Ripple (the informal name for the XRP tradeable token) has powered higher over the last 24 hours, again knocking ethereum off its perch as the world’s second largest cryptocurrency and gaining more than 20% at the time of publication.
The latest ripple surge comes on the back of a positive few months for the XRP price, which has been boosted by a number of major banks adopting the technology of Ripple Labs — the creator of the XRP cryptocurrency.
Ripple (XRP) now boasts a market capitalization of $22.5 billion, above ethereum’s $22 billion, according to CoinMarketCap data. Bitcoin, the original cryptocurrency, still holds the top spot by a wide margin, however, with a total market value of $112 billion.
Ethereum is down some 84% so far this year, falling from around $1,400 to just $215. Ripple meanwhile has decreased by about the same amount, peaking at $3.71 at the beginning of the year and dropping as low as $0.26 in September. Ripple began 2017 at just $0.006.
It was not immediately clear what has prompted the surge in the ripple price, pushing it over the psychological $0.50 mark for the first time since September.
Ripple Labs continuing international expansion, as well as unsubstantiated rumors around a Swift update in November that could bring thousands of banks around the world on to the Ripple Labs’ platform, xRapid.
Elsewhere, cross-border remittance service SendFriend today implemented xRapid, the first in what could be a number of payments companies such as Western Union and MoneyGram to use the technology.
xRapid is designed to work as a bridge between different currencies around the world, allowing payment providers and banks to process faster cross-border transactions. Earlier this year Ripple Lab’s chief executive Brad Garlinghouse boasted there would be “dozens” of banks using xRapid by the end of 2019.
Last week Ripple Labs revealed that it will be setting up an office in Dubai before the end of 2018.
Ripple’s global infrastructure innovation head, Dilip Rao, speaking at the Global Islamic Economic Summit in Dubai, said Ripple Labs would focus on cross-border payments in the region.
“We now have three banks in Saudi Arabia, two in Kuwait… one in Bahrain, one in Oman… a couple in the United Arab Emirates… and it really is out fastest growing marketplace,” said Rao.
“I think the UAE government saying that 50% of all government transactions will be on distributed ledger technology by 2020 is a fantastic way to encourage innovation, to bring Fintechs to your market and then to then build the capability locally to iterate on those solutions that the Fintech bring to you.”
Elsewhere, XRP Tip Bot, which lets people send and receive XRP using Reddit, Twitter and Discord, is expanding to allow other developers to integrate with the platform, opening the door for a variety of apps that let users transfer value with XRP.
Meanwhile, the bitcoin price has today fallen despite many other major cryptocurrencies gaining as the sector increasingly appears to decouple from bitcoin.
Over recent years, moves in the bitcoin price have been widely reflected in the wider market. That seems to be happening less as the like of ripple (XRP) and ethereum carve out their own identities independent from bitcoin.
Ripple, which was created back in 2012 by Ripple Labs (making it one of the oldest cryptocurrencies), sets itself apart from many other major digital tokens by working directly with the established financial services sector.