Having risen by over 36,000% in 1 year, Ripple (XRP) is the best performing cryptocurrency of 2017, according to coinmarketcap.com data. In comparison, Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) have surged by 1,318% and 9,162%, respectively. NEM (up 29,842%), Stellar (+14,441%), Dash (+9,265%), Litecoin (+5,046%), Cardano (+2,782%), and Bitcoin Cash (+513%) have been the other notable performers for the year. But, Ripple leads the pack with its focused drive towards providing a blockchain-based real-time payment solution to financial institutions.
In essence, Ripple is selling a blockchain technology to banks and payment providers and other financial institutions to do real-time settlement between banks. Ripple is among the few cryptocurrencies with a focused value proposition: cross-border payments. The year 2017 has sure seen the currency rise to highs of $2.85/XRP (on December 30) from $0.006 at the start of the year, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Ripple’s (XRP) long-term value rests on its ability to service a $27 utility, as discussed here.
Here are few quotes from the company’s CEO, Brad Garlinghouse, which stand justified by the company and currencies’ growth till now.
“Ripple intends to move value the way information moves today”
For Garlinghouse, Ripple is here to create an internet of value. And to do this, it is doing what is necessary connecting the repositories. Quite evidently, since its inception, Ripple has been actively engaged in connecting banks, payment service providers, and MSPs which hold trillions of dollars in assets.
Today, there’s $27 trillion parked in banks around the globe for the sole purpose of making payments between each other. Ripple wants to provide them with a digital asset such as the XRP so that they can do that in real time. Using XRP, these transactions settles in 3 which in itself speaks a lot about this digital asset’s efficiency.
“The value of a token in the long-term is really going to be driven by its utility”
Commenting on the true value of the XRP, during a CNBC Squawk Alley interview, Garlinghouse noted that, “the value of a token in the long-term is really going to be driven by its utility.”
“Ripple has been focused on how we can create real utility and solve a real problem. And in this case, it’s in cross payments, which is a multi-trillion dollar problem, and if we could reduce the friction there, using blockchain technology, we can create a lot of value for consumers, for banks, and for the whole ecosystem,” says Brad Garlinghouse. According to Garlinghouse, the long-term value of any token is a derivative of 3 things:
- What problem is it solving? – time and cost involved in cross-border payments, in Ripple’s case
- How big is that problem? – a whopping $27 trillion in funds parked with financial institutions, globally
- How many customers does it have? – boils doing to anybody who needs to make a payment in real time
Now Ripple is using its digital asset called the XRP to settle liquidity needs between banks. They’re very focused on just one blockchain use case, which is payments; particularly cross-border payments. This contrasts with most other Altcoin offerings that have taken a very horizontal view in that they offer multiple uses for their coins.
Eventually, maybe Ripple will serve other blockchain use cases too, but for now, the focus is clearly on payments.
“We have over 100 banks working with Ripple today around the world.”
With a vast majority of banks (about 99.9%) actually paying other banks for their global payment settlements, like JP Morgan or Citibank, having a real-time payment settlement system with negligible transaction cost, has become the need of the hour.
Today, over 75 financial institutions have already commercially deployed Ripple’s XRP in their systems. Notable Ripple customers include MUFJ, Bank of America, Santander, RBC, BBVA, UBS, UniCredit, Standard Chartered, Axis Bank, SCB. Here’s a complete list of banks and other financial institutions that have partnered with Ripple.
Moreover, the company has also launched a couple of programs in line with its drive to expedite adoption and expand the Ripple network include:
- xCurrent – prime motivator for adoption
xCurrent is Ripple’s enterprise software solution that enables banks to instantly settle cross-border payments with end-to-end tracking. Using xCurrent, banks message each other in real-time to confirm payment details prior to initiating the transaction and to confirm delivery once it settles.
- RippleNet Accelerator Program – to expand network
Moreover, with the help of its RippleNet Accelerator Program, the company (Ripple) is investing $300 million to accelerate the network that they’re already seeing, and to expedite the process of adoption. Through this offering, Ripple is offering a unique reward for financial institutions that are the first in their markets to process and promote commercial payments on RippleNet, such as (a) a Volume Rebate and (b) an Adoption Marketing Incentive.
- xRapid – to facilitate payments to the emerging markets
Ripple has also come up with a low-cost liquidity solution for payments into the emerging markets. Payments into emerging markets often require pre-funded local currency accounts around the world, liquidity costs are high. By using its digital asset, XRP, to offer on-demand liquidity, Ripple’s xRapid program dramatically lowers the capital requirements for liquidity to enable real-time payments in emerging markets.