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Three Reasons Ripple Could Reach the $10 Mark By the End of 2018

July was been a big month for Bitcoin, not least of which included Bitcoin reaching a two-month high as well as increased excitement surrounding the possibility of an upcoming Bitcoin ETF.

Similarly, Ripple has also experienced a lot of momentum last month. It was just announced that former US president Bill Clinton will headline Ripple’s Swell conference later this year, while Australia’s first regulated cryptocurrency exchange Independent Reserve also announced that it would be launching Ripple (XRP) trading.

Ripple is continuing to build its reputation as an innovative cross-border payments platform, and many crypto experts are bullish about its long-term price predictions. In fact, some pundits think the possibility of Ripple reaching near the $10 mark by the end of 2018 is very attainable. Here are a few reasons why.

Ripple Has a Growing Client Base

As of June 2018, Ripple has a reported 120 customers on its network including Bank of America, Credit Agricole, Mizuho Financial Group and Santander, and the Q2 report revealed that the customer base has continued to grow.

“We’re seeing customers like Western Union, Moneygram – they’re leaning in and using our tools to solve a payment problem. And this payments problem is truly measured in the trillions of dollars,” Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse said.

Ripple’s Global Head of Strategic Accounts Marcus Treacher also has a lot to say about the growing institutional interest in Ripple. “Blockchain technology is being adopted by the mainstream, including the biggest financial institutions in the world. They see value in our solution not only because it can increase their bottom line, but because it enables them to offer their customers an enhanced payments service, ultimately helping them to gain market share and free-up capital for other investments and business activities.”

Ripple Network is Scalable

One of Bitcoin’s biggest challenges is its lack of scalability. One Bitcoin block is mined every ten minutes, and the legacy Bitcoin blockchain only process 4-7 transactions per second. While the Lightning Network’s off-chain solution presents a powerful alternative, the technology is still in development.

Ripple, meanwhile, has already established itself as a platform that can support 1,500 transactions per second, ultimately scaling to handle the same throughput as Visa. In addition, Ripple transactions are far cheaper than Bitcoin: one Ripple transaction is a fraction of a cent, while Bitcoin transaction fees can range to nearly $30.

Financial institutions value quick and affordable settlement of transactions. Currently, international movement of funds can sometimes take  as long as 8 to 14 days. Ripple’s enterprise software solution xCurrent offers a critical advantage in that it enables banks to instantly settle cross-border payments with end-to-end tracking. With a reputation as the most demonstrably scalable blockchain, and an ever-growing list of clients, it seems very likely that Ripple’s price point will continue to rise.

Ripple Serves Many Practical Uses

Ripple has many use cases beyond the cryptocurrency XRP.

As discussed, there is the xCurrent cross-border payments solution, but there is also xRapid, which is for payment providers and other financial institutions who want to minimize liquidity costs while improving their customer experience, and xVia, which is for corporates, payment providers, and banks who want to send payments across various networks using a standard interface.

Perhaps one of the biggest biggest indicators that Ripple is headed for a price increase is the startup’s underlying belief about the importance of working with mainstream financial institutions, rather than against them. “Ripple has a grand vision of enabling an internet of value. For us, it’s how to catalyze that vision and connecting the repositories of value – those repositories are the banks. Those who are in the crypto community who view them as the enemy are an obstacle to their success,” Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse said.


In My Own Words: A 16-Year-Old Shares His Thoughts on the Crypto Space

As a 16-year-old high school student born in 2002, I believe I have witnessed one of the most concentrated times of technological change in the history of our society. From watching movies on VHS, to witnessing self-driving cars become a norm in today’s society, I believe that when it comes to technical innovation, anything is possible. I think that this applies to cryptocurrency as well. In my opinion, cryptocurrency will play a large role in our future based on what I have seen in the news, on the internet, and most importantly, at my school.

My Bitcoin Story

When I initially heard about Bitcoin, around May of 2016, one Bitcoin was worth around $450. I was 14 years old, and the concept seemed ridiculous to me. At the time I believed there was no way that anything besides the dollar bill would be used to purchase real things in the United States. I mean how does something that isn’t even tangible hold value; and so much of it at that? Skeptical and confused about Bitcoin, I was convinced that mainstream, tangible currencies would be the only acceptable currencies in the long term.

But, with school starting and my mind thinking of hundreds of other things, I rarely thought of Bitcoin and only talked about it with a few of my peers who had invested in it early on. But a few months later, everything changed.

Halfway through my freshman year of high school in January 2017, Bitcoin passed the $1,000 mark for the first time on the first day of the year. That’s when I decided to take out my savings to purchase one full Bitcoin. I was initially worried about my decision but as time passed my investment remained steady, slowly but surely rising in value. Then, in September 2017, Bitcoin inexplicably took off.

