Kvě 17

Ripple Soars 445% in 2 Weeks, But XRP Holders Won’t Like This Article

· May 17, 2017 · 9:00 am

The Ripple cryptocurrency XRP has been the center of attentions, rallying to unprecedented heights over the last month but what is truly fueling the rally?

[Note: This is an Op-Ed]


XRP Shoots Up 445%

Ripple has been enjoying a phenomenal month on the price charts, constantly breaking all time highs and dominating daily trading volume.

Although recent times have been filled with exciting rallies, XRP has overshadowed every altcoin out there, growing over 445%% in two weeks, making it the second most valuable cryptocurrency with a marketcap of roughly $14 billion. 

The rally experienced in the XRP price charts can be attributed to recent news on the cryptoshpere like the addition of new customers (banks, and payment service providers) to the Ripple network. This also includes news of the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, which recently joined Ripple’s Interbank Group for Global Payments, and the announcement to lock a large portion of the company-owned XRP tokens under escrow.

Some have also pointed to the current cryptocurrency landscape in Japan (where Ripple holds a strong community presence and has made several bank partnerships), and how the new regulatory stance of the country can be supporting a new wave of misinformed investors.

In a recent blog post, Co-Founder of IndieSquare and Community Director at the Counterparty Foundation, Koji Higashi stated:

Another thing to note about this new trend is that the general lack of understanding or appreciation of the technology by many of new users. This is no surprise and all of us have been there at one point but the new wave of Japanese investors seem to be exhibiting a whole new level of incomprehension and misguided decision making in my opinion.

However, it is becoming evident that the general lack of knowledge regarding what Ripple is and what the recent updates actually mean is global as XRP has been dominating trading volume in the BTC market as well.

Fueled by Misinformation?

Although Ripple been one of the most valuable cryptocurrencies in terms of market cap for quite some time, its recent rally can only be fueled by the recent rumors and news regarding the XRP token. The most relevant of which are the customers and partnerships acquired by Ripple and today’s announcement regarding Ripple’s 55 Billion coins being locked, which has been circulating the web as a rumor for a while now.

Given the scenario, many investors that are now joining the Ripple boat must have no idea what they are buying and how the news actually influences the demand and supply for the token in the long-term, once the “hype” has died down.

For example, many users believe that banks and other types of financial service providers that are joining the Ripple network should create demand for the XRP token, which is needed in order for banks to make use of the technology that Ripple has created, one that rivals VISA itself in terms of transaction throughput.

However, the general public doesn’t seem to realize that these institutions are “encouraged” but not required to use XRP to pay any kind of operation fees. Instead, they can simply make use of the technology provided by Ripple and build their own network using their own in-house tokens.

It is also a known fact that Ripple holds ~62% of the XRP supply, which is capped at 100 billion. This means that Ripple currently has roughly $23 Billion worth of XRP. Standards on how marketcap is measured in the cryptocurrency space vary but if you count all of the XRP that currently exists, Ripple has a ~37 billion dollar market cap, or over 7 billion dollars more than Bitcoin.

computer security

Another general misunderstanding is that the token-lock result in scarcity of XRP tokens. According to the announcement, Ripple will lock 55 billion tokens out of the 62 billion tokens they own as a means to inspire trust (or perhaps to further accelerate the price growth of XRP).

The truth is that this will affect the supply of XRP. The tokens that have been in the possession of XRP will continue to be held by the team. In other words, no XRP will be removed from circulation. The number of XRP available on exchanges and wallets today, will remain unchanged. Unfortunately, some less-informed users believe this will create some sort of artificial scarcity.

One should also note that Ripple’s pledge to lock any amount of tokens is nothing but fireworks, given that the centralized nature of Ripple allows it to change the rules at any time.

A post by Ripple that seeks to compare the characteristics of Bitcoin, Ether, and Ripple makes this clear:

In contrast, the Ripple Consensus Ledger has proven governance with institutional validators run by MIT, Microsoft and leading global banks.

Lastly, user’s should also note that these tokens won’t be locked for long. The official announcement reads:

We’ll use escrow to establish 55 contracts of 1 billion XRP each that will expire on the first day of every month from months 0 to 54. As each contract expires, the XRP will become available for Ripple’s use.

Crypto End-Game

Despite the aforementioned misunderstandings, it should also be noted that Ripple is certainly not vaporware. The Ripple company is building real technology that is being used by real corporations.

