Ripple’s Ecosystem Continues Worldwide Expansion, What’s Next for XRP?

While Bitcoin has had an incredible year so far, aiming to update the record high in the longer-term, it seems that Ripple doesn’t benefit from the generally bullish sentiment to the same degree. Bitcoin has gained over 200% year-to-date, compared to Ripple’s modest 14% return for the same period.

In the following lines, we’ll try to figure out the next price levels for Ripple’s coin. As you’ll see, some analysts expect XRP to surge to about $50 in the next few months. Is this even possible? Well, some technical analysis indicators point to that theoretic opportunity, though it’s too early to lose your mind on Ripple as of today.

On Saturday, July 6, 2019, XRP has gained over 5.6%, is among the best performers over the day, leaving Bitcoin way behind. Since there are no fundamental drivers that could explain the current bullish trend, the chances are the market reacts to the recent rumors about a sudden explosion in the XRP price.

Quick Facts:

  • Year-to-date (YTD), XRP has gained over 14%, increasing from $0.35 at the beginning of the year to the current level of $0.40. The YTD peak was hit on June 26, when XRP was trading at $0.49.
  • Ripple, which operates a cross-border payment ecosystem and leads a huge consortium, has the third-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, with over $17 billion according to Coinmarketcap data.
  • Ripple has lost over 62% of its value against Bitcoin since the start of the year.

Can Ripple Jump to $50?

At the beginning of July, market analyst nicknamed CryptoManiac stated that XRP could surge to an unimaginable level of $50 per coin based on some hints derived from the technical analysis. He created a chart to prove his take.  

“This is a very interesting TA if you take few minutes to actually analyze it and determine some very similar movements/fractals from last time we were riding on trend line to today. As of today, we are sitting on a 790+ Day Support in a form of a Trend Line. Last time we had similar trend line, it took just around 944 days before we saw an immense breakout occur,” the analyst said.

He concluded that if we were to replicate the same pattern again, we should aim for a similar breakout probably in December of this. However, at this time the explosion will be massive, as Ripple will target the $50 level, with short-term stops ranging between $5 and $15.

As per the analyst’s logic, the market capitalization of Ripple at that time would be over $2 trillion, based on the current XRP of over 42 billion coins. Such a scenario seems implausible considering that the combined market cap of all coins couldn’t exceed the $400 billion level this year.

The CryptoManiac stated that from 2014 towards early 2017 the market had demonstrated a similar move that had an exceptionally long support line, which ended with an uptrend that generated over 80,000% return from the support line.

However, not everyone agrees with this approach, with some commentators even claiming that the chart is a scam and shouldn’t be discussed at all. Other commentators said that even a $5 level seems distant as of today, let alone $50.

Another important problem is that Ripple is a private company that controls the coin, so it can affect the price through dilution.

Indeed, there is no way to see Ripple trading at $50 by the end of this year, unless the US dollar goes through a hyperinflation state and devalues. $2 trillion is too much for Ripple.

Nevertheless, Ripple has good chances to benefit from the generally bullish sentiment of the crypto space and probably consolidate at around $0.50 in the next few months if the worldwide adoption continues. So far, Ripple’s expansion is moving at a decent pace.

Ripple’s Infrastructure Grows Worldwide

Since the start of the year, the company behind XRP has made several important steps, including securing partnerships with leading players of the payment industry, opening new offices, and addressing regulatory issues. Here are some of the recent events that have enabled Ripple investors to gain more confidence:

Partnership with MoneyGram

On June 17 of this year, Ripple announced that it had entered a strategic partnership with money transfer giant MoneyGram. According to the deal, which will have an initial duration of two years, Ripple will become MoneyGram’s main partner for international payments and forex settlement with the help of digital assets.

The partnership revolves around Ripple’s xRapid system, a liquidity solution used by banks for cross-border payments and has XRP as a bridge currency. Thus, the system allows the money to be sent from one currency to another without pre-funding. XRP acts as a real-time bridge between the sending and destination currencies. xRapid is Ripple’s first blockchain product that relies on XRP as a practical use case. The transfers carried out through xRapid don’t involve large fees and are executed within seconds.
MoneyGram CEO Alex Holmes commented on the collaboration:

As the payments industry evolves and matures, it’s imperative that we continue to improve our platform and provide the most effective solution to get funds from point A to point B. Through Ripple’s xRapid product, we will have the ability to instantly settle funds from US dollars to destination currencies on a 24/7 basis, which has the potential to revolutionize our operations and dramatically streamline our global liquidity management.”

