Who’s Competing with Ripple?

me in Malibu
By: Matt (Moon Lambo)

No company in the world is trying to do what Ripple is trying to do. That’s not to say they don’t have competitors — of course they do. But their competitors are going down a markedly different path. What is Ripple trying to do that is so different than anyone else? Who are Ripple’s competitors? Why are their payment and liquidity solutions inferior when compared to the future that the team at Ripple envisions? Why isn’t anyone else attempting to do that?  I’ll unpack all of this in today’s blog.

Pain Points

On a high level there are two primary pain points for financial institutions when it comes to cross-border money transactions: Payments & liquidity. It’s important to distinguish between the two because the problems associated with each, and solutions to each, are dramatically different.  Insofar as payments are concerned, Ripple has been able to modernize the system wipain pointthout the need to implement a digital asset (cryptocurrency) in the solution. Ripple’s xCurrent platform is capable of processing payment transactions in a matter of seconds, rather than days, while lowering operational costs. This technology makes entire layers of human management obsolete, and eliminating this labor expense is one way that Ripple is able to save banks large sums of money. In fact, Ripple’s xCurrent is capable of reducing international payment infrastructure costs by up to 33%.

Critics like to point out that Ripple solved the payments problem without any need for XRP. This is true, but such a comment is a red flag that the critics in question don’t understand the purpose of XRP. The truth is that XRP was never intended to solve a payments problem; it exists to solve a liquidity problem. Why is liquidity an issue? Enter nostro/vostro accounts.

A nostro account essentially references “my money in your bank” while a vostro account means “your money in my bank.” These accounts are what banks use today to source liquidity for cross-border payments, and at any given moment more than $27 trillion is parked in these accounts in the form of every fiat currency you can imagine. XRP was designed as the solution to this liquidity nightmare. This digital asset can be used as a replacement for all nostro/vostro accounts. To be clear, this means that one digital asset, XRP, eliminates the needs for banks to have multiple accounts in various fiat currencies all over the world.

This is important for a few reasons:

  1. Sourcing liquidity the old fashioned way can add roughly an extra day to the transaction process and requires labor for processing which is expensive. XRP transactions take mere seconds and require almost no human interaction.
  2. If you’re a bank with a nostro account in a foreign country, the capital you store in this pre-funded account is dormant. It sits idle just in case it is needed for money transfers. Leaving funds dormant is certainly not the best use of liquid money. It would be better purposed if it were invested or otherwise utilized.
  3. Highly inflationary foreign currencies are a problem. Consider that in December of 2015, one United States dollar was worth 10 Argentine pesos, and two years later it was worth 19 pesos. This real world example shows that if you’re a bank with a nostro account storing the Argentine peso, your money has lost a substantial amount of value over time compared to more stable fiat currencies such as the U.S. dollar. Without question this is a rather unappealing proposition, yet a necessary evil in today’s world.

There is a better way to do this.

An Audacious Plan

Miguel Vias, Head of XRP Markets at Ripple, once stated that his employer’s mission sounds “audacious.” I must admit I fully agree with him. Ripple seeks to make the transfer of money as quick and seamless as it is to send an e-mail today, and they call that the “internet of value.” I believe that the most bold part of their plan is what Ripple is doing to position XRP as the standard source for liquidity of all global money transfers. When I opened this blog by stating that no company in the world is trying to do what Ripple is trying to do, this is what I was talking about. No other business is positioning any digital asset as a global solution for today’s liquidity woes.

Can you imagine hatching such a plan? Acknowledging that it’s “audacious” barely scratches the surface when you consider what is necessary for Ripple to achieve their goals. First, Ripple had to create xCurrent, a payment technology that is so vastly superior to the system and processes that are in place today that banks would have no reasonable recourse but to adopt the new technology. Next, Ripple has to be a cheerleader for the use case of XRP as a pool of on-tap liquidity for cross-border money transactions. Keep in mind that Ripple does not own the XRP ledger system because XRP is a decentralized digital asset, but still they’re fostering an environment in which XRP markets grow and gain actual value. Rather than attempting to force banks to source XRP for liquidity, they seek to prove to banks and financial institutions that XRP is the only real solution for the global liquidity problem they face. In fact, a bank that utilizes both xCurrent and XRP can save upwards of 60% in costs.

