Ripple and its coin (XRP) have been a blockchain project with a very specific purpose. Unlike Bitcoin (mother of all cryptos), or Litecoin (which has been pushing hard for adoption) or almost any other cryptocurrency in the crypto verse Ripple’s XRP has never been meant as a retail coin.
That means that you and I are not supposed to use it at, say, Amazon or e-bay to buy stuff we want or to pay for our newspaper subscription, etc. The whole idea behind Ripple and XRP is to be a technology (and a coin) that eliminates the friction in international transfers inherent to the outdated (but still standard) SWIFT system. So XRP is not for you or me to use in the same sense as Bitcoin.
And it’s hard to argue with Ripple’s position on the subject because both the company and the altcoin have been quite successful by sticking to their focus. Just think about this: XRP was the most profitable coin during 2017, the year in which almost every digital asset was profitable. And during 2018, which was an unmitigated disaster for most blockchains, XRP managed to grow as the market was shrinking and losing value. It dethroned Ethereum as the second cryptocurrency by market capitalization.
But Ripple has seen the writing on the wall and it’s come to understand that being a retail-coin for “ordinary” crypto maniacs is not such a bad thing. Every use case for Ripple’s XRP (or any other cryptocurrency, for that matter) means demand for the token and it’s demand and usefulness that provides the fundamentals for any blockchain project that end up driving up the price because of authentic economics instead of mere speculative pressure.
So now there is a debit card that uses your XRP to pay for anything you want (your coffee, your cigarettes, your beer or your cart at Amazon). This shows how Ripple is expanding its horizons beyond the world’s banking system. And today, they took a further step in that direction.
Recently, coingate announced a new payment option for its merchants. And, their own words “this time it’s a big one! Due to very popular demand by the community, our next cryptocurrency on the list – XRP!”
Big news for #XRPcommunity and our merchants alike! We launched native $XRP support to our customers, meaning #XRP is now accepted as payment at thousands of vendors across the Net. Proceed to our blog for more detailed information! https://t.co/MnY2n6onDH pic.twitter.com/BYTxROGrpx
— CoinGate (@CoinGatecom) February 1, 2019
And what does that mean? It means that if your digital wallet includes any XRP, then now you can use that currency to pay for goods and services in any of the 4,500 online shops that do business using the CoinGate platform. So you need to pay for your VPN (which you should because free VPNs are a security threat)? A video game? You name it, if it’s within the Coingate ecosystem, then you can pay for it with XRP now.
This is a wise move by Coingate. Even if Ripple’s XRP hasn’t been the most useful currency as a payment system for mortals, the community is very enthusiastic and bullish about it. They trust the system and the coin’s future as you can see for your own in many YouTubers who are sure that it will be the next big thing in Crypto (if it isn’t already). So the platform will profit by the community’s enthusiasm while, at the same time, expanding the use cases for XRP and increasing its demand and real-world utility.
And it will serve merchants well too because it’s the most important coin by market capitalization in the world after Bitcoin. So XRP holders will get more opportunities to use their digital assets and merchants will have access to customers that would otherwise not be in their radar.
The platform’s vendors will be able to settle their payments in realtime in many different currencies fiat and digital as Euros, Bitcoin, Ether. But they could also keep their revenue in XRP if they so choose.
Well, according to Coingate, because Ripple is different. It’s as simple as that. How is it different, I hear you ask? Let’s see.
The XRP ledger (called “ledger history” too) is validated by several XRP Coingate validators which are decentralized and distributed all over the world! Ripple’s protocol consensus (RPCA) guarantees that every node agrees on everything as new transaction are processed.
As long as every node has the same information, the transaction is good and safe. And XRP tokens do not need mining (like Bitcoin, for instance) which means that the new blocks in the chain are produced very rapidly, and everything is verified and secured very quickly, cheaply and reliably.
Decentralization has been a contentious issue at Ripple. Let’s keep in mind that Ripple is not a non-profit project driven by a community (like Bitcoin, or Litecoin, or several others) but a private company which is trying to make a buck by implementing blockchain-based services for the banking industry. And it’s the main owner of most of the XRP in the world.
As such there’s been suspicion about the company’s intentions, about the fact that it could control every single node (which would beat the point in decentralization). But that’s actually not the case at all. Ripple cares deeply about the network’s decentralization and it has a plan to guarantee it now, and also as the network keeps growing.
In a nutshell, more new third-party validators will join the network so the ledger will be more distributed and reliable. For every two trusted and secured nodes, Ripple will remove one maintained by developers. The escalation will also improve performance and transfer speeds (which are already among the highest in the industry).
