
The above process is not only time consuming, but also quite expensive owing to the fees at every step of the exchange. Ripple protocol aims to solve this problem by introducing XRP as the common currency for all international money transfers. In short, it aims to become a global settlement network for all currency exchanges at low cost and higher efficiency.
It is important to remember that Ripple XRP has been built for enterprise use as it offers banks and payment providers on-demand liquidity which, in turn, significantly lowers costs while enabling real-time cross-border payments. XRP is like a vehicle that banks use to move funds, only it is much cheaper than using the USD.
Advantages of Ripple Protocol
- Through Ripple XRP, payments can be settled in a maximum of 4 seconds in a stark contrast to other means like Bitcoin and traditional systems, which can take up to more than an hour and 3-5 working days respectively. Additionally, the transaction fee with XRP is comparatively lesser over other cryptocurrencies. The standard transaction fee when using Ripple is 0.0001 XRP, while the same in case of Bitcoin can be anywhere between $0.30 - $30.
- XRP is scalable. Presently, it handles up to 1,500 transactions per second, 24x7. This is an astounding improvement over Ethereum, which can handle up to 15 transactions per second and is well in line with Visa’s ability to handle numerous transactions.
- Ripple XRP, by improving liquidity, also makes cross-border payments in real-time cheaper and faster. This is particularly true for emerging markets, where currency exchange costs run high. This has actually enabled Ripple to enter emerging markets in countries such as India, China, and Brazil.
How many Ripple XRP are out there?
At the time of creation, the Ripple Company created 100 billion XRP initially with no provision for making any more. Of these 100 billion, 55 billion XRP have been kept into a cryptographically-secured escrow account with the provision to release 1 billion of them at the start of every month, from months 0 to 54 - roughly for a period of five years. Whatever XRP is unused at the end of each month will be added back to the queue into a new escrow account. This account will release the leftover XRP only after the previous accounts in the queue have been cleared.
As of now, roughly 38 billion Ripple XRP are in circulation. Another interesting thing about XRP is that a small amount of it is destroyed with each transaction and this amount is mentioned for every transaction.
Worldwide acceptance of Ripple
The technology behind Ripple has proven to be such a huge hit that financial institutions all around the world have already started implementing the Ripple protocol into their own systems, though the scale of its operation varies. Depending on the type of application - payment processing by banks for their customers, sourcing on-demand liquidity, and sending payments by businesses - Ripple has designed respective platforms for the aforementioned applications. Owing to its low cost and high speed, the following institutions are already a part of Ripple blockchain network:
Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Santander Group, Standard Chartered, Credit Agricole, MoneyGram, Axis Bank, American Express, Yes Bank, UniCredit, IndusInd Bank, BBVA, Currencies Direct, et cetera.
Where to buy Ripple cryptocurrency?
After Bitcoin and Ethereum, Ripple is one of the most popular cryptocurrencies out there. Therefore, it comes as no surprise to see it listed on some of the most prominent cryptocurrency exchanges in the world - Bitstamp, Kraken, Bitso, Binance, Gatehub, et cetera.
When it comes to wallets, Ripple XRP holders have plenty of options to choose from. However, the important thing to remember here is that regardless of the wallet you choose, you need to have a minimum balance of 20 XRP tokens. Without these 20 XRP tokens, you cannot get a wallet address.
Some of the most popular wallets are Gatehub, Exarpy, CoinPayments, Rippex, Toast, Ledger Nano S, et cetera. You can also look at paper wallets to eliminate any risks pertaining to hacking and malicious virus.
If you have any ambitious plans of mining ripple, you should know that it is absolutely impossible. The maximum supply of 100 billion XRP tokens are already out there.
Ripple XRP Price Trend
Just like every other prominent cryptocurrency like Bitcoin and Ether, Ripple XRP too witnessed a dramatic increase in price in the second half of 2017. However, unlike its other two counterparts wherein they have to be mined, XRP does not require any kind of mining in order to be generated. As stated earlier, 100 billion XRP have been created and that is all there ever will be, at least for the time being.
