Bearish market conditions aside, 2018 was undoubtedly a monumental year for the cryptocurrency industry as a whole. Investors continued to flock to this space. Hashrates drastically increased across notable Proof of Work-secured networks. Notable institutional players and high net-worth individuals made bullish forays. Bitcoin markets recently registered their highest BTC trading volumes in history. Blockchain development became LinkedIn’s fastest-growing job category. “What is Bitcoin?” established itself as the most common search term on Google. Yet, some would argue that some crypto-related projects, like Ripple and XRP, stood out more than others, and as such, should be commended.
Ripple Boomed In 2018
While many bash Ripple, a San Francisco-based fintech startup, for being in bed with banks, the firm has arguably done well in serving its role in the centralized financial ecosystem.
Per “2018: The Year of Breakthroughs in Blockchain,” authored by the company’s team, RippleNet, an on-demand liquidity provider for cross-border transactions, has seen adoption beyond compare. More specifically, the application now serves more than 100 institutions, which span forty countries on six continents. MercuryFX, an early adopter of the product, lauded the solution in April, claiming that higher levels of liquidity and faster transactions were achieved.
As reported by Ethereum World News, other users of RippleNet and xRapid were quite satisfied with what the applications provided them. Cuallix’s CFO explained that its customers can realize the promise of micro-payments with xRapid. MercuryFX doubled-down on its support, with the firm’s CEO explaining that he was quickly convinced to pull the trigger to integrate xRapid after seeing the drastic decrease in transaction times and costs. Speaking on the matter, the COO of Ripple partner Catalyst stated:
The traditional international wire experience fails to meet today’s expectations from a price, speed and ease-of-use perspective. Blockchain technology, and specifically Ripple’s xRapid product, resolves all three of these challenges simultaneously.
Ripple’s technology also saw its fair share of adoption. Santander launched OnePayFX, a mobile application that will bring better remittance services to nations across the globe. MoneyTap went online in Japan, which allows Japanese consumers to make domestic transactions at zero-cost, and near-instantly. BeeTech was able to mitigate the fees that SWIFT charges for remittance transactions, reducing costs by 90%.
An American Express representative even praised Ripple’s technology for its ability to drastically improve global transactions, stating:
We did a pilot. We did a test, partnering with Santander locally, and with Ripple to just do cross-border transactions. Cross-border transactions continue to be complex and slow. And in a matter of seconds, through this test, our clients were able to transfer funds in a very transparent and seamless way, from one part of the world to the other one.”
Price Action Aside, XRP Did Fine For Itself In 2018
What’s a Ripple-centric article without XRP… right? Well, just like the entity that utilizes the XRP Ledger for good, the asset itself has arguably had a monumental year, save for price action, of course.
As noted by The Next Web‘s Hard Fork column, the popular cryptocurrency was listed on Revolut, eToro, and Uphold. While some of these platforms only provide CFDs, rather than physical holdings, these additions are positive nonetheless.
Xpring launched in May, which is an initiative that promotes development in the blockchain ecosystem through venture investment, incubation, and partnerships/mentorships.
XRP was recently added to Binance as a base pair, as recently confirmed by Ethereum World News.
Still Waiting On That Coinbase Listing
However, there is one notable shortcoming that befell XRP in 2018. This, if you haven’t guessed it already, is a listing on Coinbase — a long-time coming in the eyes of the asset’s proponents. The fact of the matter is that the asset remains in a regulatory grey zone. And until clarity is established, it is unlikely that Coinbase, which has hinted at supporting XRP, will add the asset.
But, some pundits are starting to believe that a bonafide listing on the San Francisco-headquartered platform is right around the corner.