Trillions of dollars are transferred around the world on a daily basis. That means that if XRP does one day replace nostro/vostro accounts, it’s market cap will need to be in the trillions. Ripple has not blatantly stated that they have a goal of XRP one day reaching a market cap in the trillions, but it seems obvious to me that is what they’re aiming for. That is what makes Ripple’s plan seem audacious, but it’s also the reason that it is truly visionary.

A Perfect Storm

How could it ever be possible for Ripple to clean up the train wreck that is the global money transfer system? It’s thanks to a blend of fortuitous timing and incredible technology. XRP was created in 2012; just three years after blockchain technology was introduced to the world via Bitcoin. Since it’s inception, the value of Bitcoin has soared because enough people have decided that it does in fact have value. It can be argued that on the day that Bitcoin inventor Satoshi Nakamoto launched hisperfectstorm invention, Bitcoin had no value. It wasn’t until the world began to adopt the platform and individuals converted their fiat currencies into Bitcoin that it really had any value. Similarly, XRP had no real value on the day that it was launched, yet today it enjoys a market cap of roughly $37 billion because people & businesses have come together and decided that is what it’s currently worth. The idea of creating the digital asset XRP, which initially had no value, and then convincing people to give it value by investing money in it to solve a liquidity problem, is incredible. The fact that Ripple is making this idea a reality is even more incredible.

Ripple came along with the right solutions at the right time, and they started marching down this path before most people had ever heard of Bitcoin or blockchain technology. Nothing like this has ever been attempted before. While Ripple’s plan may sound pretty wild to most, I believe they have a real shot at making their vision a reality.

Deeply Misguided Competitors

Let’s take a moment to consider the entities that are competing with Ripple. Examining all competitors would be outside the scope of this blog, but suffice it to say most are banks and financial institutions. Their technology solutions (I use the term “solutions” loosely) have two primary components. They utilize blockchain or familial technology for payments, and bank coins for liquidity.

Component 1: For comparison’s sake you can think of their blockchain or familial technology for payments as being equivalent in concept to Ripple’s xCurrent. That’s an oversimplification, but it works for explanatory purposes.

Component 2: The aforementioned bank coin. The term “bank coin” can be broadly used to define a digital asset created and used by a bank, or alliance of banks, which is intended to solve the same liquidity problem XRP was designed to solve.

Bank coins all employ the same general strategy, have the same market barriers, and the same tremendous shortcomings.

During the summer of 2016, UBS, Deutsche Bank, Santander and BNY Mellon announced their own bank coin. They call it the “utility settlement coin” which is a digital asset intended to solve the liquidity problem that XRP also seeks to solve. Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse promptly wrote an article citing the development of this bank coin as “deeply misguided.” He was quick to point out a glaringly obvious problem is that a bank coin can only efficiently settle between the banks that issued it.

A quote from Brad Garlinghouse’s article referencing two possible outcomes:

Scenario one: all banks around the world put aside competitive and geopolitical differences, adopt the same digital asset, agree on its rules, and harmoniously govern its usage. Fat chance.

Scenario two (the more likely scenario): banks not in the issuing group issue their own digital assets with their own sets of rules and governance.

Given that Brad’s second scenario is already happening with the advent of Citibank’s Citicoin and Goldman Sachs’ SETLcoin, it’s easy to see how pursuing the bank coin approach will only serve to further fragment an already fractured banking system. Banks with competing bank coins would need to make new markets in order to conduct business with one another. Does that sounds like a global solution to you? I don’t think so either. No level of bank coin interoperability could ever work as seamlessly as a globally adopted XRP.

As I previously mentioned, XRP is only used as a source of liquidity, not as a source meant for payments. This means that banks have a few choices when it comes to adopting blockchain, or familial technology, and digital assets:

  1. Utilize Ripple’s xCurrent for payments & XRP for liquidity.
  2. Create their own blockchain or familial technology for payments and use XRP for liquidity.
  3. Create their own blockchain or familial technology for payments and create their own centralized digital asset for liquidity.

