Ripple (XRP) has spiked 4% today, once again gaining ground on ethereum as the world’s second-biggest cryptocurrency by market capitalization after Ripple chief executive Brad Garlinghouse called for a “global framework” for payments and called out bitcoin for its failings.
Garlinghouse told Bloomberg, Ripple is “solving a cross-border payments problem” and that the value of any digital asset will be “based on its ability to solve problems.”
Garlinghouse has been talking up his company’s technology during the Singapore Fintech Festival, telling Bloomberg, “XRP is 1,000 times faster and cheaper than bitcoin,” the original and largest cryptocurrency by market value.
Garlinghouse also addressed speculation and rumors Ripple could team up with rival Swift, the international payments processor owned by the world’s biggest banks. Garlinghouse indicated that Ripple could eventually take over from Swift as the default international payments processor.
“The technologies that banks use today that Swift developed decades ago really hasn’t evolved or kept up with the market,” Garlinghouse said. “Swift said not that long ago they didn’t see blockchain as a solution to correspondent banking. We’ve got well over 100 of their customers saying they disagree.”
“What we’re doing and executing on a day-by-day basis is, in fact, taking over Swift,” he added.
Ripple’s latest price jump gives the cryptocurrency a market capitalization of $21 billion, just shy of Ethereum’s $21.5 billion according to CoinMarketCap data, at time of publication.
Ripple, the common name for the XRP tradable token, has had a phenomenal few months as banks around the world experiment with the technology of the U.S. company Ripple, which has been working to optimize the global payments network with its payment protocol and exchange network.
XRP is however down some 80% from its peak as most major cryptocurrencies readjust after last year’s huge bull run. The ripple price surged to more than $3 last year, up from just $0.006 it began the year at. It’s now trading at a little over $0.40, giving it a market capitalization of $21 billion, making it the third most valuable digital asset.
Ripple’s most popular product, xCurrent, helps banks to settle international transactions by using blockchain to confirm transactions in real-time at each stage of a cross-border payment and earlier this year the company teased xRapid, a similar system that uses the XRP tradable token directly.
The xRapid announcement in September sent the XRP price soaring as traders and investors bet that increased adoption from the financial services sector would mean greater demand for the token.
Garlinghouse also spoke to the International Monetary Fund’s deputy general counsel Ross Leckow at the Singapore Fintech Festival, telling Lecklow the regulatory environment toward blockchain and cryptocurrencies in Asia is encouraging.
“Regulatory clarity has a huge ability to drive digital asset and blockchain adoption. It is surprising how many markets still have uncertainty. But, in ASEAN, the regulatory environment for blockchain and digital asset technology is clear.”
“Several countries have contributed to this, including Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines. In particular, Thailand has introduced a framework that balances consumer protection with innovation. It legalizes several digital assets, including XRP, and provides clear and explicit guidelines for outside blockchain companies to operate.”
“The East Asian markets received $130 billion in inbound remittance payments last year alone. They are expensive, and the market is ripe for adoption of new technology, like blockchain, to drive costs dramatically lower.”
Meanwhile, Japan’s Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) last week announced it’s teaming up with Brazil’s Banco Bradesco on a new cross-border payment service based on Ripple technology.
According to MUFG, “the new payment system will assist the banks as they work toward commercializing a high-speed, transparent and traceable cross-border payments solution between Japan and Brazil.”