Ripple (XRP)–As the cryptocurrency market enters its fourth month of decline in valuation, both investors and enthusiasts are looking for reasons to be excited or place further interest in the industry.
Ripple has established itself as a currency of significance throughout the first part of the year, but the majority of announcements have been related to adoption through financial services. While the backing of companies as large as SBI Holdings and Western Union represent an important step for cryptocurrency acceptance, there is a frustrating appeal to the XRP coin: Why doesn’t Ripple do more with an industry leading cryptocurrency?
What Does Ripple Offer over Other Cryptocurrencies?
Not only has Ripple grown the largest list of partnerships throughout the new year–both in real world implementation of XRP and crypto exchanges–but XRP is an industry leader in terms of usability.
- Essentially free. Ripple transactions come at the cost of 0.00001 XRP, which means that a single XRP coin purchased today at 0.50 USD could cover 100,000 XRP related transactions, or an entire lifetime of use. Ripple’s fees are used as a way to increase security on the blockchain, instituting a “coin burn” that destroys the accompanying 0.00001 XRP forever. As opposed to paying miners, who have an incentive to create network congestion and leverage high fees, Ripple’s fee is designed to be consistent over time.
- Fast. XRP transactions are now completed in 4 seconds. Compare that to the amount of time it takes to use a debit card through traditional fiat. The possibility of in-store, everyday purchases for Ripple is already a reality.
- Scalable. While other industry leading currencies have network’s capable of handling less than 10 transactions per second, Ripple is capable of processing 1500 tps. While there is still room to grow if Ripple were to become as large as most fiat payment processors, the current iteration of the network is more than capable of handling the volume of all cryptocurrency-backed transactions.
Why Ripple is Still Targeting Banks
It’s a disservice to both XRP and the industry of cryptocurrency for Ripple to continue to ignore the outlet of their currency in major commerce transactions. Rather than continually billing XRP as a fintech currency tailor made for banks and money transfer services, Ripple should be addressing the top market usability of XRP as a currency for business and customer transactions. There is no reason that XRP cannot exist as a tool for Wall Street and Main Street.
We can understand the appeal of targeting billion dollar banks and other financial service companies: Ripple has a revolutionary technology that will disrupt the way money is transferred around the globe. In terms of creating a product that qualifies for Peter Thiel’s 10x Rule, Ripple and XRapid can out-compete anything currently on the market. There is also pressure from Ripple to play nicely with the customer base it is trying to establish. Wall Street might be intrigued with cryptocurrency and blockchain, but they are going to be repelled by the anti-establishment, anti-banking rhetoric that surrounds much of Bitcoin’s fervent base. If Ripple can gain trust and adoption with global banks, there is little other incentive to push XRP as a currency. Picture a scenario where a bank has interest in adopting Ripple’s technology, but not the cryptocurrency XRP. Ripple can either take a hard stance of requiring XRP as apart of their money transfer program, and thereby risk losing a sale, or they can hold XRP in reserve as a side project.
While Ripple has been a strong supporter for the XRP currency, and we have witnessed a wave of XRP related partnerships that were sorely lacking from last year’s announcements (read: American Express), it’s clear that Ripple has a bigger interest in being adopted by the financial service industry rather pushing cryptocurrency.
On some level, that’s okay.
Crypto is a decentralized protocol that is supposed to be about growing through community adoption and development. It shouldn’t require Ripple, the parent company, to broker every deal or use-case for XRP implementation. Anyone is free to use and develop for XRP, accept XRP in transactions or independent commerce stores, and to find ways to buy and sell with the currency through the community. Any small business owner or web store developer could decide to implement a payment program for XRP, including in-store purchases that can be transacted in the same amount of time as a traditional Visa payment.
The frustration comes from the fact that Ripple is sitting on a relative gold mine in terms of cryptocurrency utility. The cryptocurrency market is floundering because of waning interest in the industry–a situation that could be remedied by greater real-world implementation. Bitcoin may be the figurehead and industry leader for crypto, but it suffers from a litany of limitations that are going to take time to fix.
XRP is ready now.
Ripple has yet to reach a ceiling in terms of scalability. While the 1500 tps is a far cry from Visa’s 50,000+, Ripple is also moving forward with innovations to increase that number. Even with 1500 tps, Ripple is by far the industry leader in handling the volume necessary for widespread adoption, in addition to having under 5 second payment confirmations. There is almost no reason why Ripple should not be at the forefront for cryptocurrency adoption for transactions. Any company looking to gain exposure to the growing crypto consumer base would do well to enter through Ripple’s XRP.