Though bitcoin, litecoin, and ethereum have all shown spectacular price rises in recent weeks, ripple investors have had a quiet 2017. Recent moves suggest that XRP might be finally getting in on the action.
Ripple’s price has been sluggish for most of the year, reaching $0.40 in May but since then sticking around $0.25. In the last few days things have changed. Prices broke $0.30, then reached a high of $0.43. At time of writing XRP is trading at $0.46.
Money transfers between Japan and South Korea
Behind the move is an announcement that banks in South Korea and Japan are testing Ripple’s blockchain as a cheaper way of making same-day international transfers. 61 Japanese banks are involved in the trial, including Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. If it all goes to plan the ripple blockchain should be regularly transferring funds between the countries as early as the second quarter of next year.
Using blockchain for the transfers means that instead of needing intermediaries to reconcile and clear transactions, members of the network can confirm transactions themselves using their distributed versions of the transaction ledger.
XRP in Escrow
Last week Ripple agreed to put 55 billion XRP into escrow, with 1 billion tokens to be made available to the company each month. This ensures a stability in supply and reassured investors who were concerned that the price was vulnerable to any sudden release of XRP into the market.
The trials in Japan and South Korea follow on from an announcement last month that ripple is partnering with American Express and Santander on a pilot offering instant payments between the UK and US. American Express’s CIO described the collaboration as,
the next step forward on our blockchain journey, evolving the way we move money around the world.”