Many share the opinion that 2020 will be the year of cryptocurrencies. It is undeniable that 2019 has brought Bitcoin to the forefront and proved to the naysayers that the financial world must, on the contrary, prepare itself for much upheaval.
Yet, the price of Ripple’s XRP didn’t experience such a convincing increase. The currency has instead lost much of its value over the period. Regardless, the events of January may be a precursor to a promising future for this asset.
To better understand Ripple and the future which could be on XRP’s horizon, let’s start by going over both notions.
Ripple, XRP: What You Need to Know
In order to attempt and kind of Ripple prediction or to give constructive advice as to its evolution, it is necessary to get clear on the elements that set it aside from other cryptocurrencies. The aim of the Ripple protocol is to create a centralised payment system within which transactions are completed in XRP (Ripple’s currency).
Unlike other crypto assets such as Bitcoin, Ripple isn’t created through a mining process. All the tokens (100 billion in total) were created when Project Ripple first launched. They are gradually released by Ripple’s management, which remains in possession of the great majority of existing tokens.
As for the Ripple protocol, it is a real-time gross settlement (RTGS) system. It provides a way to transfer funds internationally in very little time (1500 transactions per second) and extremely cheaply through the use of blockchain technology. In practice, the open source protocol converts any currency into Ripple (XRP), sends it from one bank to the other via the Ripple network and converts it back into the recipient’s currency of choice.
Opinions vastly diverge with regard to the Ripple currency due to the close proximity the Ripple company maintains with regulated financial institutions. If Ripple does indeed rely on a decentralised protocol, only a few validators selected by Ripple are authorised to proceed with operations on the network. These actors are banks, multinational companies or research institutes such as MIT. Many see Ripple as facilitating agent which allows banks to take advantage of a technology originally created to dispense with their services.
The system therefore supposes a relatively high degree of centralisation. Besides, the difference between the number of XRP in circulation and that of existing tokens (or the total number of tokens) is immense. Together with the currency’s instability, this discrepancy doesn’t play in Ripple’s favour, especially for an asset many people consider may one day become the cryptocurrency of banks. Conversely, the Ripple protocol, which is a way to carry out international transactions in as little as 5 seconds with minimal fees, is a convincing selling point for the company. As are its ever-growing partnerships.
Ripple in 2019
The year 2019 hasn’t been particularly prosperous for the Ripple currency which, unlike many other assets, has suffered devaluation upon devaluation, ending up going from $0.31 to $0.21 in November. The price of XRP even reached an all-time low of $0.17 on the 18th of December 2019. This price drop may be explained by a massive token release on the market in August. The situation even incited Ripple holders to initiate an online petition on Change.org, urging management to stop this clear ‘dumping’ of XRP which, according to them, was causing the downfall of the cryptocurrency’s price. Others saw a coherent, long-term logic in this strategy. To Ripple’s advocates, this practice aimed to lay the foundation for new partnerships with institutional investors.
Regarding Ripple’s progress, Brad Garlinghouse, the firm’s CEO, is of the opinion that it is, on the contrary, quite positive in a context where an increasing development attests to its success.
While the value of XRP did indeed plummet in 2019, Ripple’s future seems to rely on an ever-growing number of partnerships.
For instance, Ripple invested $50 Million into MoneyGram on the 25th of November 2019 as part of a collaboration with the company and the integration of Ripple’s ‘On-Demand Liquidity’ service within their offer. Since then, over 100 Million XRP have transited through MoneyGram’s payment channels.
More recently, the oldest bank in Thailand, the Siam Commercial Bank, partnered with Ripple to launch a mobile application. The interface will facilitate cross-border transactions and result in important cost reductions. Emerging markets are indeed at the heart of Ripple’s strategy. In February of 2018, the company had thus officialised a collaboration with the most prominent bank in South America, which joined Japan and South Korea in their adoption of Ripple technology.
At the end of December 2019, Ripple announced a $200 million C series capital raise from Route 66 Ventures, SBI Holdings and Tetragon. This event crowns what Garlinghouse considers as ‘a record-breaking year for the company’. Ripple’s development projects are therefore far from faltering. The organisation even published 49 job offers at the very beginning of 2020 in such countries as India, Japan, Singapore, Brazil, Dubai, the United States and the United Kingdom. Concerning Ripple, the general opinion is even that the possibility of an IPO in the months to come is not at all remote.
