Around $20.1 million worth of Ripple was purchased directly from exchange XRP II LLC, Ripple’s registered Money Service Business (MSB) during the fourth quarter of 2017, a Ripple press release indicates. Another $71.5 million worth of Ripple was sold programmatically.
Ripple is not mined like other cryptocurrencies. Instead, Ripple coins ( XRP) have to be purchased directly from Ripple, which means there are markets for it that organizations like CoinMarketCap are not monitoring.
Ethereum is still worth more than Ripple
The sales volume made Ripple, one of the most valuable cryptocurrencies in the world. Although Ripple briefly took over Ethereum as the second most valuable cryptocurrency, it did not last long and Ethereum was back at the second spot again.
Ripple has a market capitalization of $50.63 billion on 25 January, 2018, Ethereum (ETH) has a market capitalization of $101.53 billion. That makes Ethereum, the second most valuable cryptocurrency after Bitcoin (BTC); which had a market cap of $187.94 billion.
Ripple Claims 35,341 percent Volume increase
The sales volume for Ripple increased by 35,341 percent between the fourth quarter of 2016 and the fourth quarter of 2017, the organization’s press release claimed. Ripple also claims that $2.77 billion a day worth of XRP was purchased between 11 December, 2017, and 24 January, 2018.
Those sales volumes did not translate into a high price for Ripple; XRP price is trading at $1.30 on 24 January, 2018. Much lower from than it’s all-time high of $3.83 on January 4, 2018.
It looks as if the traders and speculators in the market are not buying the XRP hype. Instead, the demand for XRP appears to be institutional which raises serious questions about its true value.
Ripple is Working with Santander and American Express
Some of the institutions working with XRP are large including the giant U.S. credit card company American Express (NYSE: AXP), and the large Spanish bank Banco Santander (NYSE: SAN). American Express and Santander are using Ripple’s enterprise blockchain network or RippleNet for cross-border transactions, BTCManager reported in November 2017.
Ripple cross-border payments between the United States and the United Kingdom can be processed for American Express’s business customers over the FX International Payments or FXIP platform. Santander is apparently collaborating on that platform with American Express.
This development might be the real reason why demand for Ripple is increasing. The XRP cryptocurrency is not currently being used for cross-border payments on the FXIP or the RippleNet, Marcus Treacher Ripple’s Global Head of Strategic Accounts admitted to CBNC.
It looks as if Ripple is a successful fintech solution, but its cryptocurrency is not as valuable as news reports are claiming. The Coin Market Cap data indicates that average investors are not buying the Ripple hype.
Despite the growing volume, Ripple is still lagging behind both Bitcoin and Ethereum in terms of price and popularity.