What’s the end goal for cryptos? If you take a step back from the latest regulatory news and price predictions, you’ll see that the underlying aim for every project is mainstream acceptance. When Sataoshi Nakamoto published Bitcoin’s whitepaper in 2009, the introduction states that commerce on the internet has had to rely on financial institutions acting as trusted third parties. However, in his (their?) mind, things don’t have to be this way.
“What is needed is an electronic payment system based on cryptographic proof instead of trust, allowing any two willing parties to transact directly with each other without the need for a trusted third party,” reads the 2009 document.
Cryptos Are Designed to be Used, Not Invested
In essence, what the founders of Bitcoin (BTC) wanted was a universal payment system that everyone could use. This aim has formed the basis of the crypto world ever since and, irrespective of anything else, that’s what developers are striving for today. Based on this, the recent announcement by Bitcoin Superstore should provide a huge boost for Ripple and its XRP token.
“We are excited to announce our acceptance of #Ripple! Customers can now buy from nearly any online retailer with Ripple,” wrote Bitcoin Superstore on August 5.
By partnering with the largest online crypto retailer, Ripple (XRP) has moved a step closer to mainstream acceptance. Indeed, with consumers now able to spend XRP at more than 200,000 digital stores, the question of “where can I spend Ripple” appears to have been answered. However, despite what should be seen as positive news, the price of XRP hasn’t improved. In fact, as of August 10, the coin’s seven-day value had dropped by $0.10 to $0.33.
Price Boom Has Skewed Perceptions
What’s the explanation for this? Given how the market evolved in 2017, the reason could be that people have lost sight of the end goal. During the crypto boom of 2017, money from seasoned investors flooded into the market as long and short sellers looked to make a quick buck. This certainly had its benefits in terms of liquidity, which, in turn, helped fuel new developments and business partnerships. However, what it also did was skew the public’s perception of what cryptos really are.
Instead of seeing Ripple, Bitcoin and Ethereum (ETH) as new ways to processes payments and data, most outsiders simply see them as money-making ventures. Indeed, if you ask the average person about Bitcoin (BTC), the chances are they won’t know how the technology works. However, they’ll probably know it can be used as a financial investment. This shift in perception is what’s hurting Ripple and other projects. If a traditional tech company creates a product that gets picked up by Apple or Amazon, it’s price booms.
All Products Want Mass-Market Adoption
In fact, the reason for this is that most companies want their products to be available to the general public. So, by developing something that then gets listed by Amazon, the company responsible instantly becomes more valuable. A perfect example of this is Oculus VR. Prior to Facebook buying the company for $2.3 billion in 2014, it’s virtual reality (VR) headset was nothing more than a niche product. Today, Oculus is one of the biggest brands in the VR space, has a partnership with Samsung and it’s sold more than 1.6 million Rift headsets since 2017.
Although Ripple’s partnership with Bitcoin Superstore is nowhere near as significant, it is similar. The site gives users a way to pay for virtually anything, from gift cards to TVs and books. By finding the product online and entering its URL into the Bitcoin Superstore platform, you’ll be able to pay with six different cryptos, including XRP. Is the system ideal? Not at this stage. However, it has made it possible for the average to a consumer to shop for anything they like and pay with a cryptocurrency.
Distorted Values Are Hurting Ripple’s Value
Given that this has always been the aim of the industry, shouldn’t the value of Ripple be on the up right now? If more people had read Nakamoto’s whitepaper, maybe it would be. As Imperial’s Dr Zeynep Guruc has said, cryptos will only replace fiats if they’re scalable and usable. The efforts of Bitcoin Superstore and Ripple play into these ideas, which would suggest we may one day live in a world without centralized currencies. However, until people stop looking at coins as nothing more than commodities, these innovations aren’t going to improve the price of Ripple or any other crypto.