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Is Bitcoin rival Ripple set to become the hottest cryptocurrency of 2018?

Is Bitcoin rival Ripple set to become the
hottest cryptocurrency of 2018?
Ripple coins. The next big thing?

Matthew Field
2 JANUARY 2018 • 4:57PM


itcoin's astonishing run in 2017 attracted headlines
and hype, as the digital currency's price soared and
turned early investors into crypto-millionaires.
But another cryptocurrency's rise shook investors at the
year's end as a currency known as Ripple capped an
annual rise of more than 36,000 per cent, doubling in
price in the last week of December.
Ripple's growth came after reports its payments system
was being tested with a host of global banks, with
Japanese and Korean credit card companies confirming
they would pilot the technology.
Each unit of Ripple is now worth around $2.20 on online
exchanges. While this is markedly less than Bitcoin's
mammoth valuation of more than $13,800 per coin,
Ripple has increased from $0.006 twelve months ago, and
the total value of its supply makes it the second
most valuable cryptocurrency.



Is Bitcoin rival Ripple set to become the hottest cryptocurrency of 2018?

So why is Ripple now worth so much more than it was just
months ago, and is its rise any different from the the
growth of Bitcoin?

Ripple explained
While Bitcoin is a digital currency, Ripple is technically
the payments network behind the cryptocurrency officially
known as XRP, although it is often referred to simply as
Like Bitcoin, Ripple runs on a blockchain, a secure online
record of all transactions considered the future of online
payments technology used today.
But Ripple's network differs hugely from Bitcoin in many
respects. Launched in 2012, it is not ultimately meant to
be used as a primary unit of payment. Rather the Ripple
network acts as a system for verifying and recording
transactions of all kinds of assets, including its own XRP
While Bitcoin was founded as a totally decentralised
network, with users contributing their own computer
power to process payments in return for "mining" new
Bitcoin, Ripple is a company which created a set amount
of Ripple XRP coins with 99 billion ready to be
distributed. These XRP coins can be sold or traded, or



Is Bitcoin rival Ripple set to become the hottest cryptocurrency of 2018?

used as a gateway between different assets to avoid
traditional fees and transaction times.

Faster than Bitcoin
The developers of Ripple say its network boasts several
advantages over Bitcoin as a global payments system.
Transaction speeds are significantly lower, around three
seconds, while fees are one millionth of an XRP coin.
While Bitcoin is expensive to trade and has grown
massively as public interest, speculation and private
investors cash in, Ripple's faster network has potentially
practical uses as a foreign exchange network, leading to
partnerships and trials with banks such as American
Express, Santander and UBS.

How does Ripple work?
Ripple works differently to many digital currencies,
describing the XRP coin as "the fastest and most scalable
digital asset".
Unlike Bitcoin, which has been touted as a way to move
away from central banks, Ripple can be actively used as a
tool for payments by banks, with the network able to
handle up to 1,500 transactions per second compared to
fewer than 10 with Bitcoin.



Is Bitcoin rival Ripple set to become the hottest cryptocurrency of 2018?

Like Bitcoin, however, it uses blockchain technology, a
digital ledger that records and encrypts all transactions.
Unlike Bitcoin, this is not done by a network of tens of
thousands of users "mining" Ripple. The Ripple network
was initially entirely controlled by the startup, but it has
since begun distributing its control third parties who
verify transactions.
This control has led to greater stability during the set up
of the network, according to Ripple. Ripple said in
a blogpost it was gradually removing its own controlling
nodes as more trusted parties join to confirm payments on
the blockchain.
Some users and cryptocurrency analysts had criticised
Ripple for its overly-centralised structure, while a large
portion of Ripple was also initially retained by its
founders. In response, Ripple said it would lock its
remaining cryptocurrency in an encrypted escrow
account, releasing a set portion each month to limit

Why is its price rising?
The sudden rise in Ripple's price has seen it more than
double to $2.20 on January 1 from around $1 a week
earlier and 25 cents at the beginning of December. This
boost in price has been attributed by some as investors



Is Bitcoin rival Ripple set to become the hottest cryptocurrency of 2018?

cashing out their Bitcoin gains for rival cryptocurrencies,
as Ripple's price has continued to rise even as Bitcoin has
fallen sharply.
The growth trend may also be due to the increased
exposure of cryptocurrencies to investors, who have
moved beyond Bitcoin to invest in several rival currencies.
Ripple has also recently announced further pilots with
several of Japan's largest credit card companies for cross
border payments.
The price of one unit of Ripple is significantly lower than
Bitcoin and many other cryptocurrencies due to the total
level of supply. Overall there are around 38 billion units of
Ripple in circulation, compared to just 16.7 million
Despite this its total value has passed $90 billion, making
it the second most valuable cryptocurrency overall behind
only Bitcoin.

How to buy Ripple
Ripple is available on several of the largest online
cryptocurrency trading platforms, including BitStamp and
Kraken. Users will need to create an account on the
exchange, which may involve verifying personal
information. Users can then deposit funds and buy XRP,



Is Bitcoin rival Ripple set to become the hottest cryptocurrency of 2018?

the digital currency of Ripple. Ripple is currently available
on 50 exchanges, with "more coming soon", according
to David Schwartz, one of the original designers of Ripple.
Ripple is not yet available on Coinbase, one of the most
popular exchange apps. Coinbase chief executive Brian
Armstrong previously called Ripple a "distraction" from
Given its sudden rise it's not yet clear if Ripple will hold
its value. Since it is being built with the aid of banks and
large institutions it has value as an asset, but with such a
large supply available is unlikely to rise to the level of



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