Ripple Spikes 50% as Bitcoin Lifts Smaller Altcoins

Ripple spiked to new highs on Wednesday, as altcoins followed bitcoin higher in the wake of CBOE’s successful futures launch.

XRP/USD Price Levels

Ripple (XRP/USD) shot up to 0.4442 on Wednesday, which was a new all-time high for the altcoin. Prices were last seen hovering at 0.3651 for a gain of roughly 50%, according to CoinMarketCap.

At present values, the XRP market is capitalized at $14.7 billion. Trade volumes over the past 24 hours exceeded $1.7 billion. South Korean trading desks were responsible for the lion’s share of the turnover, with XRP/KRW transactions on Bithumb accounting for roughly 30% of the transactions. Coinone, another South Korean exchange, turned over nearly 8% of the transactions.

Ripple benefited from a broad upswing in the cryptocurrency market on Tuesday as bitcoin rose above $17,000. The global cryptocurrency market is currently valued at roughly $488 billion. Bitcoin now accounts for less than 40% of the daily turnover. Ripple is down at nearly 5%, which is enough for fifth in volume terms.

AMEX Partnership

Positive vibes from bitcoin futures aren’t the only catalyst behind Ripple’s record surge. The San Francisco-based company recently confirmed a partnership with credit card American Express, the Dow Jones blue chip that is embracing blockchain. American Express is looking to Ripple to solve liquidity shortfalls in remittances by offering instant blockchain-based payments.

Rumblings of an AMEX-Ripple partnership made headway in October. Last month, American Express’s chief information officer Marc Gordon commented on his company’s new venture with Ripple as well as Santander, a financial institute based in the U.K.

Ethereum and Litecoin also surged to record highs on Tuesday, as markets continued to prosper in the wake of CBOE’s bitcoin futures contract.

“American Express has a long history of integrating new technologies,” Gordon said. “This collaboration with Ripple and Santander represents the next step forward on our blockchain journey, evolving the way we move money around the world.”

The Santander connection appears to be opening a U.S.-U.K. corridor for real-time gross settlement for business to business transactions. This is expected to reduce cost and enhance the end user experience. Proponents say the new protocol is a significant improvement over the existing SWIFT system.

Some speculators say there’s the potential for a Ripple-Paycase partnership in the near future, given that both rely on a bitcoin blockchain. Paycase has successfully created a remittance corridor between Canada and Latin America, making Ripple a natural ally.

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.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Chief Editor to and Contributor to, Sam Bourgi has spent the past nine years focused on economics, markets and cryptocurrencies. His work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, CBOE and Forbes. Avid crypto watchers and those with a libertarian persuasion can follow him on twitter at @hsbourgi