Cryptocurrency, Exchanges, XRP–As previously reported by EWN, U.S. based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has added support for XRP as apart of their custodian service. The addition was originally announced by the exchange back in October, in lieu of actual support for the coin for investors to buy and sell.
Compared to the largely unregulated, Wild West landscape of most cryptocurrency exchanges, Coinbase Custody adds a layer of assurance for large capital investors. Rather than targeting individual customers or the general user base, Coinbase custody is geared towards hedge funds and institutional investors with millions in assets, providing an easy to use, secure platform for storing and funding cryptocurrency–especially as newcomers to the industry struggle with the concepts of private keys and cold storage wallets. In addition to the benefits of upgraded financial security, Coinbase custody provides investors with insurance coverage on their stored assets which now extends to XRP, despite the coin not being listed directly on the exchange.
XRP, which has now managed to outpace Ethereum for second in total cryptocurrency market capitalization, is gaining steam even as market prices fall. While the currency is down from an all time high of $3.80 earlier in the year–which, ironically, was due to appreciation created through investor anticipation of the coin being listed on Coinbase–XRP and parent company RIpple have made regular headlines for building adoption throughout 2018. XRP thus far has embodied the paradox of cryptocurrency growth, that development and new adoption for blockchain and crypto has continued to grow exponentially despite the slumping prices.
With the proverbial bloodbath taking place in cryptocurrency’s market capitalization, a long-anticipated union of Coinbase and XRP could be the exact pairing to reignite interest. While investors will continue to be hesitant over any association between XRP and Coinbase, particularly after the coin rose and plummeted following rumors of a listing in January 2018, the addition on the Coinbase Custody program is some small indication that there could be interest between the two parties.
In July, Coinbase announced the possibility of five new currencies being added to the exchange, with XRP’s primary competitor Stellar XLM being listed as a front-runner. However, the XLM currency has yet to be associated with the exchange in any context outside of that initial announcement, leading some investors to question what’s taking Coinbase so long to integrate the fifth largest coin by market capitalization. With XRP overtaking Ether for second place in coin listings, more investor pressure will be weighing on the U.S. based exchange to deliver big name currencies to its 13 million strong customer base.
It would premature to tie any relation between XRP and Coinbase to a possible exchange listing, even with the recent Custodian update. However, in light of the severe fall in cryptocurrency prices, with the market cap now withering back to a valuation not seen since midway through 2017, it could be the type of radical move that would give investors reason to come back to Coinbase in droves despite the bearish conditions. Either way, XRP moving into the second position by market cap is positive news for the coins exposure, even as the market continues to undergo volatility.