MoneyGram is the second-largest money transfer company in the world after Western Union. The company serves millions of clients in over 200 countries and jurisdictions on all continents. Naturally, MoneyGram supports multiple fiat currencies. As of now, the company is dependent on the traditional forex market to handle its settlement needs, which involves the advance acquisition of most national currencies. Thanks to xRapid, MoneyGram will streamline the settlement of key currencies.

“This strategic partnership will enable MoneyGram to greatly improve its operations and enable millions of people around the world to benefit from its improved efficiency. This is a huge milestone in helping to transform cross-border payments and I look forward to a long-term, very strategic partnership between our companies,” Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse explained.

Interestingly, the stock price of MoneyGram jumped by about 155% following the news about the partnership with Ripple.

Launches Operations in Brazil

Earlier in June, Ripple announced that it had launched operations in Brazil to grow its presence in South America. As part of the move, the company appointed experienced fintech executive Luiz Antonio Sacco as managing director to run the strategy and work on Ripple’s infrastructure in the region.

Today, the company behind XRP has already more than 10 Brazilian fintechs, banks, and money transfer firms on its RippleNet network, including Santander Brazil, BeeTech, and Banco Rendimento. Santander Brazil is among the largest commercial banks in the country, serving more than 9 million clients. Thanks to Ripple’s cross-border payment infrastructure, customers benefit from a boost in transaction speed, as they’re handled within seconds rather than days.

BeeTech is another successful use case of RippleNet, as the company could cut its fees from $20 to only $2. The company offers cross-border payments to over 150,000 clients around the globe. The new managing director of Ripple’s South America division commented:

“We’re excited to grow our ecosystem in the region and bring additional financial institutions onto RippleNet to help provide excellent, efficient cross-border payment experiences for their customers. Brazil is a leader in fintech innovation and positioned to forge a path for the rest of Latin America to follow.”

Opens New Office in Zurich

On June 6, media reported that Ripple had opened a new office in Zurich, Switzerland. The company said that it would focus on institutional investors. Notably, Zurich hosts the branches of the world’s largest banks and is regarded as a blockchain-friendly city.

As per XRP Research Center, the goal of Ripple’s branch in Zurich is the sale of XRP to institutional buyers. The company aims to set subsidiaries in Switzerland and abroad.

Partnership with Ria Money Transfer

In May, Ripple announced that Ria Money Transfer, a money remittance service operated by Euronet Worldwide, had joined RippleNet. The US-based transfer service will leverage Ripple’s blockchain to allow instant cross-border payments.

Ria handles over $40 billion in transfers each year, being among the first payment firms in the world. The company has over 377,000 locations across the globe, distributed in more than 155 countries.

Ripple’s blockchain will allow Ria to better track money transfers, deal with fees, have control over the estimated delivery time, and ensure an improved client experience. Ria CEO Juan Bianchi commented:

At Ria we have developed the second largest Money Transfer network in the world along with a best-in-class compliance program all connected by our proprietary technology. Ria’s integration with Ripple serves to build rails for an innovative payment infrastructure that seeks to provide easier access to potential partners, while delivering faster and cleaner payments to its users. Time is a vital currency for our customers and partners, so we always keep it at the center of our innovation efforts.”

RippleNet is Expanding at a Fast Pace

The recent partnerships and deals demonstrate that Ripple is expanding rapidly. The company said that it was adding about two or three new financial institutions to its RippleNet every week. In the first quarter of 2019, Ripple noted more transactions than it did during the whole year in 2018. Now the blockchain-oriented startup is keen to grow its client base and team in Brazil and other South American countries, including Peru, Chile, and Argentina. Also, Ripple announced in May that it would launch a new remittance corridor from Saudi Arabia to India.

In the first quarter, 19 more cryptocurrency exchanges added XRP to their list. Thus, about 120 exchanges are currently enabling traders worldwide to buy XRP.

