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
Brazilian Authorities Arrest Suspect Of Running Potential Crypto Money Laundering Scheme
Brazilian police arrested a man that was apparently running a crypto money laundering scheme in Brazil.
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Suspect Arrested of Running Crypto Money Laundering Scheme
According to the report, police found mining equipment valued at R$ 250,000, close to $63,000. These devices were switched on and running 24 hours a day mining Bitcoin. The room in which the equipment was found had little ventilation and no other security objects to run the operations.
The man claims that he owns the equipment to mine virtual currencies and that he entered the market in order to mine digital assets. At the same time, he said that he is not involved in illicit organizations dealing with drugs. The individual was also accused of stealing electricity to mine virtual currencies. Bitcoin mining requires large amounts of electricityand, depending on its price, it could be profitable or not to perform mining activities.
Adriano Nonnemacher, a police officer, commented:
“The flat is well-hidden. We are going to investigate further. Everything points to a Bitcoin mining operation. They could be exchanging the money and use it to fuel drug trafficking. Here is also a possibility that they are using the funds derived from drug trafficking to buy Bitcoin.”
At the same time, police officers decided to seize the mining equipment that could have entered the country in an illegal way from China.
Bitcoin has been several times linked to illegal activities around the world and in many different situations. However, there are some reports that show that most Bitcoin transactions are not related to illicit and criminal activities.
New York State Sees First Conviction for Crypto Money Laundering
A case involving millions of dollars in bitcoin and Western Union payments has resulted in New York State’s first conviction for cryptocurrency money laundering.
The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday that defendants Callaway Crain and Mark Sanchez, both 35, laundered $2.8 million earned through sales of controlled substances carried out over the internet.
Between 2013 and 2018, the two men sold steroids and other drugs including Viagra across the U.S. via their website “NextDayGear” and on the dark web. They sold over 10,000 packages and accepted payments in cryptocurrency and fiat currency via Western Union, which they then laundered.
Customers usually paid in bitcoin, the Attorney’s Office said, with the defendants laundering the proceeds via one or more “intermediary” cryptocurrency wallets to obfuscate the source of the funds. The bitcoin was then converted to U.S. dollars using a cryptocurrency exchange platform before the cash was deposited into their bank accounts.
Western Union payments, on the other hand, were laundered through the use of false identities or international wire transfers from receivers outside of the U.S..
The duo has now pleaded guilty and faces a jail term of 2.5–7.5 years, with sentencing expected to take place on July 12.
Manhattan District Attorney, Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., said:
“These defendants raked in crypto and cash worth millions on their full-service website that sold prescription-free counterfeit steroids and other controlled substances to customers in all 50 states.”
“Online drug sellers who do business in New York should take note: whether you’re operating in plain sight or in hidden corners of the dark web, my Office has the skills and resources to follow the money, shut down your business, and hold you accountable,” Vance warned.
Just last week, the same DA’s office also indicted three individuals for dealing in drugs and laundering $2.3 million in cryptocurrency by using preloaded debit cards and withdrawing cash at ATMs in Manhattan and New Jersey.
Galaxy Digital CTO Out at Novogratz-Led Crypto Fund
Mike McMahon, chief technology officer at crypto merchant bank Galaxy Digital, has left the firm, CoinDesk has learned.
“I have already left Galaxy Digital and looking for my next opportunity,” he told CoinDesk Wednesday, declining to provide further details.
Galaxy didn’t respond to CoinDesk’s request for comment by press time, but it’s actively looking for McMahon’s replacement, according to a new job posting on LinkedIn.
The CTO should, among other things, “build, coach and provide hands-on leadership to the technology team” an “build a strong partnership with the business to ensure technology is supporting revenue-generating, client-facing business initiatives.”
McMahon joined Galaxy a year ago following a career at traditional financial institutions and mainstream companies, including Bank of New York-Mellon, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs, according to his LinkedIn profile.
He also spent more than two years at ENSO Financial Analytics, a fintech company owned by Chicago futures exchange operator CME Group.
Galaxy Digital, founded by former hedge fund manager Michael Novogratz, is one of the most active investors in crypto startups. In recent months, it backed staking startup Bison Trails and crypto analytics firm CipherTrace.
In January, Galaxy announced it had raised $250 million to “offer loans in U.S. dollars to struggling crypto firms.” Before that, Novogratz signaled his own confidence in the enterprise despite the bear market when he bought 2.7 percent of Galaxy’s shares, increasing his total stake to about 79.3 percent.
Although based in New York, Galaxy Digital is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange’s TSX Venture Exchange, where it went public via a reverse merger with a pharmaceutical company.