But traders should keep in mind that whatever Ripple is building, it is building it for the banks and middlemen, not for the people, per se. This, in my opinion, puts it in a whole other category than Bitcoin and many other decentralized cryptocurrencies, whose goals are to eliminate middlemen, decentralize money, and empower the individual.

Is the XRP token in a bubble? Or is there something else we are missing? Let us know what you think is driving the rally in the comment section.


Images courtesy of CryptoCompare, Ripple, Shutterstock

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Dub 03

Is Ripple Price Being Fueled by Confused Investors?

· April 3, 2017 · 6:00 am

Riding the wave of recent positive news for Ripple, the XRP token is roaring with a 200% price surge over the weekend as the cryptocurrency market is reaching higher highs. But is Ripple for real or is it being fueled by confusion among new investors? 


Is Ripple For Real?

Jokes were abound this weekend as the cryptocurrency industry embraced April Fool’s Day in usual fashion. Meanwhile, Ripple experienced a serious surge with its market cap soaring from $360,000 USD to over $2.3 billion.

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The price of Ripple XRP token experienced a whopping seven-fold increase in the past few days, and easily outperformed recent stalwarts such as Dash, Monero and the SegWit hopeful Litecoin in the past week. Even Bitcoin, which managed to break the $1,100 barrier on news of becoming a legal form of payment in Japan, could not match yesterday’s 200% rise. 

The rise comes amid news of Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ recently joining Ripple’s Interbank Group for Global Payments Based on Distributed Financial Technology.

mitsubishiufj

“We are pleased to join Ripple’s Global Payments Steering Group,” said Hirofumi Aihara, General Manager, MUFG Digital Innovation Division. “…Collaborating with other members of GPSG, MUFG will contribute to the creation of standards for Ripple’s network.”

Ripple is positioning itself as a cheaper payment network, particularly for large banks and enterprises, with a much higher throughput compared to Bitcoin. CEO Brad Garlinghouse explained that Ripple could rival traditional systems such as Visa with nearly 70K transactions in just 3.7 seconds and at a lower cost than Bitcoin.

However, the token might be setting up for a reality check as some believe the price surge has been fueled by a “misunderstanding.” Critics on Bitcointalk.org reacted to the meteoric rise, pointing out that Ripple, the company, is not the same as the XRP token and its Ripple Consensus ledger.

According to Ripple, its Global Payments Steering Group (GSPG) is where “leading banks are working with Ripple to reduce the time and cost of settlement, while also enabling new types of high-volume, low-value global transactions.”

By coming together to form the GSPG, these banks are laying the foundation for a new payments network, underpinned by Ripple’s solutions and supported by rules and governance for global settlement.

In other words, new demand for the XRP token could merely be speculative at this point as banks would be able to bypass transactions on the Ripple Consensus Ledger with their own Ripple-inspired platforms.

The commentator also noted:

Check the volumes, [Poloniex] currently stands for $150M+ volume, RCL only 20. What now is happening is a pump, driven by people misunderstanding the news.

The Rise and Rise of Cryptocurrencies

Overall, April is getting off to a hot start for cryptocurrencies as the total market capitalization is now a record $27 billion. It has been on an uptrend, particularly accelerating as of late following the rejection of the COIN Bitcoin ETF in mid-March.

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Though Bitcoin price has remained relatively stable oscillating between $900 and $1,200 amid scaling uncertainty, its overall dominance of the market has seen a huge drop from 84% to 68%.

Nevertheless, while the rejection of the first ever ETF might be seen as a setback for Bitcoin to some, the media attention received in the run-up to the decision appears to have attracted new investors to the crypto space as a whole.

What is the real cause for Ripple’s price rise? Is Bitcoin waning dominance a temporary phenomenon? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of coinmarketcap.com, Shutterstock, twitter, MUFG 

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Bře 01

Top 3 Cryptocurrencies Easily Outperform S&P, Dow Jones in February

· March 1, 2017 · 10:30 am

After a slow or turbulent start of 2017, the global cryptocurrency market picked up the pace and really hit its stride in the month of February.


Momentum. That seems to be the word that best describes February as nearly every top decentralized digital currency has seen growth and reasons for optimism as Spring approaches. Let’s review what the state of affairs is for the top five cryptocurrencies as they head into March.

