RIPPLE’S founders are the latest crypto billionaires.
The price of ripple has increased by 1240 per cent in the last 30 days, from around 25 US cents to $US3.38, surging past bitcoin cash and ethereum to become the second largest cryptocurrency.
This time last year, ripple was sitting at just under 0.7 of a US cent. That’s an increase in value of 51,542 per cent in 12 months.
Ripple’s market capitalisation — the price multiplied by the number of coins in circulation — is now $US130 billion, roughly half that of bitcoin, with ethereum on $US96 billion and bitcoin cash on $US41 billion.
Two weeks ago, ripple’s market cap was just $36 billion.
At one Point in the 1989 Japanese real estate bubble, the Imperial Palace in Japan was said to be worth more than the entire state of California,, things that don't make sense don't last….be careful out there
— Michael Novogratz (@novogratz) January 4, 2018
Mike Novogratz, the billionaire investor who last month revealed he was “pressing the pause button” on plans for a cryptocurrency hedge fund amid uncertain market conditions, has warned 2018 will be a “wild ride”.
“Ripple Labs worth $US225 billion,” he tweeted on Thursday. “Tenth largest company by market cap in the world. Makes [co-founder] Chris Larsen worth $US55 billion tying Mark Zuckerberg as fifth richest man in the world.”
Mr Larsen owns 5.19 billion XRP — the native currency of the ripple network — and a 17 per cent stake in the company he co-founded in 2012, according CNBC, putting his net worth at an estimated $US59.9 billion, ahead of Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin and just behind Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.
So what exactly is ripple, what makes it different from bitcoin, and what’s behind the surge in interest? Ripple is similar to bitcoin in that both are decentralised ledger systems designed to facilitate transactions across the internet.
But while bitcoin is a decentralised digital currency, ripple is a “decentralised transaction network that also contains a digital currency”, as former employee Nathan Ihara explained on Quora in 2013.
“The bitcoin network tracks the movement of bitcoins. The ripple network can track information of any kind,” he wrote. “As a result, ripple can track account balances of any existing currency.”
That, along with its capacity to rapidly settle cross-border transactions, has made it attractive to traditional banks and financial institutions, with more than 100 adopting the technology so far, including Westpac and UBS.
“Bitcoin and ripple use a different method to reach network consensus,” Mr Ihara adds. “Bitcoin uses proof-of-work (mining). Ripple uses an iterative consensus process. As a result, ripple is faster than bitcoin. It only takes a few seconds to finalise transactions. It’s also more energy efficient.”
As IG analysts wrote in a recent note, ripple effectively positions itself as a “complement” to bitcoin, rather than its rival. “The ripple network is meant to allow the transfer of any form of currency, regardless of whether it is the traditional sort, such as dollars or euros, or the new types such as bitcoin,” IG wrote.
Unlike bitcoins, which are “mined” by computers on the network at a set rate to a fixed 21 million out to the year 2140, ripple is “pre-mined”, with 100 billion units in existence, 20 billion of which were retained by the founders.
“The interest in XRP appears to tie in with its proprietary blockchain that’s focused on financial service companies,” Motley Fool analyst Sean Williams wrote recently. “In particular, ripple’s blockchain could allow for cross-border payments and transactions that occur instantly, rather than waiting days as under the current system.”
In a 2015 report, cryptocurrency researcher Tim Swanson argued banks would embrace “permissioned” ledgers like ripple — which use legal entities to validate transactions on the network — as opposed to bitcoin’s “unpermissioned” ledger which relies on anonymous miners.
“The idea with the distributed ledger system is to say, ‘How can we take the useful parts of bitcoin — or at least the ledger idea — and integrate it with businesses that have legal reputations?’”
But that cosiness with the traditional financial industry also creates suspicion among cryptocurrency diehards — after all, bitcoin’s original purpose was to cut out banks altogether.
Tom Luongo, financial commentator with Newsmax and publisher of the Gold, Goats n’ Guns blog, has speculated that financial institutions are launching a co-ordinated “attack” on the cryptocurrency market, with ripple, disparagingly referred to as “BanksterCoin”, as the weapon.
“Ripple is the stalking horse of the cryptocurrency industry,” he writes. “Its meteoric rise in price coincides with bitcoin’s peak and subsequent meandering.
“The best way to kill a market is to get retail investors buying the peak and selling into it. It’s easy to believe in an irrational pump of bitcoin to $US20,000 and the subsequent rotation out and into ripple, boosting its price and profile, while leaving ‘teh newbz’ hanging at the top.”
Mr Luongo argued the spike to $US20,000 was created by the controversial rollout of bitcoin cash by cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase last month, which led to accusations of insider trading after a suspicious price increase in the bitcoin “fork” prior to the announcement.
“The goal there was to sow confusion and undermine bitcoin cash as an alternative to bitcoin,” he writes. “See, folks, all of this confusion and carnage comes from not having any kind of centralised control. But, hey, there’s this new cool thing called ripple which solves all of that and the price is going bonkers! Trap set.”
