Since December 2017 up until January 2018, the value of ripple has increased more than 1,000 percent. And investors are now looking towards the token for potential profit.
What is ripple?
Ripple is both a transaction network and crypto token, XRP, that was launched in 2012. But ripple’s foundations are actually older than bitcoin itself and can be traced back to 2004 when it was conceived by creator by Ryan Fugger.
The ripple token was created as the go-to cryptocurrency for banks and global money transfers – ripple’s creators tout it as the “fastest and most scalable digital asset” for real-time payments anywhere in the world. Ripple’s leaders believe that the token’s main selling point is its liquidity, speed and low transaction fees.
Brad Garlinghouse, CEO of Ripple, said: “The liquidity needs of banks today is managed with literally ten trillion of float that sits in these nostro and vostro accounts.
“We believe very strong this is an inefficient model. You can use digital assets to fund liquidity, and Ripple is uniquely positioned to capitalise on that.
“Bitcoin takes four hours to settle a transaction. XRP takes 3.6 seconds.”
However, unlike bitcoin, ripple was never conceived to become a method of payment for online purchases. It was instead meant to compete with transaction systems such as SWIFT.
Is it better to invest in ripple or bitcoin?
Ripple’ price has significantly increased this year, indicating there is a buzz around the token, but it remains to be seen where these prices are headed in the long-term. Iqbal Gandham, margin director at eToro thinks ripple is in a good position right now, with evident market interest.
He said: “This boost in XRP’s price could be attributed to XRP becoming available on more exchanges making it widely available, as well as its potential for widespread adoption by financial institutions.
“On a fundamental level, the market has taken notice of the RippleNet cryptocurrency network’s speed and scalability – which has strengthened the demand for XRP.”
At the moment, ripple has the upper hand over bitcoin by recognised by being implemented by powerhouse baking institutions such as Santander, Bank of America and the Swiss UBS.
But one point of contention that could throw off potential investors is the fact that unlike bitcoin, ripple is not “mined” or created by its user base. The token’s creators instead have full control over the token – all 100 billion of them.
Stephen Powaga, head of research at investment firm Blockchain Momentum, argued that this could be cause for concern in regards to inflation. Ripple’s team can release up to one billion tokens a month.
He said: “It’s somewhat concerning for me because if they chose to release them as quickly as possible, within a little over four years, you’d see more than a doubling of supply of ripple.” As a store of value, bitcoin is still the clear winner in this competitions.
XRP’s price simply pales when compared to BTC which makes it look like a less profitable investment to some.
Ripple does however, edge out over bitcoin in terms of transaction speeds. The average BTC transfer takes up to an hour, compared to XRP’s three seconds.