http://www.digitaljournal.com/tech-and-science/technology/ripple-rises-to-become-second-largest-cryptocurrency/article/511204

Ripple rises to become second largest cryptocurrency

Posted Jan 2, 2018 by James Walker
The Ripple cryptocurrency has rocketed in value over the past week to become the second most valuable by market cap. After experiencing massive growth over the holiday season, Ripple has surpassed Ethereum and reached a market cap of over $100 billion.
Cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum and Ripple have seen massive growth over the past year
Cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum and Ripple have seen massive growth over the past year
David McBee / Pexels
Bitcoin's market cap is now at around $230 billion and is maintaining a strong lead over alternative cryptocurrencies. The soaring value of Bitcoin in 2017 has sparked growth in other cryptocurrencies, including Ripple, Ethereum, Litecoin and Monero. They're competing to increase their market cap as blockchain-based currencies become more widespread.
Last Friday, Ripple surged upwards by almost 56 percent to reach a new all-time high. It surpassed Ethereum's $73 billion market cap and was displaying a value of over $100 billion on some cryptocurrency market monitors. Individual coins are now worth around $2.34, an increase of over 30,000% since last year. At the beginning of 2017, the cryptocurrency was priced at around half a cent.
Ripple's now positioning itself to sustain its growth through 2018. The cryptocurrency is being adopted by major financial institutions, helping it to gain traction in an increasingly competitive market.
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Unlike broader cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ripple has specific aims which are helping to make it the favoured option for financial services providers.
Ripple's blockchain network is targeted at banks and existing finance businesses looking to modernise and streamline their operations. Using the blockchain, it offers fast and secure payments between major lenders. This provides an alternative to traditional international transfers which can take days to complete. The blockchain's open ledger maintains transparency, allowing payments to be made almost instantaneously online.
"Ripple connects banks, payment providers, digital asset exchanges and corporates via RippleNet to provide one frictionless experience to send money globally," Ripple explains on its website. The company describes itself as the "world's only enterprise blockchain solution for global payments."
Ripple now claims to have over 100 major customers including American Express, Bank of America, Santander and UBS. Over the weekend, three large Japanese credit card providers said they will use Ripple's network to process cross-border payments to South Korean lenders. The announcement is thought to have contributed to Ripple's subsequent increase in value.