Bitcoin (BTCUSD) weekly forecast on February 18 — 24, 2019
Cryptocurrency Bitcoin (BTC/USD) is trading at 3587. Cryptocurrency quotes are trading below the moving average with a period of 55. This indicates a bearish trend for Bitcoin. At the moment, cryptocurrency quotes are moving near the upper border of the Bollinger Bands indicator.
Bitcoin (BTCUSD) weekly forecast on February 18 — 24, 2019
As part of the Bitcoin exchange rate forecast, the test level of 3820 is expected. Where should we expect an attempt to continue the fall of BTC/USD and the further development of the downward trend. The purpose of this movement is the area near the level of 2700. The conservative area for selling Bitcoin is located near the upper border of the Bollinger Bands indicator at the level of 3850.
Cancellation of the option to continue the decline in Bitcoin will be the breakdown of the area of the upper border of the Bollinger Bands indicator. As well as the moving average with a period of 55 and closing of quotations of the pair above the area of 4250. This will indicate a change in the current trend in favor of the bullish for BTC/USD. In the event of a breakdown of the lower border of the Bollinger Bands indicator bands, we should expect an acceleration of the fall of the cryptocurrency.
Bitcoin (BTCUSD) weekly forecast on February 18 — 24, 2019 implies a test level of 3820. Further, it is expected to continue falling to the area below the level of 2700. The conservative area for selling Bitcoin is located area of 3850. Canceling the option of falling cryptocurrency will break the level of 4250. In this case, we should expect continued growth.
BTCUSD Analysis: Bitcoin still trading in a bearish consolidation [Video]
Any upside moves are classified as corrective ahead of what could be the next downside extension and bearish continuation. It would take a break back above 4,380 at a minimum to take the immediate pressure off the downside. Next critical support comes in the form of the July and September 2017 lows, around 2,000 and 2,975 respectively.
In this analysis, we take a look at Bitcoin each day, highlighting all of the need to knows for anyone looking to extract up to date information about major levels and relevant trends, both short term and longer-term. The analysis is designed for the trader, investor and even those simply holding the crypto asset, looking for an idea of where they may want to consider making that next conversion.
The cryptocurrency update is new each day and is presented with an added layer of animation, in an effort to make the analysis as engaging as possible, while also communicating the message with respect to key trends and levels in an easy to understand, seamless manner with great value add to all.
Are Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) Net Positive Or Negative For Bitcoin And Crypto Assets?
Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) have been analyzed by several banking institutions around the world, specifically by several central banks in different countries. However, they are different than virtual currencies such as Bitcoin (BTC). How would the issuance of CBDCs affect Bitcoin and the whole crypto market?
There are some important differences between Bitcoin and CBDCs. For example, Bitcoin is permissionless, decentralized and censorship-resistant while CBDCs are permission, centralized and censorable. Thus, they are almost contrary to Bitcoin. While the most popular cryptocurrency provides freedom to users, CBDCs allow governments to have larger control over their populations.
A few days ago, the popular investment bank JP Morgan unveiled a stablecoin called JPM Coin that would be used to make transfers between customers in just a few seconds. Although JP Morgan’s CEO Jamie Dimon has been against virtual currencies, it seems that the bank will be using blockchain technology to power their virtual currency.
There were several individuals in the market claiming that the new JP Morgan digital coin killed Bitcoin, or at least, it is going to kill the most popular cryptocurrency in the market. However, it is important to understand that these coins will never be similar and work in a completely different way. CBDCs and stablecoins issued by financial institutions such as JP Morgan work in a centralized and controlled way.
Indeed, these new digital assets do not seem to present a threat to cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. SWIFT could be affected by these new coins. SWIFT is the mainstream and most popular system to perform cross-border payments. This system has proven to be slow and costly for many financial institutions and banks all over the world. Indeed, Ripple’s services could also be affected by the growth of new CBDCs.
CBDCs legitimize that virtual currencies are the future of money. Because of this, it might be possible for Bitcoin to distance itself from drugs and criminals. At the same time, with CBDCs individuals will discover that there are several advantages of using digital assets.
Individuals will clearly have their funds frozen at any moment using CBDCs if the financial institution regulating the asset decides so. Moreover, their accounts can be suspended and users would not be able to use these funds anymore.
There are some crypto experts that believe that CBDCs could be very harmful to societies. For example, China is currently trying to control its population with new surveillance systems related to how individuals use their funds.
Crypto fiat (i.e. government controlled permissioned cryptocurrencies) will be the biggest battleground globally for human rights over the next decade. China is leading the way, many other countries, including some big western democracies, will follow. https://t.co/8BqfmBJ2mP
— Ari Paul (@AriDavidPaul) February 13, 2019
With CBDCs, people will realize that there is no more freedom and that the government is ultimately controlling everything. This is why Bitcoin could grow as a safe haven where users can feel free to use their funds as they want without being controlled by governments.
That does not mean that Bitcoin will be used to perform illegal things. It means that users will protect their privacy and what they do with their funds.