Ripple is the world’s third most valuable currency. Even with each coin trading at only $0.29, so many people and institutions buy Ripple that its total market cap is more than $11 billion. Only Ethereum and Bitcoin are more valuable in total supply.
Ripple made a name for itself all the way back in 2012. That’s a couple of lifetimes in crypto years, but the company has managed to continue advancing its platform and increase user adoption. Ripple is built for fast, efficient financial transfers. Its immediate applications are in the realm of banking. Indeed, financial institutions can and do use Ripple to move money more efficiently. But Ripple’s ambitions aren’t just for the rich and powerful.
Ripple can be used to send money across borders. It can also serve as a payment channel for any other application. Transfers like these may be used by an immigrant worker to send funds back home. Using traditional payment networks like Western Union, this remittance might cost $30 or more, even for sums as low as $100.
Rather than attacking the powers that be, Ripple is integrating them. Western Union may be antiquated and usurious, but Ripple has made inroads in order to make Western Union more affordable and fast. There are talks about a Ripple/Moneygram partnership, and Ripple is already well established in the banking industry.
So what’s stopping Ripple from becoming the new technological standard for moving money? Well, the Ripple network is just not powerful enough… yet.
Ripple Cobalt is Coming
Ripple Cobalt is a complex array of technical advancements that will make Ripple faster and more reliable. Presently, it takes about four seconds for a Ripple transaction to move between sender and recipient. That’s shockingly fast compared to payment channels like Western Union (which takes days) – but Ripple can go even faster.
Ripple Cobalt will reduce this time to one second or less. No matter where in the world a recipient lives, funds can clear from source to destination in the span of one heartbeat. Speed is just one of the benefits of efficiency. Ripple Cobalt will be cheaper to use (Ripple is already cheap at the moment), making it a natural technology to adopt for established financial channels like the ones we’ve already discussed.
With Ripple Cobalt, Ripple will begin to make big advancements to becoming the world’s most popular cryptocurrency. Ripple is already more reliable than Bitcoin and Ethereum, at least as a payment solution. Anyone who has used Bitcoin and Ethereum more than a few times knows that sometimes the platforms work perfectly. Other times, transfers are expensive and slow. In the worst cases, transactions can be delayed for weeks.
How and When Will Ripple Cobalt Happen?
Curious about how Ripple Cobalt works? Ripple had this to say in a published statement:
“We present Cobalt, a novel atomic broadcast algorithm that works in networks with non-uniform trust and no global agreement on participants and is probabilistically guaranteed to make forward progress even in the presence of maximal faults and arbitrary asynchrony. The exact properties that Cobalt satisfies makes it particularly applicable to designing an efficient decentralized “voting network” that allows a public, open-entry group of nodes to agree on changes to some shared set of rules in a fair and consistent manner while tolerating some trusted nodes and arbitrarily many untrusted nodes behaving maliciously. We also define a new set of properties which must be satisfied by any safe decentralized governance algorithm, and all of which Cobalt satisfies.”
More details about Ripple Cobalt are available in the full text of Ripple’s statement. The paper is 49 pages long and fairly dense, but you’ll be much better informed about the nuance of the Ripple Cobalt system. This is especially recommended for investors.
So when will all of this happen? Ripple has set no date – not even a possible window of time yet – and even analysts and engineers are hesitant to make release date claims. Updates like this are incredibly sophisticated. If we’ve learned anything from ongoing projects like Ethereum, ARK, Lisk, Cardano, and ICON, it takes a long time to build powerful technology.
Ripple Cobalt could be days away. It might also take weeks, months, or years. Fortunately, Ripple is already a functioning technology (one of only 40 in the crypto top 100). The platform is already effective enough to be gaining fans in the public and private arena, and this is unlikely to stop before Ripple Cobalt is released. As fans of Ripple, we think the upcoming update will only further solidify Ripple in the new face of global commerce
China’s Tsinghua University Partners with Ripple to Create Blockchain Research Scholarship Program
From the moment that Ripple first launched its platform, it has been looking for ways to spread cryptocurrency and their own products throughout the industry.
