The cryptocurrency headlines are still being dominated by the recent news surrounding Coinbase’s potential implementation of Ripple (XRP). Are the signs looking increasingly promising with the exchange announcing the employment of 500 additional team members?
Coinbase, the de-facto cryptocurrency exchange with a significant advantage over its nearest rivals in terms of trading volume and market reputation, are known for allowing consumers to buy and sell just four coins – Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), and Bitcoin Cash (BCH). However, Asiff Hirji, the Coinbase president, announced in late 2017 that the platform were looking to add more coins in the early months of 2018. There has been widespread speculation in the cryptocurrency community that XRP could be the first coin to be added, and there is a chance that they might just be right.
Coinbase will be welcoming the addition of an extra 90 staff members today (05 March 2018), with this number being incrementally increased to 500 by the end of May. Ripple holders are anticipating that such an investment in human capital is in direct correlation to the platform preparing for a substantial increase in consumer demand by listing Ripple (XRP). The markets have responding positively with XRP’s value increasing from $0.91 to $1.08 in just 24 hours, a rise of approximately 20% at the time of writing. Furthermore, this is the first time that Ripple has surpassed the $1 mark since 21 February 2018.
It could be argued that Ripple’s credentials for having Ripple listed on Coinbase’s platform is highly justified, as the coin has firmly stabilized itself as the number three player in terms of market capitalization for some time now. At the time of writing, XRP is way ahead of its nearest competitors, holding almost twice as much market capitalization as Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and nearly four times more than Litecoin (LTC). Therefore, it seems highly logical that Ripple is the next to be added to Coinbase. Consumer appetite for the exchange to support Ripple is further amplified by a recent petition of 26,000 signatures on Change.org, demanding that the deal goes through.
According to unverified sources, the CNBC Fast Money show is expecting both Brad Garlinghouse – CEO of Ripple, and Asiff Hirji of Coinbase, to make a joint appearance tomorrow ( 06 March 2018). There are strong beliefs that the much anticipated news will officially be announced during the show, which if it is, the markets will no doubt respond aggressively. Coinbase have a significant stature in the virtual economy, with the exchange reporting revenues of over $1 billion in the 2017 financial year, with more than 11 million active trading account on its books. If they do announce that it will begin to allow users to buy and sell XRP through its platform, it will add significant weight to the coin’s reputation.
Ripples potential on the global stage goes far beyond its Ripple (XRP) coin. The developers are also responsible for the underlying technology behind xCurrent, which was designed with the aim of providing interoperability between all currencies, including real world fiat. Such technology will allow transnational banks to engage with one another without any restrictions on the currency of choice. Major banking institution Santander Group announced in February 2018 that it would be rolling out a new payment app in four countries. The technology is based upon Ripples xCurrent distributed ledger, and if the trial is successful, it is believed this will eventually be rolled out across other nations. It is important to remember that the xCurrent technology does not utilize the proprietary XRP coin, however such news creates consumer trust on the capabilities of the Ripple backroom team.
So where can Ripple investors expect to see the value of their coin go in the upcoming months? Well this all depends on a number of factors, with the main driving force being the potential listing at Coinbase. When the rumor initially begun on the back of Asiff Hirji’s announcement in November 2017, the price of XRP increased by more than 1000%, before dropping back after the December holidays. However, it could also be argued that like many other cryptocurrencies, this significant surge in value was attributed to bitcoin’s unprecedented media attention, whereby BTC broke the $20,000 mark for the first time. To provide Ripple holders with the guarantees that its partly centralized operation will not manipulate prices, the company behind Ripple locked 55 billion Ripple (XRP) in escrow back in December 2017, which also potentially assisted in its short burst in value.
Nevertheless, March 2018 could be a very interesting period for those waiting anxiously on the Coinbase news. The signs do look promising, and investor’s might not have too much longer to wait.