A primary reason that XRP is attractive as a liquidity solution is that people and businesses have invested in it, and as such it has actual value. Any bank coin, upon inception, has no value. Bank coins are controlled by the banks that own them; they are not traded on open cryptocurrency exchanges. So, how can a bank coin with no actual value be used to solve a liquidity problem? The unfortunate answer is that it must be backed by multiple fiat currencies in order to have value. Mr. Garlinghouse points out the problem with this in referencing the utility settlement coin, which is a prime example:

Once backed by cash, it’s no longer an asset; it’s a liability. Trading liabilities then ultimately requires moving cash across borders, re-creating today’s system but adding more friction!

Which brings me to my next point.

Decentralization is Key

Bank coins are centralized systems which means that the owner of each individual system will ultimately enjoy the most benefits. The owners of each bank coin will fight against each other to be the dominant competitor in the marketplace. As written in a Recent “Ripple Insights” article by Richard Crook, decentralized systems offer these desirable attributes:

  • Resiliency — no single point of failure
  • Cheaper — no middle-man or monopoly to create fees or pricing power respectively
  • Agile — no need to move at the speed of the central component
  • Private — data cannot be resold or mined by the central party

Beyond these facts, I believe it’s likely that XRP will ultimately be adopted on a global scale because it levels the playing field. Consider the fact that smaller banks have it rough when conducting cross-border money transactions for their customers. Small banks don’t have the large capital reserves that bigger banks do, and as a result they can’t afford to pre-fund nostro accounts all over the world. Instead they pay bigger banks outrageous fees to tap into their liquidity, and these fees are then passed along to the customers of the smaller banks. Doesn’t that sound a bit upside down to you? The smaller banks are literally giving their money to larger competitors.

XRP is decentralized so everyone’s interests are in play. No one owns the ledger.

First Mover’s Advantage

It’s no stretch to say that Ripple is light-years ahead of competitors. Ripple is the only company in the world with production ready enterprise solutions for banks, while competitors are still designing or trialing their products.

While some banks will continue to fight for their own personal dominance by developing bank coins, not all will resist the future. Consider that Yoshitaka Kitao, CEO of SBI Holdings, has publicly stated that he strongly believes XRP will become the global standard in digital currencies. In May of 2016 SBI Holdings launched SBI Ripple Asia, a consortium over over 60 banks which includes the top bank in Japan. They began using Ripple technology for both domestic and cross-border payments. Mr. Kitao stated recently that they are increasingly interested in using XRP for payments. The Bank of England is currently a customer of Ripple. Royal Bank of Scotland embraces decentralized ledger systems and supports what Ripple is doing. On February 7th this year Brad Garlinghouse publicly stated that a yet announced central bank is also working with Ripple.

Compare the first mover’s advantage XRP has and the fact that it’s a truly global solution against bank coins coming late to the party and being closed systems. There is no comparison.

Crypto CompetitionrippleVSstellar

There is one other company competing in the cryptocurrency realm, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention them. I’m speaking of the non-profit entity Stellar Development Foundation which created a copycat cryptocurrency called XLM. Their cryptocurrency is a fork of the XRP ledger, and as such it shares a lot of code and attributes.

Is Stellar and XLM a threat to Ripple and XRP? At present, not really. Stellar has a vastly different business plan than Ripple and is seeking out a different customer. Ripple is positioning XRP as a global solution for liquidity while the mission of Stellar is to utilize XLM in countries such as Nigeria where the average citizen doesn’t have a bank account. Even if the technology is similar they aren’t a great threat to each other right now. Once XRP becomes the standard source for global liquidity there is no reason that XLM ever could, or would, take that position away from XRP.

Unique Approach

Why is no other business trying to position a decentralized digital asset as a global liquidity solution? All of the banks that are developing their own blockchain technology to improve payments and liquidity are doing so out of self interest. And that’s fine; banks are businesses and should do what they believe is in their best interest. They don’t feel incentivized to create a global payment system. Instead they believe that a closed system they control would be most profitable. Of course, if XRP becomes extremely dominate, banks in closed systems will be less desirable by customers that do cross-border money transactions. This could negatively impact their market share. For now though, banks will fight within the marketplace to retain as much power as they can.greedy-bankersConceptually, what Ripple is doing to position XRP is such a radical concept that it’s not hard for me to accept that no one else is taking the same approach. It would be an impossible task to successfully launch a new decentralized digital asset in competition with XRP at this stage in the game. Ripple has been at this for 6 years, and if XRP really does become the standard I wouldn’t be surprised to see it stay that way for decades or longer. Only new technology that is equally disruptive as blockchain would ever have a chance at changing the industry to this degree. Technology like that only comes along every once in a great while.

