Ripple is leading the way as markets take a positive turn after enduring a sharp correction. At the time of writing, market cap data shows Ripple’s XRP up 13%, with all of the top ten currencies following with single-digit gains.
While the correction has been widely felt, Ripple traders, in particular, were in desperate need of some respite from recent falls. Ripple is the third largest coin and the second to achieve a $100 billion market cap. Despite its rise in price today, it has endured a horrid start to 2018. Since reaching an all-time high of $3.66 on January 4th, the controversial currency has declined a massive 65 percent.
This drop accompanied the wider market correction that wiped billions of dollars of value from the cryptocurrency market, which has fallen from around $829 billion to $490 billion in two weeks.
Ripple XRP has had some good news this year. On January 11th they announced that international money transfer service MoneyGram would adopt Ripple’s XRP into its payments system in an open-ended pilot program to help increase money transfer speeds and reduce costs.
It remains a controversial cryptocurrency, however. Of the hundred billion coins created, the San Francisco-based Ripple holds 60 billion. Transactions are powered through a centralized blockchain in which miners play no part. It was explicitly designed for use by the banking industry. While its centralized design guarantees speed, many pundits argue that such a structure means it has no place in the cryptocurrency landscape.
Its positive price movements over the past 24-hours may reflect the softer stance taken by the South Korean government toward cryptocurrencies. There had been conjecture South Korea was preparing to ban cryptocurrencies. However, this week it revealed plans to implement stricter KYC rules for exchanges, a relief to many in the community.
Ripple is particularly popular in Asia. In mid-December, a consortium of 61 Japanese banks announced they would adopt Ripple’s settlement technology for cross-border transfers. Korea’s Woori Bank and Shinhan Bank are also using the Ripple blockchain network.
With the threat of Korean exclusion from the cryptocurrency market apparently gone, Ripple’s XRP may benefit from stronger demand forces given its relative prominence in Northeast Asia.
However, whether the respite for crypto-enthusiasts is short-lived remains to be seen. The market has been enduring a severe slump in the run up to the expiry of CME bitcoin futures contracts on January 26.
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