February: Bitcoin Best Performing Asset Again

The market leader had a much less volatile month, after seeing swings from $1,100 USD to $775 USD early on in January. Over the last four years, Bitcoin has proven to be very cyclical and consistent, with January always being a month of great swings in value.

Now, that regulations in China have been levied, Bitcoin has seen consistent growth, adding 30% in market value for the month, easily beating mainstream indices like the S&P 500 (4%) and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (5%).

Bitcoinist_Dow Jones

With optimism, or speculation, about the March 11th SEC decision on the Winklevoss ETF looming, Bitcoin remains near its all-time high at about $1,195 USD with a market cap of well over $19 billion.

Will a defeat cause Bitcoin to go into a tailspin in March?

Ethereum Enchants Enterprises

The young smart-contract-based blockchain is doing very well in 2017, almost doubling in market value since January 1st. If anything, ETH has been a model of consistency so far; consistent gains. According to CoinMarketCap, ETH has gone from $7.99 at the start of the year, to about $10.70 on February 1st to $15.75 today, nearly doubling in value in the first two months of the year.

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The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance, officially announced yesterday, which includes mainstream superpowers like ING, Microsoft, JP Morgan, and Intel should only enhance Ethereum’s market value and attract new partners in the future.

Dash Dazzles

The only major player doing better than Ethereum right now is Dash, which has recently jumped from out of the top five in market cap to third behind the aforementioned. Dash has gained an astonishing 68% within just the last week alone and has more than tripled in value sine January 1st.

chart

The new Dash 12.1 release (Sentinel), a new mainstream agreement with payments provider BlockPay, and positive feedback from “Bitcoin Jesus” Roger Ver have bolstered its value in Q1.

Ripple & Litecoin Lackluster

Ripple made news last year as a potential future replacement for the vaunted SWIFT international banking payment network but has generated little buzz since. Litecoin also has fallen on hard times, with an inability to capitalize on Bitcoin’s demand.

It appears that investors are flocking to Dash and Ethereum instead, as Litecoin hangs on the vine, falling form second-best behind Bitcoin, to barely in the top five ahead of Monero. Somebody call the PR Department, STAT.

Which will be the best performing currency in 2017? Share your thoughts below!


Image courtesy of Enterprise Ethereum Alliance, Shutterstock, Coinmarketcap.com

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Lis 01

Altcoin Report: Ether Outranks Bitcoin as Highest-Performing Cryptocurrency

Source: bitcoin

Altcoin Report: Ether Outranks Bitcoin as Highest-Performing Cryptocurrency

Zcash trading goes through the roof; ether is the highest-performing cryptocurrency of 2016, and cross-border payments are possible through Ripple. Want to catch up on your latest altcoin news? Read the stories below.

Also read: Altcoin Report: Ethereum Classic Embraces the Hard Fork

ZCASH

The recent launch of Zcash created a trading frenzy on Poloniex the other day, causing the price to reach an impressive $2 million per coin. It appears the currency’s status changed within a mere matter of seconds, although some attribute the high-level price hike to a potential error which may have added a few zeros to Zcash’s end.

Presently, Zcash is in incredibly short supply. Approximately 100 coins have been mined thus far, while an additional 300 will be mined in the coming days. However, demand does appear to be relatively widespread. Recently, exchanges ranging from Kraken to Bitfinex have added the currency to their respective trading platforms.

ETHER

Pave the way for cryptocurrency’s latest celebrity figure. Ethereum-based altcoin ether is slated to become 2016’s highest performing digital currency, beating out bitcoin for the top spot.

Last January marked a turning point in ether’s history, as usage gradually increased and the coin’s price practically doubled overnight. While bitcoin has recently met the $700 mark for the second time within the span of one year, many have complained that activity has remained relatively stagnant, which may have altered the currency’s reputation over the last 12 months.

Despite the fall of the DAO last summer, the price of ether has still managed to stay well over $10 and experience a value increase of nearly 1,200 percent in just the last year alone. Thus far, value has continued to remain stable.

RIPPLE

12 banks of the R3 lab have undergone trials of Ripple’s blockchain to test cross-border payments and cut relative costs. Some of the banks involved include Barclays, the Royal Bank of Canada, Santander, and Westpac Banking Corporation.

In a statement, Ripple explained:

“This trial introduced XRP to test the feasibility of reducing or retiring the use of current Nostro accounts for local currency payouts.”

