As far as cryptocurrencies go, Ripple (CCC:XRP-USD) is a micro-cap option compared to juggernauts Bitcoin (CCC:BTC-USD) and Ethereum (CCC:ETH-USD).
That said, investors in XRP appear to like the growth trajectory of this smaller cryptocurrency relative to its larger peers.
Indeed, as any “investment” grows to a formidable size, long-term growth prospects tend to decline.
Ripple Built for Business
When XRP was initially designed, investors had a goal in mind. Ripple’s founders wanted to create a cryptocurrency designed specifically for real-world use cases. This is an extremely important fact, and one investors need to take seriously.
Personally, my take on cryptocurrencies is that most digital coins don’t have a visible path to becoming a ubiquitous payment method. The case can be made that various digital tokens are certainly a store of value. However, as far as being “currency-like” in common every-day transactions, cryptocurrencies have little utility.
I’m not going to want to be paid in a currency that could appreciate or depreciate by double-digits on a daily basis. Buying that loaf of bread becomes a lot more difficult to do when we’re talking about six or seven decimal places, in the case of Bitcoin.
However, XRP was designed to handle payments. Specifically, XRP solves a key problem in cross-border payments involving two disparate currencies. The XRP decentralized blockchain technology allows for transactions to be settled almost instantaneously.
For those aware of how the SWIFT process works, this technology is a huge upgrade. Having a transaction approved in as little as 3-5 seconds as opposed to 1-5 business days is a real-world upgrade.
Ripplenet a Big Deal
Another key factor to consider is XRP’s existing global payment platform, Ripplenet. This is a decentralized network using XRP’s ledger and the XRP cryptocurrency to provide a global payments platform for users.https://c91e630409e995160d325c8a0dbea2ac.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html
This platform is widely used globally and is growing in its influence, though perhaps maybe not to the degree many have expected in recent years.
The advantage of using Ripplenet is mainly related to the transaction headaches caused by international transfers. There’s a lot to do when undertaking a foreign transaction.
Loading up an account with foreign currency is eliminated with Ripplenet. As is paying a (sometimes hefty) currency exchange fee to a financial institution. Of course, waiting for days to have the transaction cleared can be the most annoying part.
Ripplenet provides businesses with a cheaper and more efficient option. Transactions are settled immediately, and in the local currency on both sides. This is obviously advantageous to large multinational companies and those with cross-border banking needs.
The Bottom Line on Ripple
In general, cryptocurrencies are still nascent in respect to wide-spread usage. However, as I’ve pointed out, the real-world use cases for XRP are attractive.
Accordingly, I think investors with a bit of “fun money” and the inclination to bet on these speculative assets might want to consider Ripple. As far as long-term bets go (and I view all cryptocurrencies as speculative long-term bets), Ripple’s use case is certainly interesting. I like the highly-applicable nature of XRP relative to its crypto peers.
The extent to which XRP continues to grow its share of the ForEx transfer market remains to be seen. However, I like the targeted niche Ripple and XRP operate in right now. This is a cryptocurrency with a purpose.
That said, I’d caution investors to invest only what they can afford to lose in XRP, or any of its competing crypto options right now. It’s impossible to say what the market capitalization of these digital tokens could (or should) be, so trade carefully.
On the date of publication, Chris MacDonald did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article.
Specifically, XRP solves a key problem in cross-border payments involving two disparate currencies.