Published: Sun, January 07, 2018
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

Bitcoin Rises as Ripple's Allure Fades Among Cryptocurrency Traders

Bitcoin and ethereum both saw their values multiply several times over in 2017, largely on the strength of newfound investor interest in the cryptocurrency space, the initial coin offering (ICO) craze, and similar drivers. Such a service is meant to help make worldwide money transfers possible with minimal exchange fees and increased speeds over its more traditional rivals. XRP went from less than a cent at the start of the year to around $2.80 near the end of 2017. Transferring via XRP instead of United States dollars or another currency is cheaper, and the entire process takes a maximum of four seconds - compared to the hours or even days of traditional methods.

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And, again unlike bitcoin, there is no energy-intensive "mining" involved in Ripple's creation. Network participants use a digital coin called XRP for transactions. But while Bitcoin is the dominant cryptocurrency, there are others snapping at its heels and one has nearly caught up. Ripple was created in 2012 as a way or banks to transfer money to one another.

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The start-up owns 61 percent of the 100 billion XRP in existence. They are held by Ripple Labs and distributed when it sees fit, like how governments print more money and distribute it when necessary.

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XRP, a five-year-old digital currency offered by the San Francisco startup Ripple, has soared 1,184% in the past month alone, quickly becoming the second-largest crypto-asset behind bitcoin and adding 42% in the first days of 2018. By comparison, Bitcoin has only risen 1,506 percent in the past year. The statement may have been responsible for the quick decline in Ripple from about $3.30 to $2.50 (it's now at $2.78). In the last few weeks, for cross-border payments, according to the company.

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