It’s been a few week since I posted an update on Ripple happenings, but that’s not because there hasn’t been any news that’s for certain.
Just looking at my last check in on XRP where the price was sitting at $0.302 and comparing it to the $0.375 it’s at today doesn’t really reflect the momentum Ripple is experiencing so far this year. Though the price did spike over $0.40 earlier this week, reflecting the rise of Bitcoin, Ether and others, Ripple’s overall growth and integration continues to surpass even the big dogs of the industry so far this year.
From impressive awards to new XRP pairings and exchange support, let’s run through the news for Ripple so far for the month.
A Ria Good Deal
Puns aside, it was reported a few weeks ago that Ria money transfer, a subsidiary of Euronet Worldwide, is integrating Ripplenet in its payment enterprise. A quote attributed to Ria’s President and CEO, Michael J. Brown, said “We signed an agreement with Ripple that gives Ripple access to Ria’s global physical and digital footprint” and that it would enable their own customers to “connect and transact with Ripple’s network which includes more than 200 financial institutions worldwide.”
This could open a whole new set of opportunities for both Ripple and its users. In addition to the new relationship with Ripple, Ria also announced that they are expanding their domestic payout capabilities with none other than Walmart.
Ria already powers the Walmart2Walmart money transfer service but according to the official press release from Euronet Worldwide, “Ria customers can now send money with any participating Ria agent location worldwide, including within the U.S., and pick-up the cash at any domestic Walmart location in the U.S.”
Ease of use and mainstream integration is definitely a huge step in the right direction and it’s going to be very interesting to watch this one play out.
And the Award Goes To…
Ripple received a couple of awards this month, including one for their annual Swell Conference. 2018’s conference was awarded the 2019 Marketers That Matter Award in the Small Company class for Transformation Journey, beating out numerous other companies including Thumbtack, the other finalist.
Inc. published a report on May 16 of “The 346 Best Places to Work in 2019” and after asking 139,251 employees around the country to rate their workplaces, Ripple was the only cryptocurrency to make the list in the Financial Services industry. It is interesting to note that NerdWallet made the list, but when it comes to the best places to work today, Ripple’s employees are definitely happy at this point.
Getting in on the Ground Floor
Gaming startup “Forte” got a bit of good news last week when it was confirmed that Ripple will be supporting them with its Xpring product. This comes shortly after the earlier announcement from Forte regarding a deal with Xpring to invest in its game developers, which already included investments from the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz.
Ripple’s official Twitter account confirmed the reports with a tweet on May 10 that said, “There’s an exciting opportunity to leverage blockchain technology in the gaming world” and said they were thrilled to leverage Xpring to support Forte. Ripple is launching $100 million in funds through Xpring and this could mean big things for both Forte and Ripple.
Taking blockchain to the gaming industry could be a huge game changer, so much so that even Wired magazine has chimed in on the possibilities. In a recent blog post on their website, Wired noted that the industry has virtual goods with annual sales of over $50 billion but that “gamers don’t really own the virtual items they pay for: they’re ultimately pixels that disappear when you delete the game.” In order to rectify this issue, the blog states that “developers want to use blockchain to turn these ephemeral items into assets.”
Giving gamers the ability to really “own” their hard-earned or outright purchased virtual items just makes sense. Platform designers nor their CEOs would accept losing their expensive real world cars simply because they moved or lost the keys. Additionally, blockchain integration into the gaming industry would give the developers more oversight. Those that wish to thwart in-game sales of the virtual items or accounts could easily do so, and those wanting to promote the inherent “economy” that these types of games can produce can ensure that transactions are completed and scamming is kept to a bare minimum. The same goes for simple P2P transactions, blockchain could eliminate issues that arise from “bad” trades and unscrupulous users.
Ripple’s waves are being felt far and wide and I have a feeling this is just the first of what is to come from them in the gaming sector.
Keep on Trucking!
XRP has a few new friends and news releases that we need to cover real quick.
As of May 6, Ripple’s xCurrent 4.0 is live, giving those customers the ability to integrate XRP-powered xRapid. xCurrent is the enterprise software product developed by Ripple Lab Inc. that provides end-to-end tracking for fintech international money transfer services. xRapid is powered by Ripple’s native cryptocurrency XRP, so with 4.o this means XRP now has a foot planted firmly in the fintech industry.
Coinbase pro, which initially excluded XRP support in New-York, Japan and most of Asian regions, announced on May 14 that they will now support XRP trading for its New York customers.
The following day, the decentralized Singapore based crypto exchange BHEX (Blue Helix) announced that they have added XRP/USDT pairing and opened the deposit and withdrawal of XRP.
Forex Capital Markets, known as FXCM, announced May 17 that it is now offering XRP/USD. They also announced the addition of Bitcoin Cash, with their CEO Brendan Callan stating that the two altcoin inclusions “marks the latest stage of growth for FXCM’s burgeoning cryptocurrency offering and is in direct response to increased demand from our clients.”
Lesson learned, with Ripple’s recent trail blazing adventures it isn’t a good idea to wait a couple of weeks between articles. While some cryptocurrencies are experiencing large boosts in price since the first of the year, Ripple and XRP continue to impress with their near-constant headline worthy accomplishments.
Crypto is here to stay, and Ripple is positioning themselves to be a contender for the long haul.