Ripple Unveils ‘Xpring’ Venture Capital Fund to Boost Adoption of Cryptocurrency

The San Francisco-based Ripple company has announced a new venture capital project designed to spearhead adoption of its virtual currency, sending a strong signal to potential investors that XRP is going beyond the banking sector.

An Introduction to Xpring

Pronounced “spring,” the Xpring project is being developed to support a wider ecosystem around Ripple’s XRP cryptocurrency, which is currently the third-largest behind bitcoin and Ethereum. According to the official website, Xpring “supports businesses that would see material benefit from building on the XRP Ledger.”

Ripple issued the following statement about the project:

“As a major contributor to the XRP Ledger codebase and large holder of XRP, we often hear from entrepreneurs and developers that they’d like support in one form or another to help them with their XRP-related projects. As one of the few blockchain companies with traction for a non-speculative use case, we feel we’re uniquely positioned to support entrepreneurs in a meaningful way.”

Xpring will be led by Ethan Beard, whose previous roles include Director of Facebook Developer Network and Director of New Business Development at Google.

The new venture capital initiative will incubate, acquire and invest in companies run by entrepreneurs who decide to utilize the XRP ledger for their business.

New Possibilities

Xpring could be one of Ripple’s biggest attempts to overcome what some have described as an adoption trap for XRP. Ripple has made significant headlines over the past 12 months by onboarding dozens of companies to its various payment and liquidity platforms. However, adoption of XRP has been relatively limited.

Unlike other blockchain projects, Ripple helps companies (namely, banks and payment processors) resolve business challenges without requiring the adoption of its native cryptocurrency. Proponents of Ripple say XRP’s value does not depend solely on institutional adoption of the currency itself but on widespread integration of the company’s business solutions. Xpring could potentially merge the two, ensuring continual integration of the technology as well as adoption of XRP.

That said, there are already signs that XRP adoption is growing. In the first quarter, Ripple sold nearly $168 million worth of cryptocurrency, representing an increase of 83% from the previous quarter and a 2,400% surge compared to Q1 2017.

The company also reported a strong rise in trading volumes thanks to more than $16 million in new XRP loans to market makers.

XRP was trading at roughly $0.73 on Monday for a total market cap of $29 billion.

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.

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Chief Editor to Hacked.com and Contributor to CCN.com, 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