Institutional Demand for Ripple is Growing
Since bottoming near $0.47 earlier this month, Ripple’s XRP currency has rebounded more than 84%. Though much of the gains have been attributed to the broader market rally, the so-called ‘banker’s cryptocurrency’ is also benefiting from an uptick in institutional demand.
The San Francisco startup announced on Thursday that five payment providers have agreed to use Ripple’s xVia platform, an API that allows users to send international payments quickly and easily. The companies being initiated into xVia include U.K.-based FairFX, RationalFX and Exchange 4 Free, as well as Georgia’s UniPay and MoneyMatch, which is is based in Malaysia.
By implementing xVia’s API solution, businesses will be able to facilitate international payments much more efficiently. The service can be used by payment providers, digital wallets and other platforms looking to tap into the global payment arena.
Earlier this year, Ripple announced that tech firms Beetech and Zip Remit were also adopting xVia. In addition to those, the company has partnered with 61 Japanese banks to develop a mobile app that will be used to settle domestic transactions instantly. Payment services MoneyGram and Western Union have also signed up to test XRP money transfers. They join Cambridge Global Payments, MercuryFX and IDT in piloting the xRapid program.
Despite a difficult first quarter for XRP, Ripple managed to sell $167.7 million worth of digital currency between January and March, the company reported last Wednesday. That represents an increase of 83% from Q4 and a 2,400% surge compared to the first quarter of 2017.
XRP’s share of the total cryptocurrency market doubled between Nov. 24, 2017 and Mar. 31, 2018, rising from 3.56% to 7.57%. Volumes also grew to 6.9% on the quarter compared with 5.3% between October and December.
The company said XRP’s growing volume was partly “driven by the extension of more than $16 million in new XRP loans from XRP II, LLC to market makers,” adding that “A significant pain point for digital asset liquidity providers is the need to purchase or borrow assets in order to provide both bids and offers.”
These developments support the view that XRP is ideally suited to become a liquidity pool in addition to its role as a unit of transaction or investment asset.
XRP/USD Price Levels
The value of XRP reached a high near $0.91 on Saturday following a strong end to the week. The cryptocurrency was last seen hovering near $0.86 for a total market cap of $33.9 billion. Total trade volumes for the day exceeded $1 billion, according to data provider CoinMarketCap.
Bithumb was the largest market for XRP on Sunday. The South Korean exchange processed more than 20% of the volume. Upbit, another South Korean trading platform, processed more than 17% of total transaction volume.
Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.
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