Cryptocurrency and blockchain were built to usurp centralized authorities like governments and banks. And then came Ripple, XRP the digital asset that throws the cypherpunk ideology straight out the window.
Ripple has managed to make cryptocurrencies and corporate institutions unlikely bedfellows. It has often drawn criticism for ‘not being a real cryptocurrency’ and not being truly decentralized.
This criticism comes from the fact that Ripple’s blockchain doesn’t have any miners, and access to it is heavily permissioned. It’s a far cry from open and censorship-resistant platforms, like Bitcoin. However, the Ripple team has repeatedly assured holders that XRP and the network will continue to exist, even if Ripple shuts down.
Whether you agree with its ideology or not is beside the point, XRP has proven itself to be a mainstay of leading cryptocurrencies by market cap. For brief moments, it even surpassed Ethereum to take second spot behind Bitcoin; currently, XRP is the third largest coin by market cap.
Unlike Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies which seek to effectively reinvent money, Ripple is taking a different approach and trying to reinvent payment and remittance networks. It does all this with its native token, XRP.
XRP/USD 2018 recap
XRP was one of the biggest winners of the 2017 bull run, increasing in value over 38,000 percent, from $0.005 to $2.30 by the end of the year.
This bull run continued on into the first week of 2018, where XRP eventually hit a high of $3.36, a 46-percent increase for the week. Again, like a broken record, XRP followed the wider downward market trend for the remainder of the year. There were two brief upward swings in May and October, but neither of these proved strong enough to help rally the cryptocurrency to greener pastures.
By December XRP was trading at just $0.36, an 89-percent drop from its year-high seen in January.
XRP/USD 2019 Q1 review
Ripple’s XRP has not had the best opening to the year.
It opened January 1 at $0.35 and would shortly reach $0.37 the following day, the highest trading price it would see all quarter. XRP hovered around this price into the second week of the year, but it started falling by January 9.
On January 13, XRP was trading at $0.31, and it stayed around this price for the next couple of weeks. January 25 marked the start of another sharp downward swing for the digital asset; it would eventually bottom at $0.28 at the end of the month. Thankfully though, this is the lowest price it would see all quarter.
There was a brief rally in mid-February which would see the coin hit $0.32. This might not sound far behind where it opened the year, but bear in mind this is still an 11-percent drop over where it started January.
For the rest of the quarter, Ripple would have frequent up and down swings, none of which are particularly noteworthy. Indeed, some might call this stability, but the coin spent most of the latter half of the quarter trading around $0.30, and showed no sign that a breakout might be imminent.
Ripple went on to close the quarter trading at a hair over $30, a 16-percent drop over its quarter-high it saw in early January.
Major events for Ripple in Q1
It’s been business as usual for Ripple in Q1. The company has signed more partnerships, and shown further signs of use and adoption.
Indian private-sector bank, Federal Bank, signed a partnership with Ripple to develop cross-border remittance services and help speed up international payments. Banks in Thailand also signed similar partnerships with Ripple to launch Ripple-based remittance services.
Ripple was also voted as one of the world’s top cryptocurrencies by Weiss ratings. It came in second, sandwiched between EOS in first and Bitcoin in third (though it should be noted that many have questioned the validity of Weiss’ report).
This wasn’t the only good news for Ripple this quarter, though.
In a recent survey by Fortune partners, Good Place To Work, Ripple ranked as the 17th best place to work in the Bay Area. Over 90 percent of its employees said they enjoy the atmosphere at the office, and are willing to go the extra mile to get their job done.
Perhaps most notably for traders though, is that cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase finally added XRP to its trading platforms. As one of the world’s best recognized exchanges, this is surely good news for active XRP traders.
Looking forward to Q2
In the market-wide upswing of early Q2 2019, Ripple was not left behind. In a matter of days, Ripple set a new high for the year, reaching $0.37. It has continued to show some brief stability too, trading at around $0.35 for most of the opening week and a half.
While XRP’s price activity might have been fairly in the first quarter, Q2 is looking more positive for traders.
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Published May 3, 2019 — 14:16 UTC