Ripple & XRP: An Uncertain Future in Banking Hangs in the Balance
By CCN: People are feeling notably bullish about Ripple, or XRP, depending on what you’re talking about. The token price is earning bullish calls on Twitter.
.50 cent and beyond incoming $xrp
— Sir Gordon Gekko (@gordongekko369) June 2, 2019
Fifty cents would go a long way to making longtime XRP investors whole and earning handsome returns on long-held investments. It would also limit Ripple Labs’ need to liquidate funds held in escrow that it uses to continue operations. The company has access to a billion XRP every month but rarely needs that much. A massive price increase would limit their need even more.
Ripple: One in a Sea?
Notable banks and insurance companies have chosen to use other platforms to conduct their blockchain operations. Ripple charges on, but will there be a world where it must be Ripple? This is an important existential question. Most blockchains, Ripple included, will retain value in the coming years as the space develops and companies stake their claim.
All things being equal, where will Ripple stand given the following questions:
- What if central banks, for example, begin to issue stablecoins?
- What if most banks, for example, start using those instead of any privately issued bank coin?
- What if most banks develop their own ledger, as JP Morgan did?
Anything is equally possible.
The risk run by the Ripple supporter is that eventually there is no need for Ripple. The preferred vision is quite the opposite: Ripple will be at the basis of all the critical trades. This will create demand and value for it – at some point.
Without that, though, what is there?
Becoming The One True Bank Coin
The answer to the aforementioned question, for Ripple, is not much. For Ripple to thrive, banks will need to rely on it. People will need to use it to settle accounts. Things will need to happen. This is the nature of blockchains: they must have present demand. In Ripple, this demand will be born from banks and people alike. That is the dream anyway.
At this point, Ripple and Stellar are each one in a sea of payment platforms. Companies coming into the space don’t have to go with one or the other – they can go with many or any. This presents a problem for people who’d like to see their blockchain grow. A massive variety of blockchains are available to incoming companies, which means that loyalty anyone can’t be rightly expected.
Most choose Ethereum, yet usage of ETH is light compared to EOS or Tron.
The situation creates a problem. If companies overwhelmingly choose Ethereum but ETH gets the least usage, what is a real picture of demand for the blockchain? Moreover, if Ethereum has to scale to allow for the influx of new users, what hope do blockchains in general have?
In any case, many tokens seek to solve the problem that XRP purports to solve. Ripple competes in a sea of tokens vetted for their purposes – things like stablecoins. Looking ahead, we’re likely to hear more news of Ripple partnering with new entities. But will Ripple achieve the dominance it needs to be the single global banking digital ledger? That much the future holds.