Ripple price surged by 38 percent on Friday, enabling XRP to unseat ethereum as the second-most valuable cryptocurrency.
Ripple’s late-December rally has been nothing short of breathtaking. The ripple price has managed to tread water during the market downturns, and it has surged during the calm periods in between. In the past week alone, the ripple price has leaped by more than 80 percent, bringing it to a present value of $1.63 on cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex.
However, because XRP trading is heavily-concentrated in South Korea — where it trades at a significant premium — the global average ripple price is actually much higher. Bithumb alone accounts for 33 percent of all XRP trading volume, and insatiable demand from its traders has pushed the regional ripple price up to $2.10.
At present, the ripple’s global average is $1.87, which represents a 29,000 percent increase from January 1, when it was valued at less than one cent.
Ripple’s market cap is now $72.4 billion. This makes XRP roughly $800 million more valuable than ethereum, which — apart from a brief period in May — had maintained the second-largest market cap for the entire year.
This is even more remarkable considering that, just six months ago, ethereum came quite close to supplanting bitcoin for the top spot in the market cap rankings.
Ripple’s rally has been led by South Korean traders and has been predicated on several recent announcements that Ripple has made regarding its activity in the region.
Earlier this week, Nikkei reported that SBI Ripple Asia had formed a partnership with a consortium of Japanese credit card processors, an announcement that came just two weeks after a group of South Korean and Japanese banks chose to use Ripple tech to conduct a cross-border blockchain-based payments trial.
Finally, Ripple has benefited from the revelation that although South Korean regulators are passing new measures to increase oversight of domestic cryptocurrency exchanges and cool off the heated cryptocurrency markets, rumors that the government would seek an outright ban on cryptocurrency trading have been proven unfounded.
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