In less than a year, the Ripple (XRP) has seen a phenomenal rise from $0.006 in January 2017 to more than $3.80 as of January 4th, 2018. This represents an increase of roughly 5063% and has, inevitably made many people very, very happy. Among them, Chris Larsen, co-founder and chairman of the board at Ripple may now be the richest man in the worlds. But, for how long?
The Richest Man in the World
Many lucky investors are beginning to join the ranks of wealthy billionaires who invested in digital currency at the right time, and this is not only through Bitcoin investments.
According to Twitter post by George Kikvadze, Ripple’s chairman and co-founder, Chris Larsen is about to become the richest man in the world. Estimated to be holding about 17% of the company’s capital, Larsen is worth about $60 billion, at least on paper. With this, he is now even richer than the founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, whose fortune is only estimated at about $56 billion.
Even if this is the true value of his fortune, within only 10 days after it peaked, the Ripple suffered a violent crash and has since seen its market cap drop from $140 billion to about $40 billion
What is the Ripple?
Not to be confused with other cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin or Ethereum, the Ripple has its own set of defining characteristics.
Ripple is based out of San Francisco and carries out transactions amongst financial institutions by using Blockchain technology. It is in direct competition with the current SWIFT transfer system that takes an average of about 48 hours to complete a transaction. On the other hand, with Ripple’s use of the Blockchain, it can complete transactions in mere seconds.
This increased speed, unfortunately, comes at the expense of using a centralized network which clearly distinguishes it from Bitcoin and Ethereum’s blockchains. However, Ripple offers a promising solution to financial transactions that are completely independent from the central banking system.
Some major institutions that use the Ripple network include HSBC, Standard Chartered, UBS Credit Agricole, Bank of America and Santander. This has resulted in a better image and reputation for the company who uses a token called XRP for its trade. Currently, the XRP has a market cap of roughly $39 billion.
The XRP also has the advantage of being one of the few virtual currencies that can be traded with fiat currencies such as the USD and the EURO. According to financial analyst Yann Quelenn, the XRP’s spike in value is questionable since it is based on the future success of the network.
Recently, several Japanese banks spoke up about their interest in joining the network as well, which could have fueled the price increase.
Could Mark Zuckerberg be Interested in the Ripple?
All the excitement surrounding the crypto markets have seen a massive increase in the number of investors wanting in, and Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, is one of them. He recently announced that he plans to study both the positive and negative aspects of Blockchain and encryption technology to see if the company could benefit from its use.