As a matter of fact, Coingate has joined the network as an XRP ledger validator in order to facilitate the decentralization process.
So what is the point in the XRP ledger, anyway?
The ledger in question is optimized for ordinary, run-of-the-mill payments domestic or international. That’s why it improves liquidity for banks and remittance services. It’s particularly well-suited to exchange money across borders when you send a particular fiat currency but the other party needs the payment to be settled in the local fiat.
Not all fiat currencies in the world have trading Forex pairs so settling that kind of transference is not always very direct. That’s where XRP becomes useful. With XRP the sender can exchange the local fiat into crypto, send the crypto over Ripple’s network, and then the receiving party just uses XRP to buy local currency.
It’s faster, cheaper, more reliable, and banks don’t need to keep lots of non-local fiat currency that they can’t use at all until an international transfer arrives. And that’s why xRapid is being so well received among Ripple’s 200+ partners.
It’s not that xRapid does something that can’t be done in some other way. There is the SWIFT system which is 43 years old and it’s still the standard among banks when it comes to international transfers. But it does it better. In minutes instead of days, for fractions of a cent, instead of 25 USD or a percentage of the transfer, and it’s a lot more reliable as well.
More than two hundred banks in the world have adopted Ripple’s technology at least at a testing stage, and a handful among them have already deployed them at the production stage. Banco Santander (which is ranked as the world’s best bank) already has a mobile app in selected countries that is powered by Ripple.
Why use XRP?
Because it’s a good way for exchanging value. It’s safe, it’s quick, it’s reliable. A payment done using XRP takes about 4 seconds to settle (Bitcoin, for instance, remains rather slow even as the new lighting network is active). The Ripple Network is good for more than 1,500 transactions per second and very few other blockchains can boast that kind of transfer speeds.
If that’s not enough to persuade you, then think about how much Ripple will charge you for a transference. It’s not even a cent. It’s not even a tenth of a cent. As a matter of fact, the figure is $0.00001 exactly. It’s probably the cheapest payment system available in the world today. And that’s one of the many reasons for which Coingate chose to go with XRP as the next step.
The adoption of XRP by Coingate opens new opportunities for XRP as a token, for its users, and for the platform’s vendors and clients. And it provides the cryptocurrency with 4,500 new use cases in a single go. This is an instance in which everybody involved wins.
So you need some XRP?
And more XRP-based services are available for you at this platform. It’s never been easier to get some of Ripple’s tokens.
You don’t need to buy XRP at, say, Binance and then bring them over through your digital wallet to CoinGate. That’s easy, safe but bothersome. You can buy XRP directly from CoinGate using any of their supported payment methods. You need to be a registered user for that but, if registering is too much of a pain in the butt for you, there are other ways in which you can still get the XRP you want using the very same platform. So they really give you no excuse not to own some.
Debit and credit cards are supported if you just comply with an easy KYC verification, which is becoming the rule everywhere anyway. Netteller or Skrill are also welcomed. Just give the site your XRP address, provide your credentials and get your tokens! No, it’s actually not publicity. But getting ahold of XRP coins can be such a difficult process at times that it’s worth it to tell you when it’s easy and where it’s easy.
CoinGate ended its announcement (which we have covered in full for you in this article) by asserting the belief that XRP can indeed become one of the payment’s industry biggest players. Yes, for banks and remittances for sure but also for end-users such as you and me. And the platform is trying to facilitate and accelerate the mass adoption of digital assets that can really make a difference for everybody in the world, not just for Wall Street and friends.
So make no mistake. Ripple has been unpopular among crypto fans in the past because it works along with the financial system instead of trying to undermine it (which, after all, was Satoshi’s vision for Bitcoin as he brought blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies to the world). But it’s kosher, it’s decentralized, it’s valuable and it’s moving forward faster than most other blockchain projects. So even crypto purists are starting to see the point in supporting it.
XRP is at $0.303546 as we write this and it’s trading in green numbers. It’s cheap, it’s undervalued and there’s every chance that when the next bull run comes to Crypto, XRP will lead the way because developments as the one we describe in this article make the project’s fundamentals very strong even as technical price analysis can be doubtful at times.
And that is very good news indeed because it will help us all (and crypto) to bring the new digital economy forward and, in the process, make value and currencies less dependent on politics, central authorities, and the traditional financial system. Keep an eye out for Ripple. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Image courtesy of Pixabay.