Is Ripple’s popularity fading in the wake of Coinbase’s apparent rejection? The company’s cryptocurrency XRP took a nasty stumble on Friday, dropping by 11 percent from its Thursday high of around $3.84 and ending the night at $2.90. Since then, however, it has bounced back to $3.22 on CoinMarketCap (at press time).
The fall occurred after rumors that Coinbase would begin trading the currency on its platform were quelled, and disappointment rang in the new year for Ripple’s fans. The popular exchange released a statement explaining:
“We have made no decision to add additional assets to either GDAX or Coinbase. Any statement to the contrary is untrue, and not authorized by the company.”
At press time, Coinbase is still trading bitcoin, ether, litecoin and bitcoin cash. The exchange/s, among the most popular in the U.S. and throughout the world, can influence cryptocurrency prices simply by hinting at a listing.
Damage Minimal, but Is More on the Way?
While Ripple still stands as the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap (approximately $109.6 billion), former CEO Chris Larsen has no doubt dropped back a few spots on the global list of billionaires.
During XRP’s previous price-high, Larsen’s net worth stood at around $37 billion, thanks in part to the stash of 5.19 billion XRP he allegedly owns.
This has led some sources to suggest that Ripple may have “gotten ahead of itself,” and claim XRP is simply a case of too much success at once. ShapeShift CEO Erik Voorhees, for example, felt Ripple’s affiliation with institutions like Bank of America goes against everything crypto stands for. Bank use could ultimately lead to centrally-imposed restrictions and privacy interference, and Voorhees believes relationships like these are what could bring the system to a crashing halt.
“The reason Ripple is surging so much is it’s a bubble,” he states. “Testing crypto with banks doesn’t make sense. The whole idea of crypto is you don’t need banks. It’s not interesting from a financial innovation perspective.”
The Fight Is On
Current CEO of Ripple Brad Garlinghouse has since taken to Twitter to fire back at critics who feel XRP has lost its edge.
A recent (and heated) exchange took place between the crypto executive and New York Times journalist Nathaniel Popper, who claimed that XRP was simply a “tool for speculation,” and that banks hadn’t embraced the currency like everyone believed. Garlinghouse immediately fired back, accusing Popper of journalistic malpractice and not getting his facts straight.
“Over the last few months, I’ve spoken with ACTUAL banks and payment providers,” he explains in a recent tweet. “They are indeed planning to use xRapid (our XRP liquidity product) in a serious way. This is a sampling of what I heard: pic.twitter.com/y3TN8YRC34.”
Maybe Things Aren’t That Bad…
While some say Ripple has run its course, others believe XRP, like most cryptocurrencies, has endured only a minor stumble, and think the hype surrounding Ripple is just getting started.
Canaccord Genuity analyst Michael Graham, for example, pointed out that several Japanese and South Korean banks are potentially testing XRP for cross-border payments, and will begin sending money in XRP granted everything goes as planned.
“The Ripple ecosystem is definitely going to have to get a lot bigger to justify where XRP is right now,” he said. “But the use case for XRP is quite clear. That sets it apart from other crypto assets.”
Indeed, though, the Ripple-verse is getting bigger and more robust; Coinbase might be good for now, but BitGo just went live with its enterprise-grade XRP wallet in the past few days and has updated its Terms of Service to formalize the integration.
And such a major wallet provider bringing XRP into the fold seems to only forebode further mainstream adoption.
Will Ripple continue to enjoy price highs, or will XRP disappear before we know it? Post your comments below.
Images via Pixabay, CoinMarketCap, Twitter