They have even managed to cross a major milestone as they established over 200 partnerships involving 40 separate countries. One of their most recent partnerships involves Tsinghua University, in an effort to launch a new scholarship program that will educate students in China.
While China has held a strict anti-crypto stance, the same has not been true of blockchain technology.
The program, which will be called the Blockchain Technology Research Scholarship program, is the combined venture of Ripple and the Tsinghua University Institute of Financial Technology (THUIFR). This university is one of the top schools in all of China, though THUIFTR was not started until 2017. It has been a collaborative effort between Institute for Interdisciplinary Information Sciences, PBC School of Finance, School of Software and Law School at Tsinghua University.
As students participate in the program, they will learn about the ins and outs of blockchain technology. On Twitter, THUIFR claims to have already hosted a seminar, titled “Innovation and Development of Digital Currency and its Regulatory Path.”
The partnership with Ripple will allow the program to launch in China, focusing clearly on the international regulations that govern the blockchain. Ivy Gao, the Director of International Cooperation and Development for THUIFR, said,
“Most importantly, I believe, this program will greatly help with their future research or career in the field of blockchain technology.”
The SVP of Global Operation at Ripple, Eric van Miltenburg, said,
Ripple has created an impressive reputation for itself as a major player in the fintech world. There are multiple banks using its xRapid product as their own blockchain solution, with more being added as the word spreads. However, it is perhaps the unique philosophy of Ripple’s platform and products that appeals to China, considering the substantial difference from that of Bitcoin’s ideology.
Their token has become the second-most valuable crypto asset, which could be due to the pattern of collaboration between financial institutions, governments, and universities.
According to the most recent data provided by CoinMarketCap, Ripple is presently being traded at $0.3175, ranking second by market capitalization.
Was November the Last Big Bitcoin Sell-Off? Trader Expects Slow Grind in 2019
By CCN.com: According to a trader and crypto technical analyst, November 2018 may have been the last sell-off of Bitcoin and a long consolidation period is expected throughout 2019.
Since experiencing a steep 13 percent drop on January 10 from $4,036 to $3,502, the Bitcoin price has been relatively stable in a tight range in mid-$3,000.
What Does Low Volatility Mean For Bitcoin?
While it seems as if the price of Bitcoin has been volatile throughout the past two weeks, the volatility of the dominant cryptocurrency occurred in a tight range between $3,500 to $4,000.
No major movements below or above key support and resistance levels were recorded, preventing any meaningful short-term price movement.
One trader said that if the trend of relatively low volatility in a tight low price range continues, the sideways action of Bitcoin will extend throughout the year, resulting in a long consolidation period.
“The longer this sideways action takes place the more I think the bottom is in. November was one of the worst monthly candles in history. It’s very possible that was the last of the major selling and now we’ll have a consolidation period that lasts most of 2019,” the trader said.
On Sunday, Bitcoin recorded a six percent drop against the U.S. dollar in a 24-hour period from $3,700 to $3,470. The asset has since recovered above the $3,500 mark and based on the performance of the asset in the last 48 hours, Bitcoin is expected to demonstrate stability throughout the week.
Hsaka, a cryptocurrency analyst, said:
Inside Bar; Low that was taken out (3480) holding as support; Continue leaning neutral here, can’t short HTF support, will wait for a break (even moreso when confluent with that CME gap).
A slow grind upwards in the first two quarters of 2019 could allow Bitcoin to establish a proper bottom and a mid-term trend reversal. If the price of asset recovers quickly in a short time period, as seen in the major sell-off of cryptocurrencies in November 2018, it can leave the asset class vulnerable to a large short-term correction.
With events that are considered as catalysts to fuel the momentum of Bitcoin in the first two quarters of this year including Bakkt and Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) far from being materialized due to the shutdown of the U.S. government, it has become more likely for the cryptocurrency market to demonstrate a low level of volatility in the upcoming months.
How About Alternative Crypto Assets?
Historically, alternative crypto assets, especially low market cap cryptocurrencies, have tended to perform strongly against Bitcoin when the asset is in a sideways market.