At the beginning of the year, Ripple said that its RippleNet ecosystem comprised more than 200 institutional clients across the globe, with 13 new firms being recently added to the network. These financial institutions include Euro Exim Bank, FTCS, SendFriend, JNFX, Ahli Bank of Kuwait, Transpaygo, ConnectPay, GMT, BFC Bahrain, rldCom Finance, Olympia Trust Company, Pontual/USEND, and Rendimento. Some of these firms are ready to use XRP to meet liquidity on-demand through the integration of xRapid.

Last week, Ripple’s global head of banking Marjan Delatinne, who previously worked for SWIFT, said in an interview with Global Trader Review (GTR) that 20 financial institutions were using xRapid as of today. Speaking with GTR at the Blockchain Summit, Delatinne also referred to the launch of Facebook’s Libra, which might attract more interest to the crypto space.

xRapid went live last October, so it’s a very new product, but we have more than 20 financial institutions using it,” the executive said.

At the moment, we know 13 companies that openly admitted their plans to integrate xRapid. These include Euro Exim Bank, Bittrex, Bitstamp, Bitso, Coins.ph, Cuallix, Catalyst, Mercury FX, SBI Virtual Currencies, Bitrue, IDT, Viamericas, and SendFriend.

While Ripple is growing at different levels, it still encounters some difficulties to promote itself to banks. When asked whether it’s challenging to sell xRapid to banks, Delatinne said:

“Of course. We are obviously in an education phase. When talking with banks, we still have to ensure that they understand that using this product is not around keeping XRP on their balance sheets. That’s very important for the banks to understand because they would otherwise have to report that to the regulators.”

“So there is still a lot of education, but what is apparent with the regional banks and also the payment service providers is that they are hungry for change and for having a competitive edge,” the executive explained.

Xpring is Supporting Ripple Ecosystem

Ripple is promoting the idea of fast transfers on all fronts. Besides managing the RippleNet consortium and developing products like xCurrent and xRapid, the company launched the Xpring initiative last year to contribute to the “Internet of Value” and support XPR adoption across its ecosystem. Earlier in July, Ripple revealed that Xpring had invested $500 million in more than 20 firms.

The initiative has focused on various projects in terms of scale and sector. The largest investment of Xpring was $100 million that benefited a gaming platform called Forte. Besides, Ripple invested in blockchain-oriented securities firm Securitize, cryptocurrency “scout fund” Robot Ventures, content monetization platform Coil, and payment project Bolt Labs.

Ripple is working to promote the adoption of its blockchain products – XRP Ledger and Interledger projects. Also, the company wants to help its cryptocurrency by creating conditions for real use cases for XRP.

Xpring has created a developer platform that comprises helpful resources, including libraries and tools aimed at developers. The team wants to continue with the development of XRP Ledger and support blockchain interoperability and decentralized finance. Ripple senior vice president Ethan Beard said in a statement published on Medium:

“We believe a tech stack for crypto that is broadly interoperable across chains and layers will deliver the best experience for both developers and end users. We support the Interledger Protocol as a standard for transacting across systems, and are interested in other infrastructures that allow for cross-chain interaction,”

Ripple’s Future is Bright

Despite the fact that Ripple faces some opposition from the crypto community, as many crypto believers are not endorsing the way the company operates the distributed ledger, XRP is still maintaining its position as a top cryptocurrency, being regularly listed in the same basket with Bitcoin and Ethereum.

Maybe Ripple doesn’t stick to the same decentralization level that is typical for a blockchain network, but the company could convince dozens of major banks, financial institutions, and fintechs to join its payment ecosystem. The consortium is growing, and the technology is adopted in many jurisdictions around the world. This also benefits XRP as a cryptocurrency, as it’s used in the xRapid system. Banks’ confidence in Ripple, along with increasing demand, would support the price of XRP in the long-term. The coin will also benefit from any bullish rally of Bitcoin and the cryptocurrency market in general.

Ripple has a great technology, which is blockchain, and implement a lucrative business strategy. The blockchain that Ripple uses is much faster than the network underlying Bitcoin, for example. Thus, more fintech, money transfer firms, and banks are joining Ripple’s ecosystem, providing more reasons for XRP to thrive. With Ripple, transactions are carried out within seconds rather than days, and there is room for scalability.

While we cannot predict the price range for XRP at the point, the fundamentals are strong enough to suggest more demand in the medium-term and long-term future.

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