Ripple, which is also referred to as XRP, is the third largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization. It was founded with the objective to facilitate international payments for banks. Ripple was released in 2012, making it one of the oldest cryptocurrencies. The design choices applied for Ripple represent an alternative approach to the Nakamoto Consensus which is used in conventional blockchain platforms such as Bitcoin.
Fundamental price analysis
Unlike other leading cryptocurrencies all XRP was initially premined. This implies that a very large share of the circulating supply is concentrated in the hands of the founders
Chris Larsen and Jed McCaleb. As Jed McCaleb moved on from Ripple he started gradually selling his Ripple stake. Besides the founders an even larger share of the Ripple tokens is controlled by Ripple Labs, Inc., the company behind Ripple.
Ripple is unlike Ethereum no smart contract platform. Comparable with Stellar, Ripple has the objective to facilitate international payments in a digital world where fees and intermediaries complicate the life for people to financially interact with each other across borders and without any friction. To serve this purpose Ripple has two products to offer which are xCurrent and xRapid.
The design of Ripple as a payment network comes with a unique consensus mechanism which is substantially different from the Proof of Work consensus mechanism of traditional blockchains such as Bitcoin. Ripple makes use of a HashTree in order to secure consensus. The technology is patented by Ripple Inc. the company behind Ripple.
It is remarkable that Ripple was only added to Coinbase in February 2019 given the fact that the cryptocurrency was one of the earliest to become popular.
Historical price analysis
Ripple is one of the first cryptocurrencies to be around in the space. XRP was dominating the cryptocurrency market as the second most valuable asset in 2015 only behind Bitcoin. Thereafter 2016 saw the emergence of Ethereum which eventually would take over the place from Ripple as the second most valuable cryptocurrency, which it remains until today. There were several moments in time when Ripple was able to regain that position from Ethereum, but none of these occurrences was persistent. Neither Ripple nor Ethereum nor any other cryptocurrency were able to dethrone Bitcoin from being the most valuable cryptocurrency at any point in time.
Ripple’s absolute price peaked at more than 3 USD in January 2018. This point in time marked the all time high for many altcoins and the termination of the 2017 bull run. A severe price correction followed which continued until the end of 2018 and marked a more than 90% correction in price for XRP.
In the first half of 2019 XRP remained below expectations despite an improving market sentiment. Only in the months of February and May XRP showed a positive price performance while BTC closed with a green candle four months in a row from February until May 2019.
Besides the price evolution of Ripple compared to the US dollar, it is also worth taking a look at the XRP/BTC ratio. Ripple peaked against BTC in May 2017 and January 2018. Based on this historical data we can conclude that Ripple is particularly strong at the height of extremely bullish market movements in which Ripple outperforms Bitcoin just as many other altcoins do. At the current point in time Ripple is trading close to its yearly low on the BTC ratio offering an interesting entry point for those who want to invest in Ripple.
XRP price prediction by end of 2019
The community sentiment for Ripple in 2019 has so far been only modest. Despite the multi annual development efforts the actual adoption of Ripple so far is still modest. Therefore community members are raising concerns and question whether XRP is a sleeping lion or whether it had already its best times behind it.
Just as at the very beginning of the blockchain market also in 2019 the correlation of cryptocurrencies is highly positive and for this reason the price evolution of Ripple depends strongly on the overall market. The sentiment in the blockchain ecosystem in 2019 is so far bullish and most market observers expect it to remain so in the second half of 2019.
Based on the severe decline of Ripple in 2019 the cryptocurrency has a lot of room to move up to previous all time highs. The market capitalization of XRP peaked at 141 billion USD in January 2018. From today’s perspective it is unlikely that Ripple will regain this value again in 2019 based on the most recent performance. However, if Ripple could regain a third of its peak market capitalization in 2019 many investors and industry observers would consider this as a successful year for Ripple. This would value Ripple at a market capitalization of more than 45 billion USD and a price of more than 1.15 USD and seems to be a realistic scenario for the end of 2019.
XRP price prediction by the end of 2020
In order to make a more long term price prediction it is necessary to assess the potential for future adoption of the technology provided by Ripple. As of today there a numerous banks experimenting with the RippleNet of which probably Santander is the most famous example. However, the adoption seen so far is mostly experimental and not yet substantial. Nevertheless, this statement is valid for every cryptocurrency at the current early stage of the industry.
In the recent months the competition for Ripple has intensified. The huge US bank JP Morgan has launched its own cryptocurrency JPM coin which tries to offer a similar value proposition as Ripple. However, the Ripple leadership believes that digital currencies which will be issued by one particular bank will not be adopted by the entire banking industry. Besides JP Morgan also Facebook is trying to move into a territory that Ripple would like to serve with its soon to be announced stable coin.
The recent developments both in terms of price performance and market development put significant pressure on Ripple. Therefore we expect the price of Ripple to surge no higher than 3 USD by the year 2020. This means that Ripple might be touching its all time high again in 2020.
The momentum has shifted away from Ripple during the massive 2018 bear market. In order to regain the market confidence XRP depends on significant user adoption of the technology. The centralization of the funds makes it harder for the Ripple community to compete with other large crypto communities. Our price estimates for 2019 and 2020 are therefore cautious and conservative. Nevertheless, we expect decent returns for Ripple in the course of the next two years even though these may be below the market average.