Ripple (XRP)–Ripple has established itself as one of the primary cryptocurrencies to shape the future of digital commerce. Following on the heels of the creation of a 100 million USD hedge fund in XRP and the official lockup of 55 billion XRP in escrow, Ripple saw a 200% surge in price to 0.75 USD levels. Now, with the backing of banks and other financial institutions, Ripple looks to make a strong case as the cryptocurrency of choice for an internet commerce giant like Amazon.
Here are three reasons why Ripple is the best choice for Amazon to move into the cryptocurrency marketplace:
Fast Transaction Times, Low Costs
Overstock.com has made a fortune off of the deflationary gains of Bitcoin over the last several years. But those gains are minuscule compared to what a company as large as Amazon really needs in a digital currency: stability. We saw evidence of this when Steam, a popular gaming company that had been accepting BTC since April 2016, discontinued its use for payment despite the coin setting record all-time highs in value (although Litecoin has emerged as a possible replacement).
Companies like Amazon are not average-joe traders looking to grow their investment money. A sweeping change as large as the one required to start accepting crypto (and it would be a massive statement given the current regulatory delay by most fiat governments), requires stability. Steam gave up on Bitcoin because of high fees and high volatility. Like Overstock, Steam has likely made significant gains with the 2,000+% increase in BTC value in 2017 alone. But the failure by the Bitcoin community to address the primary barriers to being used as a currency–speed and transaction costs–has created an atmosphere of mistrust by the very companies needed to grow mainstream crypto adoption.
Ripple offers a solution to Bitcoin. To begin, transaction times are below 10 seconds (and dropping), and the standard applied fee is .00001 XRP. Even if Ripple were to reach the bullish price point of $10 per coin, that equates to a fee of 1/100th a penny for every transaction. With fees that low, coupled with the lightning fast speed of transactions, companies are finally presented with a coin that delivers upon the original promises of Bitcoin and commerce-based cryptocurrencies.
High Supply = Lower Volatility
Ripple also addresses the second issue presented by Steam in their discontinuation of BTC: lower volatility. Most newcomers to crypto are invigorated by the limited supply of Bitcoin. Only 21 million will ever be mined. The end result is that each coin not only feels scarce, but special to the particular owner fortunate enough to have 1 BTC or more. Ripple has a max supply of 100 billion XRP, with 55 billion of that held in escrow by the parent company. That’s over 4700 times the supply of Bitcoin that will ever be created. While the higher supply necessitates a much lower price-per-coin of XRP than what we see in the current valuation of Bitcoin, it also offers lower volatility long-term. The price of Ripple, and crypto across the board, will continue to rise over the coming year as the general public and large investors bring more money to the table. But when those prices stabilize, the large coin supply of Ripple will lead to lower volatility. It takes a lot to move a market of 100 billion coins. Think about the US dollar. We don’t see massive fluctuations in USD just because investors in China, or around the world, decide to exchange foreign fiat.
While 100 billion XRP is a drop in the bucket compared to the trillions of USD in circulation, Ripple is also not likely to see the same level of adoption as the US dollar. Think of it another way: an 18 year old sitting on a hard drive of 1000 mined BTC from 2013 can drastically change the price of Bitcoin for a day or longer. Imagine the pandemonium for Amazon if their crypto price point fluctuated drastically from the time a person puts an item in their cart to the point of check-out. It hurts their ability to effectively match prices and it’s confusing to the customer. Amazon has no control over what the markets will dictate, but they must be wary of whales sitting on mountains of BTC that could sink or raise the price point at will. Ripple is not immune to price changes or early-investors holding a disproportionate share of the currency, but its large supply does provide a buffer to individual sell-offs. The slow creep of XRP to 0.75 USD has been relatively mild compared to the typical price surge most cryptocurrencies experience. Once Ripple hits Coinbase and reaches greater market saturation, the price will level off relative to most fiat currencies.
Lower Price Per Coin is Customer Friendly
Again, Ripple’s high coin supply and subsequent lower price-per-coin will come in handy for creating a user-friendly market. As anyone who has read The Everything Store or followed closely to Jeff Bezos’s method of conducting business will know, Amazon is all about the customer. Cryptocurrency will never find a place on Amazon’s market if it can’t prove to be beneficial to the customer experience. Price volatility and slow transaction times are antithetical to this mantra. But Ripple offers an alternative.
We have established the superior transaction costs and speed of the network. Now we have to consider presentation to the public. What’s easier for a layperson to understand: a price in .0005 BTC (or 50,000 satoshis), or 5 XRP? The crypto-enthusiast or economist can see past this veil (BTC to XRP pricing is no different than saying an apple is an apple in whatever language you speak), but it makes a difference to the consumer. Everyone in crypto who wants to see their currency takeoff should be thinking about the general public: How can we make widespread adoption as smooth and simple as possible?
Services such as Changelly, which allow a customer to pay in their crypto of choice and then exchange it for the seller’s preference, makes the changing landscape of Bitcoin and altcoins a moot point. What Amazon needs is a native currency to conduct their operations, something that is stable, ubiquitous in supply and immune from the volatility of the current crypto market. Ripple offers all three, or at least gives the most assurance it will exhibit those principles in the near future.
Ripple is Already the Coin of Choice for Business
Hedge funds, banks and American Express have all signed on as significant supporters in the future of XRP and Ripple technology. Ripple has created something that few other cryptos have managed to this point: a currency that pre-existing businesses are not only willing to use, but will benefit from doing so. Amazon is likely one of the big customers to take this step in 2018. A commerce giant such as the Everything Store is in desperate need of a coin that offers fast transaction times without the crippling fees of Bitcoin’s current network. Ripple offers a solution to those problems, while also presenting a coin that is being backed by the financial institution. While it’s hard to tell what direction Amazon will take with respect to cryptocurrency, Ripple seems the most logical choice at this time and going forward.