Ripple’s XRP is doing better than ever and continues to make waves in the cryptocurrency industry. After a week of trading in the low $0.20 range, the currency’s market cap briefly exceeded that of Ethereum, while its price jumped up by roughly 74 percent following the announcement of its latest product xRapid. The price has subsequently fallen and stands around $0.51 today.
A Little Background
Ripple’s currency has been the subject of hot debate over the past several months. On one hand, the asset has stood as the cryptocurrency industry’s third-largest entity for quite some time, after bitcoin and Ethereum. In addition, Ripple claims its currency will be 100 percent legit thanks to its continued banking partnerships and relations with traditional institutions.
At the same time, there has also been some controversy at the helm. For example, representatives of Coinbase, one of the world’s largest digital currency exchanges, have stated that despite the token’s size, strength and popularity, traders should never expect to see XRP listed on its trading platform due to its alleged position as a security token.
Though CEO Brad Garlinghouse has consistently asked Coinbase to list the currency, figures like Brad Armstrong and other executives behind the exchange state that they cannot offer anything that may be subject to Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) laws in the future.
A Few More Problems
Recently, Ripple was the subject of a class action lawsuit filed in San Francisco by Ryan Coffey, an investor in XRP. Coffey alleged that XRP is primarily a security thanks to the way it’s been handled and distributed in the past, and thus it is in violation of various securities laws.
In addition, Ripple still owns more than half of the world’s total XRP, suggesting that the currency is not fully decentralized. This could also lead to issues with Coinbase and other exchanges looking to list it for traders.
Trying to Move Forward
Nevertheless, Ripple isn’t allowing these little barricades to get in the way of its progress. Executives have announced that within the next month, they plan to release a new product known as “xRapid,” which is designed to assist payment providers and other financial institutions looking to minimize their liquidity costs and improve their customers’ experiences. In other words, it helps banks speed up payments by using XRP and makes things easier for their clients.
Ripple’s website states:
“Payments into emerging markets often require pre-funded local currency accounts around the world. Liquidity costs are high; xRapid dramatically lowers the capital requirements for liquidity.”
Sagar Sarbhai, head of regulatory relations for Ripple’s Asia-Pacific and Middle East divisions, commented:
“I am very confident that in the next month or so, you will see some good news coming in where we launch the product live into production.”
Differences in Products
Ripple’s main product is known as xCurrent. Unlike xRapid, it doesn’t require the use of XRP. Lucas Nuzzi, director of technology at Digital Asset Research, however, states:
“xRapid on the other hand, leverages communication systems to allow institutions to settle inter-bank transactions using the XRP digital asset. The use of XRP is mandatory with this product.”
Growing the XRP Empire
Ripple has managed to secure a network of approximately 120 financial partners, including Western Union, Santander and MoneyGram. The company is set to hold its Swell conference on October first and second in San Francisco, where speakers ranging from Payments Canada to former President of the U.S. Bill Clinton are scheduled to make appearances. Ripple boasts approximately 100 different clients and operates in about 40 countries.
XRP was released in 2012 – about three years before ether tokens came to be and roughly four years after bitcoin. There are presently 100 billion XRP in circulation, though Ripple still owns about 60 billion (more than half) of them at press time.