Over the past few days, Ripple has overtaken Ethereum and became the second most valuable digital currency. The market capitalisation of Ripple now exceeds $100bn and each Ripple coin – or XRP – is now worth over $2. It was only worth one tenth of this just a month ago, and less than 0.5 cent a year ago.
However, Bitcoin still remains the most valuable crypto-currency with a total market capitalisation over $230bn, and each bitcoin is currently worth over $13,000.
Unlike other digital currencies, Ripple tokens are controlled by a single company, Ripple, based in San Francisco, which slowly releases new tokens as the network is used.
Ripple presents itself as a safer alternative to other crypto-currencies. It was set up in 2012 to help banks pay each other faster and facilitate global financial transactions.
To date, over 100 banks such as Bank of America, Santander and UBS use the Ripple system. In the past few days, three of Japan’s largest credit card companies announced they had joined Ripple to handle payments and settlement.