I’m not a financial advisor, nor is this professional financial advice. Do your own research and make smart investments according to what fits your investment goals and budget. This is article is an opinion piece that attempts to get a better picture of the price of XRP in the near future.
Many XRP investors have been waiting for the price of XRP to return to, and surpass, the 2017 high of $3.60. By connecting just a few dots with regards to Ripple, SBI, and the launch of xRapid, we’ve found more than a few reasons to think XRP could reach $10 by the end of 2018.
If you aren’t familiar with xRapid and XRP, here’s a brief overview. xRapid is a product of Ripple that allows payment providers and financial institutions to dramatically reduce the cost of liquidity and enable real-time, cross-border payments. xRapid uses the digital asset XRP to source liquidity real-time and lower the payment processing costs and speeds. xRapid was first announced in 2017, entered Beta testing this year, and is currently awaiting product launch.
In March 2018, Ripple announced that the Japan Bank Consortium would release a smartphone application powered by Ripple’s blockchain technology – Money Tap. Using Ripple’s distributed ledger technology (DLT) the Money Tap app will “allow customers of the bank consortium to settle transactions instantly, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.” [Source]
At the time of the initial announcement, the app was scheduled for release to three consortium members – Japan’s SBI Net Sumishin Bank, Suruga Bank and Resona Bank – in Autumn 2018 during an initial roll-out in, followed by a staggered rollout of the app to the other consortium bank members.
In April 2018, SBI Group CEO Yoshitaka Kitao tweeted out a link to an article predicting that the price of XRP will reach $8-$10 by the end of 2018. The cryptocurrency community was quick to conclude that by tweeting the article, Yoshitaka Kitao supported the author’s XRP price prediction.
Ripple Price Predictions XRP/USD 2018 https://t.co/vjI21mBQfX
— 北尾吉孝 (@yoshitaka_kitao) February 13, 2018
In early June 2018, SBI Holdings’ subsidiary SBI Virtual Currencies (SBI VC) launched their new cryptocurrency exchange called VCTRADE. VCTRADE is part of the xRapid ecosystem and uses XRP as the primary trading asset. [Source]
Also, in June 2018, Brad Garlinghouse made a statement during an interview with CNBC that major banks will be using xRapid by the end of 2018 and dozens of banks will be using xRapid by the end of 2019. The whole interview is worth a listen but you can jump to 0:45 to hear the statement.
I’ve publicly stated that by the end of this year I have every confidence that major banks will use XRapid as a liquidity tool this calendar year. You know, by the end of next year, I would certainly hope that we would see you know in the order of… dozens. [Source]
If the implication isn’t clear, for major banks to be using xRapid by the end of this year, that means xRapid will be released to production before the end of the year. Brad seemed to confirm this conclusion in his August 22, 2018 AMA where he said, “we expect to continue to make progress towards the end of the year and excited for what we’re going to be able to share between now and the end of the year.”
In August 2018, Ripple announced three new exchange partners for xRapid. These exchanges will be used to move xRapid payments from one currency into another via XRP.
“Bittrex is one of the biggest names in digital asset trading in the U.S. The same goes for Bitso in Mexico and Coins.ph in the Philippines. That makes today’s announcement an important development for xRapid,” said Cory Johnson, Chief Market Strategist at Ripple. “We’ve seen several successful xRapid pilots already, and as we move the product from beta to production later this year, these exchange partners will allow us to provide financial institutions with the comfort and assurance that their payments will move seamlessly between different currencies.” [Source]
Looking at the same information from another perspective – Bittrex, Bitso and Coins.ph are currently running xRapid technology. It’s the only way they can process xRapid payments.
On September 12, 2018, CEO of SBI Ripple Asia, Takashi Okita, announced the Money Tap website on Twitter. Translated, it reads “Quietly, the teaser site of Moneytap was released. How about the image of the logo and the screen?
— 沖田 貴史 T.OKITA (@OKITATakashi) September 12, 2018
The website shows an anticipated launch of the Money Tap app on iOS in Fall 2018. (In the Northern Hemisphere, Fall 2018 starts on September 22, 2018, and ends on December 21, 2018.) The Android app will be released at a later date.
At this time, there is no confirmation that Money Tap will be running on the xRapid network. Ripple’s xCurrent product also allows banks to do many of the things xRapid does, but without the same cost savings, time savings, or many other features. However, the strong relationship between SBI Holdings and Ripple, the use of xRapid for VCTRADE, as well as the outspoken support of XRP and xRapid by SBI Groups’ CEO strongly suggesting Money Tap will also leverage xRapid technology.
