San Francisco based startup Ripple (XRP) is not making headlines like Facebook’s Libra. However, its cryptocurrency XRP is slowly creeping into the financial world, helping make global payments faster, easier and cheaper.
What does XRP achieve?
XRP is the third-largest digital currency in the world and aims to solve a huge problem in making low-cost transactions with improved speed and cost-efficiency. The company is working with several traditional banking institutions and leverages the RippleNet to provide its customers blockchain-based payments solution, with or without using cryptocurrencies.
While XRP’s prices have remained disappointingly low this year, this has happened in a bullish market where the price of Bitcoin has more than doubled. Bitcoin now dominates a larger share of the market, and its value is thousands of dollars, compared to the sub $1 valuation of XRP.
Can XRPs or altcoins third largest make it?
While XRP has been one of the most successful altcoins in the world, especially when it comes to creating a solid real-world use case, its success hasn’t reflected in its price. If institutions use traditional banking systems, they take as many as five days to complete a transaction. Bitcoin takes it many notches ahead by completing transactions anywhere in the world in 10 minutes. However, Ripple can complete a transaction within just four seconds and is more scalable than Bitcoin.
But what makes XRP so efficient is exactly what makes it controversial. Since its inception, the project has positioned itself as pro-banking while Bitcoin has been highly averse of the traditional financial institutions. XRP is also highly centralized, compared to Bitcoin, where numerous developers work on an open-source project. This characteristic brings it closer to the likes of Facebook’s Libra- a new blockchain/payments project that will unleash the power of cryptocurrencies for over 2 billion users across the globe.
XRP’s status as security has also been debated for years. Moreover, investors have gone so far ahead as to sue the company for dumping XRP in the market and keeping prices low. They suggest that most other prominent cryptocurrencies have made at least slim gains in the current bull market while XRP ended up losing value while continuing its role as the third-largest crypto. Note that Ripple holds a significant amount of XRP, making it even more centralized.
The role of XRP is debatable, but there is no doubt that the coin has made a solid mark in the world of innovative finance.