There are currently over 100 banks using xCurrent, so it’s safe to say that Ripple is succeeding at implementing their plan. Ripple’s software that utilizes XRP is called xRapid and was launched in late summer of 2017. Given the newness of the technology and the fact that sales pipelines take time to develop, only several xRapid customers have been announced by Ripple to date. I think that you should expect a lot more to come in 2018 and beyond. Remember that every Ripple customer that uses xCurrent is a potential xRapid customer.

The bottom line is that if you’re not competing against XRP with a globally oriented, decentralized digital asset, then you’re not really competing. 

 

DISCLAIMER: I am not a financial adviser. None of what has been written here should be considered financial advice; it is not. Do your own research before investing in any digital asset, and understand that investing in any cryptocurrency is inherently risky. If you do, you need to be prepared to lose your entire investment. 

Associated Links:

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/case-against-bankcoin-brad-garlinghouse/
https://www.coindesk.com/hsbc-barclays-join-utility-settlement-coin-as-bank-blockchain-test-enters-final-phase/
http://news.abs-cbn.com/business/01/22/18/visa-unionbank-launch-blockchain-payment-system
https://investor.visa.com/news/news-details/2016/Visa-Introduces-International-B2B-Payment-Solution-Built-on-Chains-Blockchain-Technology/default.aspx
https://ripple.com/files/xrp_cost_model_paper.pdf
https://ripple.com/insights/blockchain-connect-fireside-chat-ripple-ceo-speaks-about-ripple-solutions-for-global-payments/
https://www.ft.com/content/1a962c16-6952-11e6-ae5b-a7cc5dd5a28c?lipi=urn%3Ali%3Apage%3Ad_flagship3_pulse_read%3BRjXuqMSpQaG4pAciw%2BC7kA%3D%3D
https://ripple.com/insights/the-case-for-more-decentralization/

http://money.cnn.com/2017/12/29/investing/argentina-peso/index.html
https://ripple.com/insights/sbi-holdings-views-on-blockchain-and-xrp-an-interview-with-yoshitaka-kitao/

 

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XRP & Today’s Market Crash

By: Matt (Moon Lambo)

The fear is palpable. As the cryptocurrency market cap lost over $250 billion in value within the last 24 hours, the masses have been left wondering what went wrong. What triggered this watershed moment? Has the cypto bubble popped? What does this market activity mean in regards to the price and long term viability of Ripple & XRP? Today I’ll cover these topics.

Price Behavior within the Cryptocurrency Market

Within the last year there have been more than a few occasions in which the cryptocurrency market cap as a whole dipped anywhere from 30% to 50%. Go to the Live Coin Watch website (link below) and you can easily spot with your own two eyes the extreme volatility of the market. After each extreme dip, the market only came back stronger.

Why is the market crashing to this degree today? The market cap for all cryptocurrencies rose in true meteoric fashion; to heights never before seen in a span of roughly two months. Consider the fact that in early November the market cap for all coins was about $200 billion, and as recently as one week ago it was hovering around $830 billion. That’s astonishing growth, and it’s the biggest increase we’ve ever seen in terms of dollars. In the past when we’ve seen similar percentage increases in total market cap over such a short period of time it’s been followed by sharp, temporary declines. What is happening today, in percentage terms, is no different.

An Economic Bubble

The Nasdaq Stock Market exchange website defines an economic bubble as follows:

A market phenomenon characterized by surges in asset prices to levels significantly above the fundamental value of that asset. Bubbles are often hard to detect in real time because there is disagreement over the fundamental value of the asset.

I do believe that the crypto space is operating within an economic bubble. A veritable cornucopia of money has been invested in so many different coins, seemingly in a state of euphoria. To date, most initial coin offerings have resulted in projects being funded in the tens of millions, with many soon attaining valuation in the billions. This parallels perfectly with the dotcom bubble. “Your project has something to do with the internet? Okay, here is money.” It’s absurd, and that is what we’re seeing today with cryptocurrencies.

