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This past year has been bearish for the cryptocurrency markets. However, Ripple is one that has kept its head above water. Brad Garlinghouse, Ripple CEO, continues to push the point that Ripple XRP is not a security. Ripple as a cryptocurrency is used by over 150 banking clients to assist in the transfer of funds through the Ripple financial and banking network around the globe using the DLT (distributed ledger technology).
At the same time, the US SEC has been investigating Ripple to ascertain whether the crypto deemed as an asset or a cryptocurrency. This has put the price on hover-mode for most of the year, finishing at around 0.30 USD, which is down from earlier 1.00 USD mark at the beginning of 2018.
Given that Ripple is not on the same page as the major players in cryptocurrency; Bitcoin and Ethereum and therefore will not become a contender for first place in the market is for three reasons. Firstly, Ripple market cap at this time is around $35 billion, Bitcoin is currently more than $190 billion, and Ethereum is sitting on about $84 billion. The difference between Ripple and Ethereum is more than a small country GDP!
Secondly, Ripple has not been marketed as a cryptocurrency for the day to the day trade market and is used more as a means of asset trading and transfer of funds between banking organizations. Lastly, Ripple is not available to buy directly as a cryptocurrency in the same way as BTC, ETH or any other altcoin.
Ripple has been tipped to be the next Bitcoin, although the Ripple XRP was never designed to take on Bitcoin, more, it was intended to become the catalyst between traditional banking and global crypto transfer between countries on a peer-to-peer network.
Brad Garlinghouse, company CEO has long espoused to the fact that Ripple is a platform for banks to use to get rid of the SWIFT system and use the consensus protocols for cross-border payment that are around a thousand times faster than the current banking procedures in place.
Using the XRP cryptocurrency as a form of transferring fiat currencies, gives the “coin” a leg up into the cryptocurrency market. The fact that the Ripple XRP is not “mined” in the same way as BTC, means that it is easier and cheaper to use.
This is a view shared by Craig Cole of crypto maps a few months ago:

One of the reasons why Ripple’s value has increased in 2018 is because of its inherent value to financial systems where the virtual currency has gained notoriety due to the lower fees and speed of transactions.
John-Paul McCaffrey, Associate Director ITRC, Long Island University agrees: “Although currently there isn’t a platform to exchange fiat currency for Ripple (XRP) this may change sooner than you think. There is speculation that Coinbase will be adding this to their list of cryptocurrencies they have available for fiat exchange. Providing easy liquidity through Coinbase alone will attract new interest in XRP.”2 [Ripple Could Be The Next Bitcoin – (n.d.). Retrieved from]
For this reason alone, the longevity of XRP seems guaranteed. If more banks and financial institutions such as the stock exchange,  embrace payment methods using the Ripple protocols, it makes sense that the XRP will get to the front of cryptocurrency transactions. The first mainstream bank to use the Ripple network was Fidor from Germany back in 2014. Now there are over 150 international banking and money transfer institutions utilizing the DLT platform.
In a recent development, (a French exchange) claims to that Ripple and Litecoin are offered as a direct purchase using fiat, but I have not actually bought any, so I cannot verify their claims.
As an investment, Ripple enthusiast and crypto expert, Roman Guelfi is of the opinion that 2019 will be a great year for Ripple XRP and thinks that the crypto as a currency will head out front of other currencies.
This is also the view of Taki Tsaklanos, the doyen of cryptocurrencies and writer for Investing Haven,  3
It seems everyone in the crypto industry, is projecting Ripple’s value to rise in the year(s) ahead. Experts believe that if the value increases to around $200 (or thereabouts) in ten years, it will be good for Ripple and keep the volatility of XRP out of the equation.
The difference between ETH, BTC, and XRP are in the protocols. XRP, is entirely different, centered on a trust-based system, whereas, the other cryptos use the proof of work algorithm. This means that XRP is way out in front with transaction time, and for this reason, people are very likely to favor it more than the proverbial miner’s choice, Bitcoin!
Other significant financial indicators in the Ripple growth movement are the investment by large banking institutions such as MUFG Bank from Japan, which has joined up with Banco Bradesco from Brazil to create international payment between customers using Ripple technology. There is also talk of a tie-up with Apple for 2019 giving investors more exposure to the company’s credibility, which will undoubtedly bring increase to the value of XRP. This means Apple users will have the added advantage and capability to transfer funds around the world with greater proficiency and ease.
What is not clear is the final value of the crypto as an ETF. However, predictions for 2020 put Ripple at the forefront of cryptocurrencies. There are strong indications that Lian Lian Group and Amex will be coupled with Ripple for Chinese card payment and the consensus among Fintech officials is that the Ripple will be worth around a dollar fifty. This seems highly likely given the current price of $0.30, and with steady market growth during 2019, the upside could easily be a100-120 percent rise in value to XRP.
The launch of Ripple XRP in India is further proof of the popularity and favor this coin is gaining around the world. While the price is volatile as ever on the Sub-continent, there is a growing demand for quick currency trades, and people are enthusiastically buying and selling XRP like any other crypto.
Who knows what the future holds? One would hope that the developers’ dreams of a DLT for the Fintech world meet with a strong base for XRP, giving the coin a steady growth and sustainable trading options.
This slow growth brings less volatility to the market and better long-term investment options for investors, especially over the next five years, during which time Ripple is set to collaborate/partner with more European and Latin American banks.
While the Bitcoin stalwarts are not on board yet, Ripple launched the Bitcoin Bridge in 2018 as a means for BTC users to transfer funds using XRP. The number of zeroes is mind-boggling; one XRP is worth less than  
So there is more for BTC users to get excited about with the open source Ripple platform, which will undoubtedly give XRP more kudos going forward. Ripple’s transaction speed is definitely one of the selling points, and one of the biggest headaches BTC users have is the scalability and time taken to make a transaction – every millisecond counts!
Ripple’s Chief Technology Officer, gives his views on Ripple and its value for the crypto ecosystem in the future. Schwartz is a strong advocate of everyone in the crypto sphere getting the best out of the Ripple protocols, whether it means that Bitcoin users benefit or XRP grows as a stand-alone cryptocurrency.
Predicting XRP is virtually impossible. Given that Ripple developers have not meant for XRP to be a commodity such as Bitcoin and Ethereum are, and it continues to trade even as a humble cousin, of the big players, but some way ahead of competitors. For early investors getting into Bitcoin meant making a ton of money when the markets moved back in 2017, so buying Ripple XRP on the bottom floor is definitely a way to go to get into the market. Especially if you don’t have the significant bankroll, it takes to buy a single BTC. If you are a crypto enthusiast and haven’t been able to make the leap into the market, there is entirely every reason why starting out with XRP is a good move – who knows’ you could be a millionaire in 20 years!
Disclaimer: I am just an enthusiastic writer and not a Ripple investor. My opinion is for readership and not trading/investing advice.
1Craig Cole []
Taki Tsaklanos[]
4  Coindesk []
5  Brian McCullough – interview David Schwartz []