January 14, 2019
Name of Token: XRP (XRP)
Leadership: Brad Garlinghouse
Token Ecosystem: RippleNet
Main Use Case: Payment
Market Cap: $15,455,650,995 USD (January 10th, 2019)
Volume: $493,621,030 (January 10th, 2019)
Price: $0.378870 (January 10th, 2019)
Circulation Supply: 40,794,121,066 XRP
Total Supply: 99,991,724,864 XRP
History of the XRP Token:
Ripple is a real-time gross settlement system, currency exchange, and remittance network created by Ripple Labs Inc., a US-based tech company. Released in 2012, Ripple’s intention is to enable “secure, instant, and nearly free global financial transactions of any size with no chargebacks”.
Unlike most crypto-related projects, Ripple has settled into a niche by looking to implement their product within legacy institutions and improve on their existing infrastructures rather than attempting to displace them. Their novel trust-based consensus model allows for the transmission of any arbitrary asset across the RippleNet. However, as their system cannot guarantee the delivery of these assets, they created a native token (XRP) which provides full guarantees of on-chain settlement within seconds.
Ripple operates as both a platform and a crypto. The XRP token acts as the currency for a larger platform that allows free use for users to create their own networks via RippleNet, a network of institutional payment-providers (mostly connected to banks and money service businesses) that use Ripple-developed solutions to provide a frictionless experience of global money transfer.
Based around a shared public ledger, the XRP Ledger, Ripple uses a consensus model to allow payments, exchanges, and remittance in a distributed process. Ripple is decentralized as the network can be fully operational without the need for the company itself. Amongst its validators are companies, ISPs, and MIT (the Massachusetts Institute of Technology). Its native cryptocurrency XRP, is the third largest coin by market capitalization.
Having gained incredible traction in late 2017 and early 2018, Ripple has since been on a steady decline. The token reached its all-time high of $3.86 USD on January 4th 2018, and reaching a low of $.89 USD only 12 days later. On January 21st, Ripple returned to normal by reaching $1.43 USD on January 21st. While the valuation rollercoaster is directly linked to the hype and potential built around Ripple in its early days as well as adoption for testing by a number of banks around the world, the potential for Ripple to expand its network and establish itself as a viable system for international money transfers is very real.
Industry Case Studies:
Ripple’s integration to traditional banking networks is seamless. The platform can process up to 1,000 transactions per second, settling international payments in three seconds on average – which is much faster than doing so with a traditional money sending service like Western Union.
Ripple is also widely used for domestic payments in countries like Japan, but has also been adopted by a large number of global banks in the aim of facilitating international transfers. Banks charge anywhere upwards of $25, plus a meaty forex spread, for international transfers – which makes small remittance payments financially impractical. Furthermore, it has been estimated that the average international money transfer will go through an average of five intermediaries before reaching its recipient. Ripple eliminates these obstacles and provides a frictionless and hassle-free cross-border payment system that benefits both the banks and their customers.
As far as any practical applications of an XRP token for use by a regular person, there are not many. When looking at Ripple (XRP) as a component of the global payments industry, its potential to disrupt and to better existing transfer systems and how money moves globally, it is clear that we will be hearing much more about Ripple in 2019.
Major Partnerships, News, and Notable Achievements:
XRP made headlines earlier this year as the news of its transactions crossing that of VISA at twice the rate spread with equal momentum. These updates reported that XRP could deal with a processing of 50,000 transactions per second against VISA’s 24,000 transactions per second.
In November 2018, the third largest bank in Southeast Asia, CIMB Bank, joined RippleNet to benefit from its low-cost transfers. They also announced the launch of a new Ripple pilot with Woori Bank and Shinhan Bank, two of Korea’s largest banks. This is a great addition to their considerable list of partners, which includes the Japan Bank Consortium – a coalition of 61 banks in Japan.
In late 2018, the National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) announced it would launch the NBK Direct Remit service to provide customers with speedy and cost-efficient remittance payments using Ripple’s technology. However, the bank will not be adopting the XRP token for now, and is launching the service exclusively in Jordan. Despite these small setbacks, this is a major step for the blockchain fintech as it is the first real-world application of its system.
This large network of adopters on the RippleNet are part of what the San Francisco company is describing as their “Internet of Value” vision of providing “seamless global transfers”.
Ripple provides customers and legacy institutions with a platform that facilitates real-time gross settlement system, currency exchange, and remittance payments. By increasing adoption, which they have been doing successfully, Ripple is quickly establishing itself as a viable option for global cross-border transfers.
However, the main challenges faced by XRP will be stern tests for Ripple in this new year. First, many feel that XRP is too centralized as it is controlled by Ripple Labs who is estimated to hold over 55% of the total token supply stashed in escrow. And second, the debate over whether XRP should be considered a security is still raging, and if it is deemed so, XRP will be subject to a considerable amount of regulation and scrutiny from the SEC.
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