That being said, blockchain technology is truly revolutionary and it is here to stay, just as the internet didn’t stop existing after the dotcom bubble popped. There are many legitimate projects in the crypto space, and such projects should be applauded.

If we can all be adult enough to acknowledge there is a crypto bubble, the question must be posed: When will the crypto bubble pop? If only Nostradamus were alive today to inform us. The truth is that no one knows the answer to this, but we can look at past examples to help us figure out how things might unfold.

Consider that the dotcom bubble peaked at $3 trillion dollars. That particular bubble was largely led by the United States stock market. In stark contrast, the market cap of all cryptocurrencies peaked about a week ago around just $830 billion as I previously stated. That is a far cry from the bubble popping territory that led to the dotcom bust. It’s also important to note the cryptocurrency movement is truly global, whereas the dotcom bubble was dominated primarily by western civilization. Given that there are substantially more participants in this bubble compared to the dotcom bubble, how could it possibly be that the crypto bubble pops before reaching a minimum of a $3 trillion market cap? In my mind it can’t. The market can crash like it did today, but not pop. I suspect time will show that the sharp declines we’ve seen today will rebound, and I don’t believe that this will be the last time we see such extreme volatility in the market.

Ripple & XRP Fundamentals

The most important thing you should take away from this blog entry is that the fundamentals of Ripple & XRP have not changed, despite the market crash today. In my last blog, I noted that the vast majority of funds in the XRP market cap have come from speculative investors, not financial institutions. Because of this fact the price of XRP is subject to extreme volatility which is true for all cryptocurrencies.

This will not always be the case. As financial institutions adopt XRP over time, the price of XRP will stabilize substantially. Why? It’s quite simple really. In the future, the majority of XRP will be held thanks to its real world utility. Banks and other financial institutions will use it as a source of on-tap liquidity for the settlement of payments. They will literally be using it to save money, so once XRP reaches critical mass there would be no incentive for financial institutions to sell it. Doing so would dramatically increase their expense in regards to cross-border payments. If you look long term it’s clear that holding XRP will be the most sound and stable investment in the entire cryptocurrency marketplace. You’ll be able to thank banks and the like for that, and you should.

Financial institutions and other entities that are interested in adopting xRapid (Ripple’s platform that utilizes XRP) will be just as interested in it tomorrow as they were yesterday. Nothing has changed on that front. Irrespective of the market crash today, I think it makes a lot of sense to sleep easy holding XRP. No doubt many savvy investors are taking advantage of the outrageous dip in the price of XRP today to increase their holdings of the coin.

Large Payments of XRP

Twitter user @XRPL_Monitor tracks and tweets all payments on the XRP ledger that are at least 5 million XRP. Over the last several hours, while crypto investors at large were collectively freaking out and in many cases selling their positions, here are just a few XRP transactions that occurred:

  • Payment amount: 5,000,000 XRP, receiver balance 475,504,156 XRP
  • Payment amount: 10,000,000 XRP, receiver balance 10,325,080 XRP
  • Payment amount: 9,232,453 XRP, receiver balance 41,961,347 XRP
  • Payment amount 7,294,420 XRP, receiver balance 32,864,329 XRP
  • Payment amount 50,000,000 XRP, receiver balance 50,000,020 XRP
  • Payment amount 15,292,726 XRP, receiver balance 27,016,813 XRP

Even more mind blowing, yesterday morning there was a payment of 890,335,048 XRP. What does this mean? Either there are a lot of millionaires and billionaires moving very high volumes of XRP around for the fun of it, or more likely, this is evidence of financial institutions purchasing and/or testing transactions of XRP. They’re doing this despite today’s crash. That should tell you something.

The price volatility of today has done nothing to shake my confidence in XRP and the mission of Ripple. Once xRapid is adopted by financial institutions on a large scale, they will not regress to a pre-XRP world, bubble pop or not.

DISCLAIMER: I am not a financial adviser. None of what has been written here should be considered financial advice; it is not. Do your own research before investing in any digital asset, and understand that investing in any cryptocurrency is inherently risky. You need to be prepared to lose your entire investment. 

