Bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple are undoubtedly the three biggest cryptocurrencies on the block, yet their story is far from finished. Bitcoin has made an inordinate amount of headlines owing to its incredible escalation in value, but both Ethereum and Ripple are also garnering attention.
In the case of Ethereum, its rise has not been as dramatic as Bitcoin, yet its value has increased massively. And many people believe that Ripple will be the next big news in the cryptocurrency niche, with the system eventually challenging the likes of Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin.
Bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple are significantly different in nature, yet there is no doubt that Bitcoin has achieved a level of public knowledge that was scarcely believable when it was launched. Having reached a record high in the region of $20,000 towards the end of 2017, the cryptocurrency is rising once more now after a brief correction, with the price again approaching $17,000.
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The word ‘bubble’ is never far away when talking about Bitcoin, yet many analysts believe that the price of the cryptocurrency could still increase by 1,000 percent in the next twelve months. This would take Bitcoin to a pretty staggering value in the region of $150,000, but this would be nothing new for a digital payment system that has been an overwhelming success.
Although legislation may hamper the continuing growth of Bitcoin, the launch of Bitcoin futures is also extremely bullish for the technology. However, there has been a relatively low number of contracts opened thus far, suggesting that the asset may be overbought at present.
Nonetheless, the infamous John McAfee is one of the many notable individuals who believe that Bitcoin will reach unparalleled heights in the forthcoming calendar year. The cryptocurrency has the lowest circulating supply of any currency, meaning that its potential for growth is very high in the minds of some market observers.
While Bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple will all attract investors, the original, and many believe best, cryptocurrency will remain the center of attention for the next 12 months at least.
Ethereum is already the second biggest cryptocurrency on the market, and is beginning to surge in the manner of its predecessor. Ethereum prices have already risen above $1,000 per unit in trading, and it could be that the currency really breaks out with a price explosion in 2018.
And one of the big advantages of Ethereum is that the financial hierarchy is already backing this blockchain. UBS, Credit Suisse, and Barclays have been involved in assisting the creators of the Ethereum blockchain with achieving standards related to the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II from the European Union.
While Bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple all have their advantages, the ability for banking overseers to anonymously submit information to the blockchain with Ethereum is clearly a big advantage for the second most prominent cryptocurrency. The ability to cross-check for any regularities will be hugely valuable in the Ethereum blockchain, and lends a legitimacy to the platform.
“Bitcoin is the first application built on the blockchain technology. Ether can be a more programmable money. We conceive it as a crypto fuel because it powers these programs on the world computer, Ethereum co-founder Joseph Lubin told Bloomberg.
While the banking hierarchy generally remains sceptical about the cryptocurrency revolution, the attempts of Ethereum to at least connect with this critical aspect of the financial architecture have been both noble and productive.
However, it could be argued that Ripple is the most exciting of the three platforms. The recent rise of this cryptocurrency has overshadowed the escalation in value of both Ethereum and Bitcoin, with the flexible system having garnered a fair share of media headlines in the last couple of weeks. Of course, Ripple still has a phenomenal distance to go to reach the staggering heights of Bitcoin, but the potential is there for this cryptocurrency to explode in the foreseeable future.
And Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse believes that that it is possible for the three cryptocurrencies to coexist peacefully.
“In 2017, people have realized there isn’t going to be one crypto to rule them all. You’re seeing vertical solutions where [Ripple] is focused on payment problems, Ethereum is focused on smart contacts, and increasingly Bitcoin is a store of value. Those aren’t competitive. In fact, I want Bitcoin and Ethereum to be successful,” Garlinghouse commented.
Coexisting in harmony
So can Bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple coexist in harmony? Well, it is notable that 60 percent of the top money transfer companies worldwide are now implementing the XRP token associated with Ripple in their payment flow systems. This is massive news for Ripple, and effectively represents the platform for cryptocurrency entering the relative mainstream for the first time.
The market capitalization of Ripple has increased rapidly, to such a degree that it has now even overtaking Ethereum, despite the fact that the value of each Ethereum unit is far higher. While Ripple has not found favor with the cryptocurrency purist, its ability to attract investors and those involved in cross-border money transfers is definitely a significant feather in its cap.
Compared to Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin, Ripple has massive room for growth, and probably offers the best investor potential of the three. This is despite the fact that its success is far from guaranteed, and any investment in the cryptocurrency niche is inherently risky. Nonetheless, those looking for exponential growth should definitely opt for Ripple.
Bitcoin is considered a store of value that is the purest of the three cryptocurrencies, while Ethereum is arguably the most flexible of the three platforms, providing options that neither Ripple nor Bitcoin can deliver. In essence, each of the cryptocurrencies has its own unique character, and it will be interesting to see how they all develop in the coming months and years.