School was starting up again, and, as I started 10th grade, I noticed that cryptocurrency had become a hot topic, as students from every grade discussed and debated which cryptocurrency was the most reliable. Cryptocurrency-themed clubs started up on my campus and more and more students, parents, as well as faculty, began pouring their funds into digital currencies.

In fact, crypto became so popular that by early November 2017, I’m pretty sure there wasn’t a single person in the school who didn’t know what cryptocurrency was. People knew I had experience in crypto and began to come to me for advice and knowledge about the subject, and I inserted myself into as many conversations about the subject as possible when I had the chance.

Happy with my earnings, in November I cashed out. The price was slightly over $9,000 and I had earned enough to pay back what I had borrowed and put savings in the bank in case I ever needed it. But the price just kept climbing, and my classmates and I all watched as it broke $10,000, and then $11,000, and so on. We all felt as if it was a bubble waiting to burst but it just kept miracuously climbing.

Websites such as Youtube and Instagram were full of jokes, statistics, and ads about cryptocurrency. People exclaimed with excitement about how much they had made. In fact, one of the teachers at my school quit after he sold all of his cryptocurrency, mainly Bitcoin, close to the peak of its value. He had been investing for months, so his return was incredibly high and the profit he made from investing in Bitcoin was enough so he could comfortably let go of his work and explore the world. It was at that moment that I realized that Bitcoin, something that I couldn’t even touch, had so much value. It made me believe that digital currencies had the potential to change the future for many people.

Bitcoin reached its record high in December of 2017, but then proceeded to drop. At school the conversation about cryptocurrency suddenly seemed to sport some sort of negative connotation as it turned into more of a joke. Some stayed strong and maintained their investments in alternative currencies while others bought out and vowed to never buy back in. This continued until months later, when the talk died out and only investors who had bought in early really cared.

To this day, some of my peers remain optimistic and believe that cryptocurrency has not had its last hoorah, while others think it was just a popular fad to be left in the past. Personally I believe cryptocurrency is limitless, and the odds of it rising again are much higher than the odds of it falling again. Within days of me writing this article Bitcoin had a 10% increase and whether it will rapidly skyrocket like the first time or steadily increase over time and integrate itself in society, I believe that cryptocurrency will inevitably disrupt our financial systems and revolutionize our definition of money itself.


Bitcoin ETFs Are Coming And Could Bring A Flood Of New Money (Updated)

(UPDATED 7/26): Today the SEC has rejected an ETF request from the Winklevoss and their Bats BZX Exchange (Gemini Trust). Other proposals are still pending with the SEC including one from the CBOE / SolidX and another from Direxion. The SEC recently postponed a decision on the later until September citing it needed “sufficient time to consider this proposed rule change.”

What is an ETF?

An ETF, or an exchange-traded fund, is a marketable security that tracks an index, a commodity, bonds, or a basket of assets. It is also a means of portfolio diversification and a hedge against risk.

With a Bitcoin ETF, investors won’t be holding actual crypto, but rather a fund that buys crypto, so it has the potential to attract a large number of additional investors to the space.

The price of gold increased following the ETF launch in 2003. And now, with a Bitcoin ETF rumored on the horizon, there is speculation that a similar trend will follow suit.

Source: Reddit | Disclaimer: Image is 30 years for gold and 1 year for crypto. For illustrative purposes only.

In late June, the CBOE filed an application with the SEC to open the world’s first Bitcoin Exchange Traded Fund (ETF). According to the proposal, the Bitcoin ETF will be backed by secure holdings of Bitcoin in the VanEck SolidX Bitcoin Trust. The Trust will trade Bitcoin on over-the-counter exchanges both domestically and internationally to maintain liquidity and sufficient reserves, as well as offer a comprehensive insurance plan.

While the SEC is not scheduled to make a decision until August 10, there are several key happenings that indicate the application will likely be accepted. Let’s take a closer look.

The SEC Has Already Said Bitcoin is Not a Security

SEC Director of Corporate Finance William Hinman has already stated this year that both Bitcoin and Ether are currencies, not securities. This means that most federal securities laws will not apply to the two most popular cryptocurrencies out there.

“As with Bitcoin, applying the disclosure regime of the federal securities laws to current transactions in ether would seem to add little value.” Hinman said in June at the Yahoo All Market Summit in San Francisco.

Bitcoin and Ether will therefore not be held to the same stringent regulations as publicly traded stocks by the SEC, which will likely simplify and streamline the application review process.  

This decision, combined with the SEC’s decision in late June to propose easing its rules for low-risk ETFs, indicate that Bitcoin ETFs will likely be a crucial addition to the crypto landscape very soon.

Mainstream Financial Institutions Are Getting Involved

David Solomon begins his role as the new CEO of Goldman Sachs in October, and he has already told Bloomberg that they are “clearing some futures around Bitcoin“, and that Goldman Sachs must “evolve it business and adapt to the environment” in relation to cryptocurrencies.