Sources:

http://www.nasdaq.com/investing/glossary/e/economic-bubble

https://www.livecoinwatch.com/price/Bitcoin-BTC

https://www.arilewis.com/blog/2017/8/18/the-internet-bubble-peaked-at-3b

 

XRP: How Much Will it be Worth?

By: Matt (Moon Lambo)

Speculation on the future price of XRP is not short in supply. While frequenting social media I regularly find members of the XRP community stating, sometimes arbitrarily, what they believe the maximum price for a single XRP coin could one day be. While no one could possibly know what the timeline for growth and adoption of the coin will look like, it is possible to make a reasonable price limit prediction if we’re only considering it’s primary use case as a bridge currency for cross-border settlement of payments.

Scope of the Market

It’s important to understand the current volume of monetary transactions on a macro scale. Speaking in terms of order of magnitude, the dollars transferred in the cross-border payment market dwarfs the value of every market in existence. SWIFT, arguably the market leader, transfers about $1.25 quadrillion per year. CHIPS transfers about $400 trillion per year, and Fedwire transfers about $900 trillion per year. This adds up to roughly $2.55 quadrillion transferred annually, or about $9.8 trillion worth of transactions each business day.

Perhaps the greatest pain point financial institutions face when processing cross-border payments is sourcing the liquidity necessary to make such transactions possible. As recently as the end of 2015, balances tied up globally in nostro accounts exceeded $27 trillion. Ripple is working tirelessly to position XRP as the premiere source for on-tap liquidity and the fastest option for settlement of payments. As such, XRP is poised to solve what is, on an annual basis, a multi-quadrillion dollar problem. The implicit value of the opportunity at hand cannot be overstated.

Breaking Down the Numbers

Let that data sink in for a moment. Roughly $27 trillion is parked in transactional accounts at this very moment to facilitate the transfer & settlement of the comparably smaller figure of $9.8 trillion on a daily basis. That means that XRP will need to have a market cap of $9.8 trillion just to accommodate the average daily transactions of all cross border payments systems in order to achieve 100% market share. While I don’t find it reasonable to predict XRP will be used for all payments within this market, at the outset of this blog I cited my goal as pegging a reasonable upper limit to the value of XRP. This assumes 100% dominance. Here goes:

  • There are currently 38,739,144,847 XRP coins in circulation at the time of this writing. I’ll round up to 39 billion for the sake of simpler calculations
  • Assume a market cap of $27 trillion for XRP which is the value that is already in nostro accounts today.  To determine the value of each individual coin we divide the market cap by total circulating supply, or $27 trillion divided by 39 billion. That comes out to a value of $692.30 for each XRP coin.

That’s the number; $692.30 per XRP. That was calculated using the most accurate estimates available based on knowable data, and only considers it’s use case as a mechanism for cross-border settlements by financial institutions. That being said, this figure doesn’t do much to help us determine what the true value of XRP might be one day because too many things are unknowable.

The reason $27 trillion is sitting in nostro accounts just waiting to be used to facilitate payment transactions is that it currently takes upwards of 5 days for a transaction to settle, and the demand for transactions ebbs and flows. Thus, financial institutions must have much more money sitting idle in transactional accounts than they think they’ll need, just in case. Compare that 5 day transaction time with XRP which takes a mere 4 seconds to settle transactions. I find it reasonable to speculate that not much more than the average daily value of transactions, $9.8 trillion, would need to be held in the form of XRP if financial institutions adopt the technology. That would mean a lower upper limit when speculating about the future value of XRP than if $27 trillion were still needed to be on hand for liquidity. However, if XRP became the standard for transactions, you could expect an increase in the volume of cross border transactions. Put simply, the speed and low cost of XRP sourced transactions would create an unknowable amount of new demand which would increase the XRP market cap, and with it the value of each coin.

A Moving Target

The trouble with price speculation is that the value of the factors that are needed for calculations are always changing. In December 2017 Ripple placed 55 billion XRP in escrow and will release a maximum of 1 billion XRP per month until the entire supply is in the market one day. This will radically change the amount of XRP in circulation over time. The implications of such? The point at which the supply of XRP meets the demand of the market will change regularly and will result in a continually shifting equilibrium price. However, it’s also true that with every single transfer of XRP, a tiny amount of it is shredded forever, decreasing the supply slowly over time and making it more valuable.