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|Jun 29, 2018||0.448354||0.458340||0.427302||0.453080||309,778,000||17,603,300,000|
|Jun 28, 2018||0.470330||0.471683||0.445750||0.448458||220,566,000||18,466,100,000|
|Jun 27, 2018||0.455551||0.472758||0.451960||0.470370||215,618,000||17,885,900,000|
|Jun 26, 2018||0.482381||0.482872||0.456001||0.456001||179,426,000||18,939,300,000|
|Jun 25, 2018||0.477106||0.491110||0.475560||0.481753||231,729,000||18,724,200,000|
|Jun 24, 2018||0.491773||0.493725||0.450048||0.477380||369,520,000||19,299,800,000|
|Jun 21, 2018||0.539228||0.547007||0.530697||0.534775||194,312,000||21,162,200,000|
|Jun 20, 2018||0.549738||0.550554||0.525859||0.539286||256,920,000||21,574,600,000|
|Jun 19, 2018||0.538614||0.558059||0.534595||0.549621||255,400,000||21,138,100,000|
|Jun 18, 2018||0.528820||0.547794||0.511833||0.537495||276,527,000||20,753,700,000|
|Jun 17, 2018||0.535536||0.538881||0.525215||0.528216||166,028,000||21,017,300,000|
|Jun 16, 2018||0.537106||0.539293||0.523588||0.534784||202,682,000||21,078,900,000|
|Jun 15, 2018||0.560062||0.560062||0.534301||0.537707||241,685,000||21,979,800,000|
|Jun 14, 2018||0.535435||0.570590||0.526614||0.561306||379,825,000||21,012,800,000|
|Jun 13, 2018||0.562845||0.564642||0.517036||0.534663||359,865,000||22,088,500,000|
|Jun 12, 2018||0.602136||0.602139||0.556653||0.562933||309,544,000||23,630,400,000|
|Jun 11, 2018||0.586198||0.604066||0.568721||0.604066||336,547,000||23,004,900,000|
|Jun 10, 2018||0.659514||0.659514||0.561237||0.588126||492,555,000||25,882,200,000|
|Jun 09, 2018||0.674778||0.678893||0.659755||0.659755||175,990,000||26,481,200,000|
|Jun 08, 2018||0.677586||0.679668||0.660804||0.674343||221,887,000||26,591,400,000|
|Jun 07, 2018||0.675313||0.688223||0.673146||0.678128||244,568,000||26,500,300,000|
|Jun 06, 2018||0.677901||0.681668||0.660059||0.674797||273,966,000||26,601,900,000|
|Jun 05, 2018||0.661898||0.683840||0.641428||0.677015||386,328,000||25,973,900,000|
|Jun 04, 2018||0.692466||0.703623||0.644603||0.661425||558,131,000||27,173,400,000|
|Jun 03, 2018||0.643412||0.673594||0.640891||0.671205||327,804,000||25,248,500,000|
|Jun 02, 2018||0.623462||0.648982||0.619477||0.643451||315,206,000||24,465,600,000|
|Jun 01, 2018||0.612893||0.624824||0.609069||0.623364||263,088,000||24,019,200,000|
|May 31, 2018||0.603452||0.621636||0.596089||0.612622||283,328,000||23,649,300,000|
|May 30, 2018||0.603769||0.627679||0.590058||0.605817||320,605,000||23,661,700,000|
|May 29, 2018||0.556084||0.610749||0.551635||0.601241||380,744,000||21,792,900,000|
|May 28, 2018||0.608368||0.609781||0.552299||0.552299||327,903,000||23,841,900,000|
|May 27, 2018||0.612040||0.612884||0.603328||0.607881||186,963,000||23,985,800,000|
|May 26, 2018||0.610118||0.626494||0.603800||0.612708||213,242,000||23,910,500,000|
|May 25, 2018||0.632924||0.636208||0.603334||0.611001||289,816,000||24,804,300,000|
|May 24, 2018||0.599207||0.640258||0.589272||0.631997||440,533,000||23,482,900,000|
Another fact to consider here is that a significant chunk of it is held by the Ripple Company, which means that they can technically flood the market with massive amounts of their XRP to keep the price under control.
Nonetheless, the spike in price that took the world by surprise was driven primarily by the growing popularity of cryptocurrencies. As the price of Bitcoin surged in late 2017, so did the price of other cryptocurrencies like Ether and Ripple.
Until April 2017, 1 Ripple XRP was valued to be at around $0.05. In May, the price went up to $0.31 and it stayed on this wavelength till the end of the year, when the cryptocurrency recorded a five-fold increase. On December 31, 2017, 1 XRP was equivalent to $2.28 and by the end of the first week of January 2018, the same was valued at $3.40. The price increased tenfold in a matter of months, thus giving much better returns than the traditional investments out there. However, just like other cryptocurrencies out there, the rally did not last for long and the price came down soon after achieving record highs. At the time of writing this article, 1 XRP is equivalent to $0.55.
Since Ripple is essentially a technology services provider, the ideal thing would be to have the company listed on stock exchanges like NASDAQ and NYSE, and then benefit from the company’s growth. The company is already profitable, which is partly owing to its XRP sale. As more and more banks become a part of the Ripple network to solve their cross-border payment problems, we can expect the Ripple Company to become more profitable.
Risks associated with investing in Ripple
Ripple XRP is definitely different compared to the other players out there. Its blockchain technology is being adopted by some of the leading financial institutions across the world and it serves as one of the few legitimate competitors to the existing financial system. It is already changing the way we move money around the world and in the coming years, we may very well be in for a massive overhaul of international transaction systems. However, for this to happen, a lot of things have to go right for the Ripple Company.
Coming to the Ripple XRP tokens, unless you run a financial institution, there are not that many practical uses of owning XRP. This token solely serves as an efficient way for banks to move money around in different currencies. Therefore, for an average man to get some value out of Ripple XRP, the only feasible way would be through cryptocurrency exchanges, although as we have seen, it is highly volatile and precarious.
Therefore, instead of risking your hard-earned money in these volatile cryptocurrencies, it is better to take the safe way and invest in legal, safe instruments such as mutual funds. It does not require a lot of effort and additionally, it generates steady returns in the long run. Furthermore, it is not subjected to legal issues and controversies like Bitcoin and other decentralised virtual currencies out there.
Ripple (XRP) News and Developments
Ripple has been one of the most popular cryptocurrency projects in the world, primarily because of it real-world applications. Its technology and protocol has been adopted by several prominent financial institutions in the world. Most recently, payment provider TransferGo has decided to use Ripple’s services and infrastructure for real-time transactions.
Ripple has also ramped up its investments in the blockchain space. In June 2018, it launched the University Blockchain Research Initiative Program with 17 premier universities from across the world. The idea behind this program is to promote and support academic research, innovation, projects, and technical developments in the field of blockchain technology, cryptocurrency, and digital payments. It will be donating a total of $50 million to the cause.
The company has also invested in Blockchain Capital for the same purpose. It invested a total of $25 million in XRP to boost businesses and applications built on blockchain technology.
Considering the price of Ripple XRP token, it has been going down ever since the cryptocurrency bubble collapsed in February 2018. After reaching its high above the $3 mark, the price descended back to its previous levels below the $0.8 mark. The price continued to fall gradually and eventually, it went below the half dollar mark.
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