Ripple’s XRP token has lost momentum of late. A couple of weeks ago it was the second largest crypto asset by market capitalization by a good margin. At the moment it can’t seem to get out of second gear as Ethereum streaks ahead increasing its lead.
In today’s market wide crypto rally XRP has only managed to eke out a 2% gain taking it to $0.307 at the time of writing. It is down over 5% on the month while others around it have been making better gains. There have been questions about XRP market cap and possible manipulation; it is currently being reported as $12.7 billion by Coinmarketcap.com. This is almost $2 billion behind Ethereum which is making good gains recently in the lead up to Constantinople at the end of the month.
Is JPMCoin a Real Ripple Rival?
The news last week that Wall Street giant JP Morgan intends to launch its own digital coin has drawn a big reaction in the crypto sphere. Many have said that this could be Ripple’s largest rival and may even spell the end for it;
“If it turns out that the Blockchain/Coin framework turns out to be a good one for banks transferring money around, then the JPM Coin should absolutely obliterate Ripple,” Bloomberg business editor Joe Weisenthal tweeted.
The arguments that the JPMCoin, which will be pegged to the dollar, could replace Ripple are strong. Tom Shaughnessy, principal at Delphi Digital, a crypto research boutique in New York, said; “This is a huge slap in the face for Ripple. Ripple’s target market is cross-border payments and remittances and now JPMorgan’s effort is a direct threat,”
The relevance of these comments really depends on the usage and purpose of the new stablecoin. The bank’s blockchain and digital treasury services head, Umar Farooq, explained;
“When one client sends money to another over the blockchain, JPM Coins are transferred and instantaneously redeemed for the equivalent amount of U.S. dollars, reducing the typical settlement time.”
This sounds remarkably similar to Ripple’s xRapid platform which uses XRP instead of a stablecoin. The difference being that JPMCoin being pegged to the dollar is stable whereas XRP prices are still highly volatile. There are a number of other major differences; Ripple’s system can handle multiple currencies and countries whereas JP Morgan’s will only be in USD for its institutional clients according to Forbes.
Both solutions are centralized but JPMCoin will run on a Quorum based private permissioned blockchain that is owned by the bank making it even more centralized than XRP. Naturally Ripple boss, Brad Garlinghouse, picked up on this tweeting last week;
As predicted, banks are changing their tune on crypto. But this JPM project misses the point – introducing a closed network today is like launching AOL after Netscape’s IPO. 2 years later, and bank coins still aren’t the answer https://t.co/39EAiSJwAz https://t.co/e7t7iz7h21
— Brad Garlinghouse (@bgarlinghouse) February 14, 2019
Banks will be reluctant to use public crypto assets for their own purpose preferring to keep a tight leash on any coin projects that that launch. The JPMCoin is just another service by the Wall Street bank whereas XRP remains a speculative asset that will continue to see those price fluctuations as the crypto industry evolves. It appears unlikely that another centralized stablecoin will do much damage to Ripple in the short term but the banks are likely to continue developing their own in house solutions rather than working with third parties which is a bit of a slap for Ripple.
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