However, as seen in the performance of tokens and other major crypto assets in the past 48 hours, the stability in Bitcoin is unlikely to trigger short-term rallies for assets with lower volumes and valuations due to the current conditions of the market.
Some analysts believe November to have been the last sell-off for Bitcoin and expect a several-month-long consolidation period to occur.
Dow Futures Prep for Opening Bell Plunge as Bitcoin Price Turns Volatile
By CCN.com: The US stock market returns to action this morning following Monday’s holiday break, and the Dow is gearing up for a triple-digit loss at the opening bell. The bitcoin price, meanwhile, experienced a jolt of volatility ahead of the US trading session to break out of what had previously been a relatively calm day for the cryptocurrency market.
Dow Futures See Triple-Digit Pullback
As of 8:29 am ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures had declined by 144 points or 0.58 percent, implying an opening-bell loss of 135.35 points. The broad S&P 500 and tech-heavy Nasdaq also steeled themselves for losses at the open, with futures for the two indices down 0.60 percent and 0.68 percent, respectively.
With the US stock market closed on Monday in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, futures trading had nevertheless portended Tuesday declines. As CCN reported, China published its official GDP growth statistics for 2018, which showed that the world’s second-largest economy had expanded at its slowest pace in 28 years.
China posts slowest economic numbers since 1990 due to U.S. trade tensions and new policies. Makes so much sense for China to finally do a Real Deal, and stop playing around!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 21, 2019
That data emboldened US President Donald Trump, who implored China to “stop playing around” and “finally do a Real Deal” that would end the ongoing US-China trade war.
“China posts slowest economic numbers since 1990 due to U.S. trade tensions and new policies,” the president tweeted on Tuesday. “Makes so much sense for China to finally do a Real Deal, and stop playing around!”
Hu Xijin, the editor of the China-based Global Times, responded to that tweet with a warning that Beijing won’t sign an “unequal deal,” even if the country experienced negative economic growth.
China has hoped to reach a reasonable trade deal with the US. When China's GDP grew at double digit rate, we wished China-US relations go well. But if the US forces China to sign an unequal deal, Beijing won 't yield even it is a negative growth, let alone 6.6%. https://t.co/ZxVMxMheSi
— Hu Xijin 胡锡进 (@HuXijin_GT) January 22, 2019
“China has hoped to reach a reasonable trade deal with the US. When China’s GDP grew at double digit rate, we wished China-US relations go well. But if the US forces China to sign an unequal deal, Beijing won ‘t yield even it is a negative growth, let alone 6.6%.”
Meanwhile, the March 1 end to the US-China tariff truce continues to inch closer, placing more pressure on the two economic superpowers to find common ground.
Bitcoin Price Turns Volatile on Tuesday
Though not on a holiday itself, the cryptocurrency market had been relatively calm on Monday following Sunday’s moderate pullback. This morning, though, bitcoin and its would-be peers have begun to regain a bit of their characteristic volatility.
After range-trading between $3,550 and $3,500 for most of the day, the bitcoin price took a sudden drop shortly before 11:40 UTC, slipping as low as $3,401 before recovering above $3,520 in a whipsaw movement that took less than five minutes. As of the time of writing, the bitcoin price sat at $3,557 on Bitstamp, about $33 below its intraday high of $3,590.
Day-over-day movements were relatively muted throughout the wider cryptocurrency market. The ripple price (XRP) declined by 1.22 percent to a global average of $0.317, while ethereum, bitcoin cash, EOS, litecoin, and bitcoin sv all moved by less than 1 percent. Stellar, whose price often moves in tandem with ripple, declined 1.33 percent to $0.102, and tron outperformed the index with a 4.51 percent jump to $0.026 that was likely connected to the announcement that TRX holders would earn an airdrop when the new BitTorrent cryptocurrency arrives.
Altogether, the cryptocurrency market cap — which measures the aggregate valuations of all cryptocurrencies — stands at $119.7 billion, representing a 24-hour increase of around $100 million.