Last week, falling XRP prices drowned out what we consider a pretty important announcement: namely, that Uphold, Inc. added XRP functionality to its online platform.
For the uninitiated, this means that U.S. investors can buy XRP straight from U.S. dollars. No more waiting for a USD/BTC transfer. No more going to shady exchanges. Uphold allows XRP conversion to 34 different currencies in mere seconds. (Source: “XRP Ecosystem Grows with New Listing on Uphold,” Ripple, March 29, 2018.)
That’s a game-changer.
“The XRP ecosystem is diversifying and growing rapidly,” said Miguel Vias, head of XRP markets at Ripple. “The listing of XRP on Uphold, a strong retail platform that offers customers easy access to digital assets, underscores the significant increase in interest for XRP.”
Why is this important, you ask?
Well, ostensibly, more liquidity is a good thing. But I think there’s something deeper at work. Good exchanges—trustworthy ones, I mean—are hard to come by in the U.S., meaning that investors are at the mercy of market leaders like Coinbase.
Coinbase is America’s crypto trading platform of choice. It’s smooth, functional, and generally trustworthy (barring the fee debacle from earlier this year). But the problem with Coinbase is, and always has been, that it lists too few currencies.
First there was Bitcoin, then Ethereum, and finally Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash. Investors have lobbied and petitioned Coinbase to add XRP, but the company has been slow to react. So now it only makes sense that a younger, more responsive firm can take its place.
Uphold fits the bill. It can offer investors quick and easy access to XRP, not to mention dozens of other currencies, and it seems aggressive about expansion. Just read this statement from J.P Theriot, Vice Chairman of Uphold.
“Uphold provides our members with the most cost-effective and transparent way to hold, send or convert money anywhere. Adding XRP to our available currencies is a natural and exciting step forward for our platform.”
Cryptocurrency prices are locked together at the moment, so I don’t expect a single piece of Ripple news to send XRP prices surging. However, if and when we return to a bull market, investors will have an easier time moving from fiat to XRP. That’s a big step forward.
We maintain our Ripple price prediction, which suggests XRP prices can reach as high as $10.00 in 2018.
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