What Could Coinsquare do for Ripple (XRP) Price
Ripple (XRP)–Yesterday Coinsquare, a popular Canadian-based cryptoexchange, announced it would be adding Ripple to its coin selection in early February. The press release also included information about the company’s expansion to U.S. and U.K. customers by mid 2018.
Here are a few ways the Coinsquare listing could impact Ripple (XRP) pricing:
Put Pressure on Coinbase and Other Mobile-Friendly Exchanges
The real benefit from the Coinsquare listing, outside of greater exposure and direct fiat pairings, is the pressure it places on rival companies to list XRP. Coinbase has squashed the near-term addition of Ripple, but most people believe that announcement was a temporary response to a long-term plan.
At this point, it’s probably better for Ripple and the cryptocurrency community as a whole to have the Coinbase implosion over the last two months. First there was the Bitcoin Cash debacle, which lead to massive market manipulation and all-but-true accusations of insider trading. Then there was the announcement by Brian Armstrong (CEO of Coinbase) that his company would not be pursuing any more altcoins, despite stating a month earlier on national television that they would be doing just the opposite in 2018. If the rumors are true about Coinbase, that their staff and board is made up of Bitcoin fanatics afraid to give an advantage to more altcoins, then the market is prepared to pass them by. But the alternative seems highly likely. Coinbase is a for-profit company in the rare position to provide U.S. based customers with an app-based, user-friendly exchange for dipping into crypto. They are also in the process of transitioning to IPO, which means, at some point, they will be obligated to shareholders just like any company. That means profits come first. More currencies = more trades = more commissions.
Even if Coinbase continues to neglect XRP and the lion’s share of the market, the Coinsquare listing puts pressure on other exchanges, particularly those just now coming up, to offer Ripple as a way to one-up their competition. James Altucher has been vocal about raising money for a competitive exchange to Coinbase. Robinhood, a popular app-based stock exchange that offers zero fees on transactions, is now taking the plunge into cryptocurrency. There is a large segment of Coinbase customers that have yet to venture away from the novice-friendly exchange. Within that group, there is more than a few who would be willing to jump ship to another app-based, fiat-based exchange that offered popular coins, such as XRP, that they have patiently been waiting on Coinbase to list.
Competition is good for everyone, and in Ripple’s case, the pressure to add XRP to exchanges and offer fiat pairings is only going to help the price.
Direct Fiat Pairings with XRP
The most exciting achievement of the Coinsquare listing is the presence of direct fiat pairings for XRP. Up until this point, the majority of investors, particularly those in Western countries, have had to rely upon BTC and ETH pairings to purchase Ripple. While there is some merit and utility to the concept of purchasing crypto with crypto, it creates an artificial market for the pairing currencies. Bitcoin and Ethereum derive their value in part because of their inherent ability to purchase other coins.
Why is there such clamoring for fiat pairings? For one, it simplifies the process of cryptocurrency. Some people don’t want cryptocurrency to be simple, or at least find it’s current level of complexity to be a good barrier-to-entry. But for crypto to become as ubiquitous a technology as mobile phones or the internet, it has to target mass-appeal usability. Think of your grandma trying to buy an altcoin. She can either use an app like Coinbase to purchase it directly with her bank account or credit card. Or she can first purchase a coin with fiat, then transfer that coin to another exchange, then purchase her coin of choice. The fewer intermediate steps, the better.
Buying and selling crypto should be like investing in stocks and other securities. An investor should be able to put up fiat in exchange for the market-rate of their currency. Most investors don’t want to track their portfolio in BTC or have the entire market tied to the price of one currency. It would be as if the entire selection of stocks through NASDAQ hinged upon the price of APPL stock–that’s a scenario both frustrating and destined to fail in the long-run. But that’s what we have with cryptocurrency. Without omnipresent currencies on exchanges (Coinbase, one of the largest in the world, offers four coins), and the ability to buy direct with fiat, the entire industry is limited in potential adoption. The goal for cryptocurrency, at least at this point, is not to replace government fiat but to get more people exchanging for it. The more people who own Bitcoin or Ripple or Tron, the more likely they are to spend it and further grow the adoption process. People want to buy things with the money they are paid with. The market needs to work harder to fill that need.
Greater Adoption of Ripple
The entire cryptocurrency market is going to have to mature, both in its outlook and priority, in order to sustain the type of growth we saw last year. There was a bull run in Q4 2017 that took the total market capitalization from under 300 billion USD to over 700. That type of growth is unsustainable, as we have all experienced in the recent pullback, but also gives the appearance of a misguided industry. Investors throwing money at currencies in the hopes of getting rich is the breeding ground for a bubble. People need to research the technology they invest in. They need to support projects with working products or real-world partnerships. The pursuit of fast profits and overnight millions is creating a buffer between the crypto-markets and the rest of the world.
A rational person can’t imagine that $100 in Bitcoin today will be $1700 in a year, even though that’s exactly what the market did last year. It’s too good to be true–and likely is–which gives the impression of a ponzi scheme or some other ulterior motive that will harm the little guy (i.e. the average joe investor). It also creates the conditions for jealousy, envy and animosity, all powerful forces that can tank an industry faster than any level of excitement can buoy it. The vitriol against cryptocurrencies published by some mainstream media organizations reeks of jealousy and playing to a segment of their readership that actively wants crypto to fail. The targeted animosity doesn’t make sense (no one’s forcing these people to invest in crypto), outside of the frame that envy creates a yearning to see the successful fail. So while the various factions within cryptocurrency, from Bitcoin to BCash to Ripple, eat away at one another, they are overlooking the far greater threat of a general public being conditioned against the industry as a whole.
What does this have to do with Coinsquare and Ripple? Cryptocurrency is in need of adoption. Any new exchange or listing that increases the availability of a currency is beneficial to the entire industry. Couple that with an exchange focused on ease of use and ease of purchase, and we are starting to move towards cryptocurrency designed for the masses. Fiat pairings make pricing as simplistic as shopping at the grocery store. App-based interfaces lower the barrier of entry to anyone who can operate a smartphone and Facebook. It also makes it easier to recommend. There are a lot of crypto-enthusiasts hoping to get rich off the back of their appreciating currency, without contributing any effort. More exchanges means more opportunity to get others into cryptocurrency–or at least point them in the right direction. Ripple, particularly since the stagnation in price following the Coinbase announcement, is in need of a fresh wave of investors to get the price and interest stirred again. Coinsquare could be that catalyst, at least opening a gateway for Canadian (and eventually US/UK) customers to easily purchase XRP.
Expect that once the demand for Ripple goes up again, more exchanges (i.e. Coinbase) will feel the pressure to push XRP to the forefront.