The first credit card company to join R3 and be part of the trials is Synchrony Financial. Company CEO Carol Juel expressed enthusiasm, stating its partnership with R3 is likely to open doors in the future:

“Having access to the R3 network and research will be valuable as we think through the many opportunities for blockchain to be leveraged across the consumer finance landscape.”

Know of any altcoins that deserve a place in our regular reports? Post your comments below.


Image courtesy of Twitter

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Říj 18

Altcoin Report: Ethereum Classic Crashes From DOS Attack

Source: bitcoin

Altcoin Report

Gulden passes the $10 million USD mark, Ripple sees unusual trading activity, and Ethereum Classic crashes. Welcome to our first altcoin report! Check out the stories below to get the scoop.

Also read: Minex Putting the Fate of its MineCoin Central Bank to a Vote

Altcoin Report

GULDEN

Gulden is a Dutch cryptocurrency headed straight for “top ten” territory. The coin surpassed the $10 million mark as of press time, and is on the verge of becoming one of the highest-ranking digital currencies in the world.

Gulden entered the altcoin world last year with little “fanfare,” as one source describes, but an adoption campaign among merchants in the Netherlands seems to have done the trick. The currency hit the $1 million mark last September and now stands at about $10.5 in what is arguably one of the fastest jumps recorded.

According to founder Rijk Plasman:

“We are on the right track with making our apps as user-friendly as possible. The team can’t wait to release the 1.6.0 version of our apps. We are currently testing it, and it looks like an October release is possible. It is very easy to use, but packed with a lot of new and innovative features.”

RIPPLE

Activity surrounding Ripple has confused analysts. Trading more than doubled in the span of one hour on Monday, going from volumes of $3.25 million to $8 million. What’s throwing them off is that last September Ripple accomplished even more, reaching the $22 million trading mark, while the value failed to increase to its present degree.

Presently, London is releasing information on a Ripple derivative project set to be launched Tuesday, October 18. As the majority of Ripple’s partners happen to be banking magnates, this could potentially explain the sudden bursts we’re witnessing. Banks heard about the project and wanted in on the action, yet in a recent update, CoinMarketCap is explaining that it may have issued a distorted view of the currency thanks to fluctuating USD gateways. The story is continuing to develop.

ETHEREUM CLASSIC

It’s not all good news for altcoins this week, as Ethereum Classic came crashing down thanks to a recent DOS attack involving the drainage of memory nodes. The price has fallen by over ten percent and now stands at just a little over one dollar.

The attack appears to be the second in a recent string, the first of which occurred last month. Some believe the hack may be motivated by greed and financial gain, but this is open to speculation. Right now, Bitcoin core developers are looking highly suspicious, but it’s unclear as to whether this attack was prompted by September’s culprit or a copycat.

Ethereum has commented that another hard fork may be necessary to deal with the problem.

Know of any altcoins that deserve to get covered in our regular altcoin reports? Post your comments below!


Image courtesy of Ethereum.org.

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Srp 20

Ripple Executive Rails Against Bitcoin in New Essay

Source: bitcoin

Ripple Executive Rails Against Bitcoin in New Essay

Longtime blockchain developer, enthusiast and Ripple executive has warned in a new essay that blockchains could bring about a dystopia.

Also read: New Malware Sneaking Onto Mac Computers, Bitcoinists Be Warned

Ripple Exec Cites Failures of Social Consensus Model

Stefan Thomas, Chief Technology Officer at Ripple Labs, a leading private and public ledger company, wrote an essay titled “The Subtle Tyranny of Blockchain.”

The blockchain industry, he writes, foresees a blockchain revolution across a swathe of industries like finance, international trade and health care. However, Thomas pens, “blockchains are a pain to work with.”

“Harmony and consensus are valuable. But harmony taken to the extreme becomes a detriment,” he continues. “In the Lego Movie utopia, ‘everything is awesome’ only on the surface. Behind the scenes, there is tremendous diversity and a rapidly changing world, which doesn’t match the established consensus.” A picture of the authoritarian President Business from The Lego Movie graces the essay, implying that — like the movie — everything about blockchain technology is not as rosy as it seems.

Thomas also evokes the Bitcoin block size debate when writing about the difficulties of blockchain technology. With issues like network scalability, Thomas says the blockchain’s social consensus model represents an obstacle.

Despite his less-than-positive words, Thomas is still a Bitcoin proponent, running the website weusecoins.com — “a single resource” where the currency is “explained for the average non-technical user.”

