Cryptocurrencies are still hot, bitcoin’s slight retreat in prices seems to be fueling other digital currencies as investors look for less pricey alternatives. This search for other valuable cryptocurrencies has resulted in a dramatic increase in the ripple price.
Ripple price surged 30,000% year to date
The ripple price skyrocketed 33% today, adding to the dramatic gains it has already posted this year. In fact, year to date, the ripple price is up some 30,000%. Data from CoinMarketCap reveals that ripple surpassed ethereum to become the second-biggest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, after only bitcoin. The ripple price soared to a new all-time high of $2 on Friday, topping ethereum by market cap. At the time of this writing, ripple’s market cap stood at about $77.42 billion, compared to ethereum’s market cap of $72.9 billion.
This isn’t the first time the ripple price has carried its market cap above that of ethereum. It happened again briefly in May, but that was very temporary. Today’s move above ethereum’s market cap appears to have more staying power, as it happened very briefly this morning just ahead of a stronger shift which kept ripple’s market cap above ethereum’s. It remains to be seen whether this is permanent or if ethereum’s market cap will again surpass that of ripple.
It will probably be a very long time before ripple’s market cap even approaches that of bitcoin, as bitcoin’s market cap stands at $246.9 billion as of this writing. Of all the cryptocurrencies CoinMarketCap tracks, bitcoin accounts for more than 40% of the market cap. Ripple and ethereum each account for about 12% of the cryptocurrency market cap tracked by the platform.
The ripple price has been rising steadily, as it stood at less than a penny at the end of last year and didn’t surpass $1 until last week.
Ripple is actually XRP
XRP shows significant promise for the technology that stands behind it, rather than as a digital asset. According to CNBC, the official name for the ripple cryptocurrency token is XRP. Ripple is actually the name of a start-up based in San Francisco which utilizes blockchain technology in its development of a payments network aimed at financial institutions such as banks and digital asset exchanges. Firms which participate in the network use XRP digital coins for their transactions.
The benefit of XRP is speed of transaction completion. Ripple states on its website that transactions completed in XRP take only four seconds to complete. It takes more than two minutes for ethereum transactions to complete and more than an hour for bitcoin. Some experts say that this is why bitcoin shows little promise of being used as a payment system. On the other hand, newer cryptocurrencies, including those like bitcoin cash that are created when their predecessors fork, show more promise as potential payment systems because they are faster.
According to Ripple, its network is used by over 100 institutions, and some banks in South Korea and Japan have been testing it for cross-border payments.