It may not be quite as high profile as Bitcoin or Ethereum et al, but Ripple has managed to build a name for itself among those in the know as an interesting player in the crypto world, and one that could potentially be getting ready for a huge surge.
Many industry experts have predicted big things for Ripple (as of writing, Ripple (XRP) is sitting at $0.8325), with its sharp rise being attributed to its embrace of other mainstream brands. At this stage in the cryptocurrency journey, acknowledgement by gatekeepers of the status quo can carry with it a huge amount of cachet, and this may yet be Ripple’s secret weapon.
Back in March, Crypto Maps’ Craig Cole said: “Its faster transaction speeds and lower fees make it easier for financial systems to embrace the virtual currency, which is partly why Ripple’s value has increased dramatically just this year. Ripple is helping financial institutions save money and it is only expected to become even more prevalent in payment flows.”
And in the face of Bitcoin – which has become a household name amongst even the least tech savvy in society – Ripple CEO Vrad Garlinghouse compared it to Napster for its disruptive capabilities but ultimate failure after others had the chance to build upon its technology.
Gabriele Giancola, co-founder and CEO of qiibee, said: “Ripple has been extremely successful in its first quarter, considering the market has been down for the last two months due to overselling. In the short term, the current bull market will only help its price surge further while it strives to be the B2B cryptocurrency.
One key reason for Ripple’s reputation and credibility growth is its willingness to enter partnerships with institutions such as UBS and Santander, which are big names, Giancola notes.
“Ripple is constantly announcing new partnerships with reputable banks and well-known institutions, which definitely encourages investment in this real-time gross settlement system in the mainstream market, and further cements its place among the world’s top cryptocurrencies,” he added.
“While Bitcoin is now associated with drug scandals and money laundering, Ripple is a coin that people trust, so the difference will be a huge factor in Ripple recovering from its price slump in future.”
News that banking giant Santander would be launching a digital wallet for its retail customers was revealed in February, after similar technology from Ripple had been issued to the bank’s staff since 2016.
At the time, Ripple said in a statement: “Leading banks like Santander are taking advantage of our enterprise blockchain solutions to improve their cross-border payments, drastically reducing the time and cost of settlement and enabling new types of high volume, low value global transactions.”
And it is not without its celebrity associations, either. The revelation that Snoop Dogg would be performing at an exclusive invite-only concert for 10 XRP competition winners has been taken by some as an indication that Snoop could endorse the coin in the coming weeks. That’s the kind of endorsement that, in a shot, could send Ripple’s profile through the roof. Celebrities like 50 Cent, Richard Branson, Ashton Kutcher and Jamie Foxx have previously put their name behind Bitcoin, Ethereum and others, and the weight of Snoop Dogg’s following could have a huge impact on Ripple’s future success.
The Long Game
It’s possible, then, that Ripple is the cryptocurrency best playing the long-game where others are not. Though this is nothing but speculation at this point, the market shows signs of this being the case, as Ruslan Mikhailov, head of market research and trading at Tradingene points out.
“Right now I don’t see any indications of a possible price surge in the nearest future. The trading volume is average, price didn’t show any signs of possible hysteria. However, I’d say that Ripple still stays the cryptocurrency that is most susceptible for dramatic upward jumps.
“Ripple experienced more than 100 per cent surge in one day twice during its history. These historical events are now deeply ingrained in market participants minds – those who traded it and the newcomers who were lured by this amazing return. Because of this, traders will always be a little bit nervous. They tend to consider even medium changes as a potential indication of a price surge.”
In the crypto world, perception is key, and Ripple will almost certainly benefit from its past performance. Its drop at the start of the year came at the same time as Bitcoin, Ethereum and other coins were hit, and so Ripple’s reputation was not impacted to the same extent as it may have been.
“[It] created a feeling that Ripple’s drop was a consequence of the overall market dragging it down, rather than Ripple’s own problems or issues,” Mikhailov continued. “Traders tend to prescribe bad things to something out of their control, while good effects are prescribed to traders themselves and to a particular currency.”
Perhaps more than other coins, Ripple has positioned itself as the crypto of choice for banks and financial institutions, which could thus put it in good stead when stricter regulations are put in place.
“I think if there is a bull market in crypto, Ripple would explode,” said Naeem Aslam, chief markets analyst for ThinkCoin. “They are working hard on integration and, as long as they remain dedicated to the task, the fruits of their labour could be really big… Competition is tough, but whoever can make integration work will win the war.”
Ripple has previously called upon UK regulators to end the “Wild West” of the cryptocurrency industry as it stands, which is seemingly part of a larger attitude that stands in sharp contrast to the decentralised ambitions of Bitcoin and many of its rivals.
“Regulation creates the guardrails on the highway that allows new entrants to come in, particularly institutional investors,” commented Ryan Zagone, head of regulatory relations at the company.
While it’s clear that Ripple’s XRP is still in recovery from the massive value drop that the entire crypto space experienced at the beginning of the year, it has had a strong first quarter and looks set to build upon that foundation as the year progresses. Recent investments in organisations such as Blockchain Capital only serves to support this as Ripple builds its reputation as a more trustworthy, though perhaps less decentralised, alternative to Bitcoin.
“We constantly see big names like Amazon and Visa in Ripple news and this creates a strong positive feedback loop,” Mikhailov added. “Ripple is slowly becoming the number one crypto we think of when we hear about these brands.
“This increases demand for Ripple, and increases its liquidity, price and overall acceptance.”