During the past week, the price of altcoin Ripple (XRP) has crossed the roof. Over the past seven days, it has seen an unprecedented 140 percent growth, almost 63 percent in the last 24 hours, trading at around $ 0.61 at the time of the press.
XRP has come to the point of beating Ethereum (ETH) to be ranked in second place by total market capitalization on CoinMarketCap (returned to third place by time of press). What could bring the price so high? Although there is no definitive answer to this question, here are some background and theories.
Background: what brings Ripple to the table?
Ripple is a California-based payment and protocol company founded in 2012. Basically, it focuses on facilitating transfers between major financial companies.
Ripple is not really your average cryptocurrency – in fact, some may argue that it is not a cryptocurrency at all. It promotes a less conventional ideology for industry: Ripple does not want to overthrow the government along with the banking system. On the contrary, he has chosen to work with the main financial actors from the beginning. As Brad Garlinghouse, CEO of Ripple, told Cointelegraph in March:
"We have been, from the very beginning, really looking at how we work with governments, how we work with banks, and I think some in the crypto community have been much, "How do we destroy the government." How do we get around the banks? "
Garlinghouse believes that governments are not going anywhere, saying," In my life, I do not think it's happening "- and it's that is why it is logical to cooperate with them and work within the existing regulatory framework. This attitude has helped Ripple establish key partnerships with key players, including China-based Lian-Lian, China, Saudi Arabia and Western Union payment service providers, among others.
The native Ripple token is XRP. However, the company draws a line between the two: Ripple looks like a technology company, while XRP is an "independent digital asset" based on the open source blockchain technology called XRP Ledger. As with its website, Ripple uses both XRP and XRP Ledger in its products, such as xRapid, and owns 60 billion XPRs – however, presumably it does not control neither the token nor the technology.
Theory # 1: xRapid & # 39; s launch  xRapid is a blockchain-based tool designed by Ripple to facilitate cross-border fiat transfers between financial institutions.
Ripple hopes to use it to pioneer the traditional financial system: after testing the platform to make payments between the United States and Mexico, in May, it proved to save transaction costs by 40-70 percent. By bypassing conventional foreign currency suppliers, xRapid has also increased transaction speeds to "just over two minutes". In comparison, according to McKinsey's research, typical international payments take between three and five business days.
The recent push could be explained by the company's recent announcement that xRapid could be launched commercially "in the next month or so", which was realized by Ripple Sagar Sarbhai, head of regulatory relations for Asia -Pacific and the Middle East in an interview with CNBC on September 17th:  "I am very confident that in the next month or so, you will see some good news coming up where we launch the product live in production. "
In August, Ripple collaborated with three international – US-based cryptographic exchanges based on Bittrex, Mexican Bitso and Philippine Coins.Ph – as part of an xRapid solution to build a "healthy" ecosystem of digital asset exchanges. The new partnership will allow xRapid to move between XRP, US dollars, Mexican pesos and Philippine pesos. In addition, Ripple is considering the opportunity to enter the Chinese market to apply DLT technology to cross-border payments, as Jeremy Light, vice president of European strategic accounts at Ripple, told CNBC on August 15th.
The recent discovery of XRP, some Reddit users suggest that xRapid has been quietly launched, while Ripple will announce it at a later stage. "I think they leave the banks one by one, so the RxP markets would not become absolutely ballistic if everyone went up at the same time," wrote u / tradernoob76.
"Because of the volume and the books [are] eaten alive by not leaving corpses (except the chills), I would not be surprised if xRapid was in use." People try to sell, but come back and this volume is out of scale If we are dealing only with investors, then the [a] new market has opened up somewhere with many people suddenly exchanging, which is less likely, "another user agrees. In any case, an official launch of xRapid would be great news for XRP.
Theory n. 2: PNC joins RippleNet
Other concrete news related to Ripple this week comes from PNC, one of the ten largest US banks with 8 million customers and retail branches in 19 states. On Wednesday 19 September, Ripple announced that PNC had joined RippleNet to process international payments for its customers. "It is one of the first big US banks to use blockchain technology to simplify payments in and out of the country," he wrote on Twitter .
RippleNet is a decentralized network of banks and payment service providers that connect via Ripple solutions, such as xCurrent. Specifically, a particular PNC unit – Treasury Management – will use xCurrent to accelerate foreign transactions held by US commercial customers.
Ripple emphasizes that the solution will allow PNC corporate customers to receive payments immediately with their invoices. Ripple's senior vice president of product management, Asheesh Birla, believes that the use of xCurrent in the banking sector is the first step towards the adoption of other Ripple products, such as xRapid. "It's a way [for the banks] to put the big toe in the water," Birla told Reuters.
In particular, xCurrent – unlike xRapid – does not cut out the corresponding bank from the whole process, so it does not completely change the conventional system but rather modifies it: the latter uses an immutable "interleaver" protocol, which "It is not a distributed ledger," as confirmed by David Schwartz, chief cryptographer of Ripple, who was skeptical of banks using xCurrent in transnational payments. In June, David Schwartz made it unlikely that banks would use technology because of low scalability and privacy issues.
However, the news proved bullish. It is interesting to note that BlackRock Inc., an important American investment management company, was a subsidiary of PNC in the period 1995-1999. Currently, PNC is the largest shareholder in BlackRock, owner of a 21.45% stake in the society.
Theory n. 3: Ripple dodging the 'safety' lab el
In a recent interview with CNBC, Sarbhai reiterated the fear that XPR could fall into a US safety classification – as many high-profile and ongoing lawsuits claim.
To defend the company's native token, he emphasized the open-source protocol of the XRP ledger and its independence from the company itself, emphasizing that Ripple controls only 7% of the validation nodes that operate on the network. He also said that XRP investors do not secure an equity or equity position when they purchase the asset and have pointed out that countries such as Australia, the Philippines and Thailand have all classified XRP as commodity.
Thus, similarly to Bitcoin and Ethereum, XRP could potentially be recognized as a "non-security" by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which has proved to be bullish for those cryptocurrencies in the past.
Theory # 4: FOMO
The one huge price surge could also be explained by the good old "fear of losing" or FOMO – a particularly powerful force on the encrypted market. This seems to be one of the main feelings about Reddit. According to this theory, as soon as Ripple experienced the first pump on September 18, other investors began to accumulate and the situation exploded from there.