The budding blockchain technology industry has received nearly a quarter of a billion dollars in funding so far this year. The largest technology companies (think IBM, Microsoft), and the largest financial institutions in the world (your bank) are investing in research and development for Bitcoin technology.

The foundation for their experimentation is Ethereum, but their technology will likely pair together new distributed ledger technologies for a secure and more efficient end-result. Distributed ledger and blockchain technology is designed to do one thing: track payments, back office processes, securities and derivatives, health records – everything.

But, as Thomas’ essay poses, what if there is a darker side to blockchain technology? Thomas suggests issues in growing the technology.

In particular, experimentation and improvements to the software are hampered in a blockchain system because a majority of miners who run the software must agree to deploy the update before it can be rolled out.

“The fact that one corner of the system can be updated and good ideas can eventually spread to the system as a whole has been essential for the Web’s ability to keep pace with technological innovation,” he said.

“In a blockchain like Ethereum’s, everyone has to think the same,” he said, suggesting that differing opinions can lead to developmental gridlock — something that has been an issue in the Bitcoin community for a few years.

Thomas concludes his essay with a plug for Ripple’s Interledger Protocol, describing it as a more flexible and individualized way to send or receive payments. Because of this added choice, “crucially,” he said, “our thoughts can be — once again — our own.”

Ripple has fallen out of the crypto-spotlight in recent years, after internal strife gave rise to a community-wide scandal in 2014 that tarnished the project’s reputation.

Thomas is perhaps best known for his “What is Bitcoin?” video on YouTube, which has been viewed more than 6.8 million times.

What do you think about Thomas’ essay? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Galen Valle via RedBubble, Ripple.

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Bře 30

Monthly Price Trends Show BTC Stagnation, Ethereum’s Long Hold Viability

Source: bitcoin

Price

30 March 2016 – This month leaves us some interesting trends in the cryptocurrency market, With Bitcoin remaining solidly above $400 USD coming out of last month’s bullish run, scraping $399 just once on the sixth and averaging day-to-day around $415. This despite a plateau in hashpower on the network, likely in anticipation of the coming halving and problems with core scaling development. Even more fascinating, though, is the explosive price increase of Ethereum, increasing 64.8% to it’s current $11.66 price point at the time of writing.

Also Read: US Electronic Voting Could Be Fixed with the Ethereum Blockchain

Bitcoin Price Chugs Along, Ethereum Remains Unaffected

 

More than ever it looks like traders are getting serious about Ethereum as a viable long hold, a fact much maligned in the hardcore Bitcoin community. Last month’s bullish run didn’t crash the price as speculated by many, and we’ve witnessed an unbroken trend of prices north of $10. Events outside of the trading spheres support this trend, too. The upswing in Ethereum adoption for its powerful smart contract scripting language and active development community offer an attractive alternative to Blockchain platform developers over the Bitcoin ecosystem. It’s also held a higher market cap than the other dominant altcoins (Dash, Ripple, Litecoin, etc.) for longer than any of these currencies’ peak trading periods. While trends are only trends, and I hesitate to make causal links to any of this activity, it’d be naive to dismiss them fully .

 

Price of Ethereum

Bitcoin Stagnation Leads to Ethereum Price, Adoption Upswing

Bitcoin hash rate, showing stagnation for the last 6 weeks

Ethereum has cemented itself as the dominant altcoin in its short lifespan, and it cant all be speculation. It offers unique utility, and none of the shiftiness due to central management of its closest competitor, Ripple. While Bitcoin’s dominance in the Cryptocurrency trading markets isn’t going away anytime soon, the assumption that there aren’t room for two dominant specifications is seeming more and more wrong-headed as Eth gains steam at an unprecedented pace. Bitcoin’s hashrate has been stagnant for entirely too long when exponential growth has historically been the norm, and many issues from the block size and scaling debate remain unanswered. Whether this is fringe trading shifting to a safe-looking alternative, or the birth of a new Crypto juggernaut, the market is indicating Ethereum has value one way or another. I’m not suggesting that Bitcoin is on its way out by any means, but if there’s been a time to diversify your altcoin portfolio, Eth is fast becoming a robust choice

Where do you see Ethereum’s price in the near future? Let us know in the comments!


Images courtesy of Blockchain.info, coinmarketcap.com

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Monthly Price Trends Show BTC Stagnation, Ethereum’s Long Hold Viability

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