Ripple (XRP)–Coinbase, a web and app-based marketplace for buying and selling cryptocurrency, is one of the largest companies in the financial world. Coinbase has managed to build a following that looks to challenge Fidelity for the world’s top investment platform.
Coinbase offers only three options for buying and selling cryptocurrency: Bitcoin (BTC), Litecoin (LTC), and Ethereum (ETH), but after the confirmation of Coinbase CEO for CNBC, that much more altcoins will be added to this crypto-marketplace in 2018, the biggest rumor is Ripple (XRP), which provides significant advantages as the next coin to be added to their marketplace. Also, with the backing of banks and other financial institutions, Ripple looks to make a strong case as the cryptocurrency of choice for an internet commerce giant like Amazon.
It’s Not a Derivative of Bitcoin
Coinbase has been hesitant in the past of adding the hard-forked offspring of Bitcoin to their exchange. While it’s true the company was planning to add Segwit2x (under the label of Bitcoin2x) prior to the failed adoption, they have neglected to add Bitcoin Cash or Gold. Combining the same principles of decentralization and blockchain security, Ripple exists as a solution for fast and cheap transfers of money across borders and currencies. The technology is targeting banks as its primary customer, but average investors can benefit from buying and trading the XRP coin.
Fast Transaction Times, Low Costs
Companies like Amazon are not average-joe traders looking to grow their investment money. A sweeping change as large as the one required to start accepting crypto (and it would be a massive statement given the current regulatory delay by most fiat governments), requires stability. Steam gave up on Bitcoin because of high fees and high volatility. Like Overstock, Steam has likely made significant gains with the 2,000+% increase in BTC value in 2017 alone. But the failure by the Bitcoin community to address the primary barriers to being used as a currency–speed and transaction costs–has created an atmosphere of mistrust by the very companies needed to grow mainstream crypto adoption.
Ripple is the fourth largest cryptocurrency in terms of total market cap value and consistently in the top ten for total trade volume. This alone presents a positive financial incentive for Coinbase, which charges a hefty 2-4% transaction fee (depending upon Credit Card or ACH deposit). While the trade volume is still a far cry from the near $10 billion-per-day volume of Bitcoin, the profits from newly added Ripple transactions would be worth the cost of adding another currency. At this point, it seems Coinbase’s greatest fear is losing their newcomer-friendly appeal.
Lower Price Per Coin is Customer Friendly
The crypto-enthusiast or economist can see past this veil (BTC to XRP pricing is no different than saying an apple is an apple in whatever language you speak), but it makes a difference to the consumer. Regardless of the gains that Bitcoin has been making, a sub-$1 coin is a psychologically appealing price-point for newcomers, and a reprieve for veteran investors who have already poured thousands into Bitcoin. For $150, a customer can deposit 600 XRP coins into their wallet. Compare that to Bitcoin, which would produce 0.015 BTC.
Ripple Is Entrenched in the Banking Institution
Adding Ripple, a coin designed to improve the world of bank to bank transfers, would further legitimize the Coinbase project and add to their image for investors looking for centralization, or at least simplicity, in the marketplace. With a user-base topping all but one brokerage firm, Coinbase doesn’t need approval from the banking conglomerate to legitimize its stake. But it does send a positive message to people looking for substance to back their investment. Its absurd in 2017 to see the mainstream media publishing articles about cryptocurrency and its connection to illegal activities. However, there is still a significant number of Americans, with large sums of money waiting to pour into crypto, that have trouble thinking past Silk Road news stories when they hear the word “Bitcoin”. Ripple is not going to make that moniker go away overnight, but it’s a step in the right direction for helping the image of crytpocurrency and it’s legitimization as a financial tool.
Ripple Isn’t Going Anywhere
Two weeks ago American Express announced it would begin using the Ripple technology to conduct U.S.-U.K. money transfers. Two months ago, Cuallix made waves as the first international financial institution to use XRP for liquidity in cross-border transactions. Just this past week, Michael Arrington became head of the first hedge fund to operate completely in XRP. These announcements are just the beginning. Ripple is gaining popularity with both independent investors and large banking institutions as the future of money and money exchange. With the support of legitimate billion-dollar banks and multimillion-dollar hedge funds, Ripple is building a base of support that assures its future in the cryptocurrency marketplace.
Coinbase has the rare opportunity to get in on the ground floor before Ripple takes off in 2018 and beyond.
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