Store of Value

At the outset I stated that it’s easy to make a reasonable price limit prediction if we’re only considering XRP’s value as a bridge currency for cross-border transactions. What I didn’t mention until now is that I believe it’s silly to think about the potential of XRP exclusively in such terms. How many of you have considered that to date, XRP’s primary use is as a store of value? That vast majority of XRP in circulation is not currently held by financial institutions. It’s held by people like you and me: speculative investors. Bitcoin is currently being treated as a digital version of gold, so why can’t the same be true for XRP? It’s my contention that as demand for XRP soars over time, people will treat it like they treat gold.  I believe that the market cap of XRP will one day soar to the trillions, supplanting Bitcoin of it’s current position as the number one digital asset in the world. If financial institutions adopt XRP en masse this year, it could be number one before the end of 2018. Such a development would dramatically increase the visibility of XRP and would only serve to spur mass adoption of XRP as a store of value.

What could that mean for the value of XRP? Consider this:

  • The market cap for gold is about $7.8 trillion
  • If XRP one day matches the value that gold is today, that adds an additional value of  $200 per XRP based on the current circulating supply of the coin

Additional Applications of XRP

The number of real world use cases for XRP is seemingly endless. What if major credit card companies used XRP to settle their transactions? A few weeks ago, a blogger named “Crowd Conscious” wrote a piece about what would happen to the value of XRP if Visa & Mastercard jumped on the Ripple bandwagon. I’ll link to the blog below in case you’d like to take a look at how the numbers were crunched, but here is the bottom line:

  • If XRP were used by Visa it would increase the value of each XRP by $229.742
  • If XRP were used by Mastercard it would increase the value of each XRP by $90.35

The party doesn’t stop there. Ripple recently announced that 3 out of the 5 largest money transfer companies in the world have committed to using XRP. Days after this announcement it was confirmed that one of those companies is Moneygram. Western Union & PayPal are two additional names that have been floating around as potential early adopters of XRP. Be patient; time will reveal all business entities that plan to team up with Ripple and utilize XRP.

In reality just about any company that is transferring money could use XRP to settle payments, which is why everything I’ve written about in this particular blog entry is just the tip of the iceberg. Imagine if companies like Amazon, Walmart, Uber, and eBay began using XRP. I’ve already cited several examples above, where numbers have been crunched,  and if combined then in theory could push the price of a single XRP to over $1,000. Not that I believe this is exactly how things will play out, but the point of this exercise is to help people to understand that we have barely scratched the surface of the use cases for XRP. As such, I believe that the average investor has no earthly idea of the potential of what they just threw their money in. While Ripple’s core message is that they believe XRP should be the standard for cross border payment settlements, the truth is that there are an endless number of uses that would increase the value of XRP far beyond what it could ever be if it were only to be used by financial institutions.

How much could XRP be worth one day? As Ripple’s lead cryptographer David Schwartz once wrote, it “Depends on how big you want to dream.”

DISCLAIMER: I am not a financial adviser. None of what has been written here should be considered financial advice; it is not. Do your own research before investing in any digital asset, and understand that investing in any cryptocurrency is inherently risky. You need to be prepared to lose your entire investment. 

Sources:

https://ripple.com/insights/mckinsey-corporates-need-faster-payments/

https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/financial-services/our-insights/a-mixed-year-for-the-global-payments-industry

http://fortune.com/2017/12/04/bitcoin-crytocurrency-tiny-asset/

https://www.forbes.com/sites/oliviergarret/2017/10/26/all-the-reasons-cryptocurrencies-will-never-replace-gold-as-your-financial-hedge/#38c61c90380e

https://www.ccn.com/cryptocurrency-market-cap-to-reach-2-trillion-in-2018-mike-novogratz/

https://www.investopedia.com/terms/n/nostroaccount.asphttps://venturebeat.com/2017/12/15/moonlambos-sells-lamborghinis-for-bitcoin-to-help-the-gilded-cryptocurrency-generation-spend-its-windfall/

https://keepingstock.net/opinion-ripples-price-with-visa-or-mastercard-integration-6e723f7936d5