We’ve been doing international remittances using XRP for a long time, greatly reducing remittance costs and greatly shortening remittance time. There’s no way not to use it. – SBI Group CEO Yoshitaka Kitao [Source]
Let’s backtrack for a moment and talk about SBI again. Why is SBI Group a big deal? SBI Group is the parent company for SBI Holdings. SBI Holdings has big plans, including “establishment of a new ecosystem based on digital assets.” [Source] You can view SBI Holdings’ latest financial results here. Their plan for domination is almost complete and laid out pretty clearly starting on page 102.SBI Holdings and SBI Ripple Asia brought together a collection of 61 Japanese banks members to create Japan Bank Consortium (JBC). This is a big deal because the banks in the JBC cover more than 80% of all banking assets in Japan, and the SBI Group’s CEO, Yoshitaka Kitao, wants all of them to use Ripple and XRP.
Not only does it have a clear use case, XRP is faster, cheaper and more scalable than any other digital asset. I strongly believe it will become the global standard in digital currencies.
We have already moved aggressively to take advantage of Ripple’s technology, investing in the company in January of 2016, and later launching SBI Ripple Asia (a joint venture) in May of 2016. Very quickly, we launched a consortium of 61 banks, including the top in Japan to use Ripple for both domestic and cross-border payments. And, we are increasingly interested in looking to use XRP for payments. [Source]
OK, back to the present. Today, Sagar Sarbhai, head of regulatory relations for Asia-Pacific and the Middle East at Ripple, gave an interview on CNBC saying that xRapid will go live “within the next month or so.”
1:00: “I am very confident that in the next one month or so you will see some good news coming in where we launch the product live in production. [Source]
So to recap, Brad, Cory and Sarbhai are all saying that xRapid will launch this year – possibly within the next 4-6 weeks. SBI Virtual Currencies launched their new virtual currency exchange on XRP. There’s a consortium of banks representing 80% of Japanese money about to launch their Ripple DLT-based Money Tap app to their users. The CEO of SBI Group, someone who would have a pretty good idea of how much volume will be moved through VCTRADE and Money Tap, seems to support an $8-$10 XRP price by the end of 2018. Ripple has partnered with multiple exchanges in different countries to process xRapid transactions. The stage has been set for xRapid to be released. Everything is in place.
Now, it’s time to connect all those xRapid dots to the price of XRP. The law of basic supply and demand dictates that with the launch of xRapid, major banks using xRapid, the launch of VCTRADE, as well as the launch of Money Tap, the price of XRP should increase as the demand for the token increases. When money starts moving across the xRapid network, the price of XRP must go up.
Up until this point, the price of XRP has primarily moved based solely on news or cryptocurrency hype. There hasn’t been an actual released product that uses XRP to justify a price increase. At this point in time, the only way for the price of XRP to go up legitimately is for xRapid (or any platform that uses XRP) to go into production and start using XRP.
The launch of xRapid should drive the price of XRP up. There’s a general consensus that the launch of xRapid will cause a large increase in XRP’s trading volume. Any bank or institution that uses XRP for their cross-border transactions will need to purchase and sell XRP on exchanges. (This is one of the reasons the announcement of the new partner exchanges is relevant.) Any transaction sent via xRapid will have corresponding trading volume in XRP. If a bank wants to send $10 million to another country via xRapid, they’ll need to buy and sell $10 million in XRP. There’s a fixed amount of XRP available (and that amount gradually decreases as transactions are processed.)
Math dictates that as more money is sent using XRP, the price of XRP must increase. If XRP’s trading volume (which is currently over $207 million) increases ten-fold, the price of XRP (which is currently about $0.27) should also increase ten-fold. For XRP to hit $10 by the end of 2018 (an increase of about 3604%,) the trading volume must increase to over $7.5 billion.
That number seems insane when you compare it to where we are now. But consider, according to the June 2018 SBI Holdings Financial Report, SBI Sumishin Net Bank has approximately 3.30 million accounts with deposits exceeding approximately JPY 4.6 trillion, which is over $41 billion USD (at current rates.) [Source, pg 24] That’s just one of the banks that will be using Money Tap and xRapid.
Q4 2018 promises to be an exciting time for Ripple and XRP investors. Ripple’s annual meeting, Swell, is being held in San Francisco on October 1-2, 2018. Bill Clinton is the Keynote Speaker. Many in the XRP community suspect an announcement will be made at this year’s Swell.
Based on the fact that real banks and financial institutions with real apps and real financial products are set to use xRapid, it isn’t a stretch of the imagination to see the price of XRP reaching – or even surpassing – $10. While we have no doubt that XRP will reach and exceed $10 one day, the big question is whether it will be by the end of 2018. Time will tell.