Over the past two weeks the crypto market has garnered unprecedented attention and awareness. Mainstream media outlets rushed to cover Bitcoin as it approached the crucial $20k threshold while critics touted the pullback as ‘the end of Bitcoin’ they predicted. After the much needed correction, Bitcoin is still up over 1400% year-over-year, so the latter claims seem unfounded. It is not out of the woods yet, however. It still faces many challenges including regulation, scaling, high network fees, and threats from competing currencies and technologies like Bitcoin Cash, Ripple, and Hashgraph.

Ripple in particular has put Bitcoin to shame in late December. While Bitcoin suffered a 40% pullback, Ripple has soared to a new high of $2.78 on Bittrex exchange. This represents over 1100% growth from its low of $0.23 earlier this month.

For a currency known for its slow but steady growth, this spurt seems unnatural. Ripple has soared over 30,000% this year, outpacing every traditional investment vehicle and most cryptocurrencies as well. At its high, its $107 billion market cap placed it easily at the #2 overall spot, comfortably above Ethereum and roughly have of Bitcoin.

Ripple Fundamentals and News

So what is driving this price action? Hysteria? Rumors? Fundamental value? Disruptive potential? All of these…and more! Here is a quick glance at all of the news and fundamentals driving the Ripple price. Make the decision for yourself whether you think the current price represents a value buy.

Interledger to Incorporate Ripple Support

The World Wide Web Consortium has been hard at work developing APIs that would allow crypto payment methods to be integrated with browsers, bringing crypto mainstream. In partnership with Interledger this may soon be a reality, as confirmed by Ripple Web Standards Officer, Adrian Hope-Bailie.

Ripple Transactions Cost $.0004

Compare that to Bitcoin (~$30 tx), and you can see why it is making strides against it.

RippleNet Boasts 100+ Banks and Institutions

As reported by CNBC, RippleNet has been rapidly gaining support and growing its user base. Institutional support topped 100 in October, and that number has been steadily growing since.

Three of Japan’s Top Credit Card Companies Join Ripple

SBI Holdings and two other companies have joined the Ripple consortium to foster continued growth and use in Japan and other Asian countries. Japan and South Korea have historically driven strong Ripple volume, and this has been especially true following the announcement. Several South Korean banks are also part of the consortium.

55 Million XRP Locked in Escrow

Ripple recently placed 55 billion of 100 billion circulating XRP into a cryptographically secured escrow account. 1 billion XRP will be released back into circulation each month over the next 55 months. The reduced supply has exaggerated the incredibly strong recent demand, sending the price higher.

Coinbase Rumored to be Adding XRP

A few weeks back, Reddit ran rampant with rumors of Ripple being added to Coinbase 1Q 2018. No proof has been brought forward to substantiate this aside from one Redditors rendition of Coinbase’s search engine foreshadowing its appearance. As revealed by John Rechtien via OracleTimes.com, when ‘Ripple’ was searched on Coinbase a return came back under ‘Supported Digital Currencies.’

First we tried Dash. Of course it came back with no matches as we would expect. It is not a supported currency and Coinbase does not post information about non-supported currencies. We tried several other coins including IOTA (MIOTA), Cardano (ADA), Populous (PPT) all with similar results. Coinbase had no links for any of the popular coins in this group.

Then something interesting happened. First it was Ripple (XRP). When placed into the search box a single match is presented. Supported Digital Currencies. Why does Coinbase match up to Supported digital currencies with Ripple when it is not supported? We have speculated before that Ripple was a likely candidate for addition as it has many banking partners and Coinbase is looking to bring in institutional investors. No better way then through big banks to bring in big money.

This is all it took for investors to lock in their hope…and their buys.

Wall Street Journal Tweets About Ripple

WSJ recently published an article covering Ripple’s rise in detail and painting it in a positive light. In their interview with Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse, he explained why Ripple is experiencing this monumental growth:

“We have real customers, really in production, not science experiments. Science experiments are not a business model.”

Some of the top coins are just that…experiments, hopes and wishes. many of the altcoin projects may never come to fruition, and yet traders are paying a premium as if they already have. Ripple offers something many other coins do not in terms of a fully functional and highly supported currency.

Where to from here?

Everything seems to be falling into place for Ripple. Aggregators have been practically overwhelmed by positive developments, although lately some Bitcoin proponents have been issuing warnings. While Ripple acceptance is growing and its dominance is strengthening, its important to keep in mind its fundamentals. It is not a true cryptocurrency by the traditional definition. It cannot be mined, was entirely pre-mined, and many believe XRP funds can be frozen. This action, however, relies on the willingness of centralized exchanges to comply, and Ripple has defended these accusations with a detailed explanation of how the Balance Freeze feature works.

Because no party has a privileged place in the XRP Ledger, the freeze feature cannot prevent a counterparty from conducting transactions in XRP or funds issued by other counterparties. No one can freeze XRP.

All freeze settings can be enacted regardless of whether the balance(s) to be frozen are positive or negative. Either the currency issuer or the currency holder can freeze a trust line; however, the effect of a currency holder freezing an issuer is minimal.

 

 
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Creighton Piper

Creighton is a media contributor and Partner with Crypto Answers.