Ripple was the second-best performer in 2017 in terms of percentage growth, up over 33,000% and many investors in the space are taking a closer look at XRP as a way to diversify their cryptocurrency exposure or look for even greater potential gains.
As cryptocurrency investing has become more mainstream, it’s become increasingly important to know as much detail and as many facts as you can about the tokens in which you want to invest. We debunk some common misconceptions about the third largest cryptocurrency.
The name Ripple is in regard to the global network the company has developed in order for fast-paced, global transactions to occur. The name of the company behind the token is Ripple Labs, having changed its name from OpenCoin in 2013. The digital asset associated with Ripple Labs is known as XRP. The token is used as part of and within the Ripple network. XRP sounds harder to say and is inherently quite techy and cryptic so Ripple is the easier way to pronounce the currency despite being technically incorrect.
In the fiat currency, if you don’t have a $1 for example, you can’t purchase any goods or services. However, financial institutions can use the ripple network without using any XRP at all, and simply becoming part of the network offers access to instant, reliable, and cost-effective customer payment capabilities. Ripple Labs explains that using XRP can help institutions further reduce their costs while also accessing new markets. At 1500 transactions in under a second it will definitely transform capital markets. Real-time global transfers eliminate lengthy delays with existing payment network infrastructure, and payment providers can use XRP to facilitate money movement involving foreign exchange. Quite simply, if someone says they’ve paid you and it hasn’t arrived, they haven’t paid you.
As of early 2018, Ripple Labs owned about 60 billion XRP out of the total possible supply of 100 billion XRP, giving it a roughly 60% stake in its own cryptocurrency. The CEO for a brief time became the third richest man in the world based on this. This does effectively centralise control of XRP within the Ripple organization, therefore, by definition, not making it decentralized as many other cryptocurrency rivals are. This does have its benefits. With 1000 people owning 40% of Bitcoin, the power falls to those people to manipulate the price of the coin and market with when and how much they sell. Ripple Labs argues that its plan for the controlled release of XRP gives investors protection and security.
Back in 2017, the decision was taken to place 55 billion XRP in escrow, therefore, setting up 55 separate escrow contracts. These contracts will expire at a rate of one per month over 55 months, releasing as much as 1 billion XRP into the market. If Ripple Labs doesn’t use all of the month’s supply of XRP, it will get put back into escrow, with a new expiration date that will push the eventual end of all the escrow arrangements back by an additional month.
Ripple claims that its average monthly use rate in the past 18 months has been about 300 million XRP. That could make the escrow take 15 years or more to finish. It’s a while we appreciate but that should pacify concerns about dumping tokens onto the market in a way that could cause a manufactured crash.
Early on, Ripple provided a website that allowed people to buy, sell, trade, and store XRP. The RippleTrade.com website acted as a digital wallet for XRP transactions. In early 2016, the company chose to discontinue that service. Ripple Labs worked with third-party wallet provider GateHub to migrate accounts away from RippleTrade. Users could choose other providers if they wished, but for Ripple Labs, the move was designed to allow it to focus on its core work with global financial institutions.
The current price of Ripple is US$0.75 per XRP, as of 14 March 2018. According to industry experts, by the end of the year, it’s expected to reach a 541.34% increase, sitting at US$6.13.
Fred Schebesta, co-founder of finder.com, entrepreneur and author predicts it could continue on with the downtrend from $1 to $0.10 and says:
“They have got to find their feet as to where they sit.”
Lisa Gus, CEO of WishKnish and a blockchain gamified social market network specialist states:
“Personally, I think it’s going to roll ahead, and I can see its adoption only growing, but all this has already been calculated into the price during its boom. Unless something crazy happens, whatever achievements it reaches, it’s not going to wow anybody, because, at this point, it’s already expected of it. $3.10 is a realistic target price by the end of the year.”
Joseph Raczynski is an experienced technology consultant and manager specializing in blockchain technology. He has helped clients innovate and become forward thinkers in their space. He also specializes in AI, cybersecurity and legal technology. He commented:
“In my opinion, this could take off if Coinbase does in fact list it. My guess is that they will in the next few months. If they do, the sky will be the limit and I think this will boost the entire crypto market. If they don’t list it, I see it staying in the range of US$0.80 – $1.50 but if they do, $5 is very realistic.”
Samson Williams, a partner, fintech instructor and co-founder of Axes and Eggs:
“Though not a cryptocurrency at all, it is the child of banks. So, it’ll get the natural bump from #2018Recession.”
He plumped for an aggressive $16 price prediction by the end of the year.
“Nick” is the CEO and co-founder of cryptocurrency investment management system Coinrypto. He and co-founder Ty created the platform to help people easily track investments without the need for complex metrics and manual checking:
“Ripple adoption this year will continue to increase. Investors will see a real-life usage and this coin in action.”
$10.50 in his opinion could be conceivably reached if more companies adopt.