Despite the monumental decline in the price of its token, 2019 has been a year of unmatched growth for Ripple. The firm’s client base has indeed increased by 50 per cent, bringing Ripplenet’s (Ripple’s worldwide payment network) total number of customers to 300. The latter are spread across 6 continents and over 45 countries.
Ripple and the Future of XRP
Given such enthusiasm, could Ripple blow up in the years to come?
Naturally, adopting such a firm stance and claiming to know exactly where Ripple will be in 5 years would not be realistic. With that said, without committing to a definite prediction as to Ripple’s price, it remains possible to examine the factors which could have an influence on it.
Generally speaking, an asset’s health is tightly connected to the activities of the company it originates from. Thus, XRP value suddenly spiked by 45 per cent in May of 2019, when the New-York-based clients of a fintech company learned through a tweet that they could now buy Ripple from their platform. Financial institutions wanting to open themselves up to the promises of cryptography seem more and more numerous. In principle, the more financial organisations widely adopt the use of the currency, the more its price is likely to go up.
Future partnerships the Ripple firm appears poised to strike in the years to come therefore suggest possible rises. A high price could eventually be maintained if management doesn’t persist in its logic that some dare to call self-sabotaging. Even though these strategies seem to rely on Garlinghouse’s in-depth analysis of the situation, XRP holders definitely don’t appreciate the consequences they have to suffer. It is mainly on this particular point that opinions regarding Ripple diverge: is massively injecting tokens to attract investors, even if it means temporarily devaluating XRP, truly beneficial to Ripple’s general expansion?
One thing is certain: XRP did manage to preserve its Market Cap rank, which remains at 3. This position on the podium continues to be a convincing reason Ripple should be considered as a promising cryptocurrency.
Finally, the development of competing solutions (such as those IBM, Facebook or JP Morgan are currently working on) is worth keeping an eye on. New actors on such a fluctuating market as that of cryptocurrencies do not fail to impact it.
How to Invest in Ripple?
If you wish to buy Ripple (XRP), keep in mind that, as is the case with all crypto assets, it is a highly volatile currency which should never be considered a ‘safe investment’. Be sure to limit your investments to an amount of money you are willing to lose.
If you are wondering how to buy Ripple, know that this currency is available from several exchange platforms which allow you to purchase XRP using euros, US dollars and various other fiat currencies. If you own different tokens (such as Bitcoin, for instance), there is an even wider array of options. For those who are not familiar with trading platforms, it is recommended to go through a website dedicated to buying and selling cryptocurrencies such as Bitit. This solution will allow you to get acquainted with this universe while keeping risks to a minimum.
How to Store your XRP?
Concerning Ripple, our opinion is that it is necessary to apply the same precautions to its storage as you would for any other crypto asset.
A Ripple Wallet is therefore particularly recommended, with two possible solutions.
We would advise against storing your cryptocurrencies directly onto a wallet put at your disposal by your favourite exchange platform, as your coins would officially be owned by said platform. A software-type wallet can therefore constitute an acceptable compromise for those who do not wish to invest in a physical wallet.
Ripple wallets require a minimum of 20 XRP to be opened, which means that picking the right online wallet is essential.
There are many advantages to owning an online wallet. For one, these are accessible from practically any connected device, which can be quite convenient. In this case, opt for offline storage for your personal keys to hedge against any cyberattacks.
There exist some applications to store your tokens on your smartphone, on a computer or on the web. The latter isn’t the safest option as your information is stored onto a server owned by the company which puts the wallet at your disposal.
Physical wallets (such as the Trezor or the Ledger Nano S) are similar to memory sticks on which your cryptocurrencies are stored offline. Capable of generating private keys and digital signatures without ever requiring an Internet connection, these wallets are inviolable.
Physical wallets offer an optimal level of security… so long as you don’t misplace them!
Thanks to its high-quality architecture and immense efficiency in the field of bank-to-bank transfers, Ripple benefits from a convincing position opposite banks and multinational companies. This actually constitutes the main ground for controversy around XRP. Those who see crypto assets as a means to free themselves from the yoke of banks could hold Ripple’s lack of a clear faction against it. However, the financial system such as it currently stands isn’t ready for a complete overhaul. In this context, their technology perhaps offers a convincing introduction which could justify a bright future for Ripple.