JPMorgan Chase appears equally enthusiastic about the future of cryptocurrencies. While CEO Jamie Dimon had at one point called Bitcoin a fraud, the bank now calls it “the holy grail for owners and investors” and that a Bitcoin ETF “could have a transformational impact on the cryptocurrency.”

“A futures contract is the next logical step in the maturation of the bitcoin market,” Gemini co-founder Cameron Winklevoss said. And given the recent rise in involvement amongst Wall Street institutions, seems that the launch of a Bitcoin ETF will soon be inevitable.

Bitcoin Prices are Spiking

Bitcoin recently hit a two-month high, and many are predicting that the price will reach $10,000 pending the SEC’s approval of the Bitcoin ETf application.

But the imminent decision by the SEC is not the only cause of the recent rise in Bitcoin. Earlier this month, BlackRock, the world’s biggest asset management company, announced that it too would be investing in bitcoin. That caused a huge boom as it shows once again that the mainstream financial industry is finally not only taking cryptocurrency seriously but is expecting big payoffs from it themselves.

The senior market analyst at eToro, a leading trading platform with over 250 million trades, tweeted this morning:

With the combination of the SEC’s recent initiatives, as well as the influx of crypto enthusiasm from mainstream financial institutions, it seems very likely that Bitcoin ETFs will hit the marketplace soon. Stay tuned for the decision on August 10!

Blockchain is the Web 3.0

Recently, Chairman of the Internet of Blockchains Foundation Matteo Gianpietro wrote an important article for Medium explaining why Blockchain is the Web 3.0.

First, he describes where it all began, Web 1.0: an era of dial-up internet, AOL chat rooms, and MSN messenger, in which everything was “maddeningly slow” and the web was just a bunch of static websites with no interactive content.

Then came along Web 2.0: With an emphasis on participation rather than observation, the second wave of the internet brought social media and the massive expansion of ecommerce marketplaces. The UN estimated that that internet users increased from 738 million to 3.2 billion from 2000-2015, and this astronomical growth also led to a massive increase in personal data floating around in centralized servers.

Web 3.0, or the creation of blockchain technology and decentralized applications, was born out of the revolutionary desire to take the power, and the data, out of the hands of huge behemoths and back into the hands of rightful owners. The necessity for the Web 3.0 arose around the time of the 2008 financial crisis. Just as people grew to realize that they didn’t want to rely on third-[party verification (such as a bank) to verify their financial transactions, they also didn’t want to hand over all of their personal information to large organizations.

The implementation of the Web 3.0 has already yielded many benefits, including increased privacy and security, reduced downtime, and streamlined business transactions thanks to smart contracts.  Let’s take a closer look.

Increased Privacy and Security

With blockchain technology, transactions are added to a distributed data ledger, and verified across a peer-to-peer network, eliminating the need for third-party verification as well as storing data on centralized servers, where it is more vulnerable to hacking.

With the legacy Bitcoin blockchain, each transaction is given a public wallet address, so transactions are not completely anonymous.

However, recent advancements in technology have made completely anonymous transactions possible. A breakthrough in the field of cryptography, zero-knowledge proofs are a protocol that allow one user to prove to another user that he/she knows something, without conveying any information apart from that, and then the individual or computer subsequently validating the proof. With this cutting-edge protocol, transactions have reached an unprecedented level of privacy and security.

Uninterrupted Service

According to the 2015 iHS Markit study, North American companies lose up to $700 billion a year related to IT outages. Centralized servers can stop working for a variety of reasons, but regardless of the underlying cause, downtime is very damaging to companies and directly correlates to a loss of revenue. Fortunately, the blockchain is decentralized and supported by a peer-to-peer network, so if any one network shuts down, it will not impact the overall functionality.

Streamlined Business Transactions

Ethereum’s platform supports decentralized applications as well as smart contracts. Smart contracts, which are a computer protocol that directly controls the transfer of digital currencies and assets under certain conditions, have already demonstrated their utility in improving the accuracy, speed, and transparency of business transactions in fields in a variety of fields, including legal services, healthcare, and real estate.

According to a recent Deloitte survey, 34 percent of business executives said that their company already had some blockchain system in production, while another 41 percent say they expect their organization to deploy a blockchain application within 12 months. So while blockchain technology still has a ways to go before it’s completely integrated into the mainstream enterprise landscape, all signs indicate that’s where it’s heading.


Wall Street is Warming Up to Bitcoin

The word is out: Wall Street is warming up to crypto. “The industry is seeing unprecedented institutional interest for the first time in Bitcoin’s history,” said Paul Chao, a former trader at Goldman Sachs who set up regulated bitcoin exchange LedgerX. “I’ve been amazed that the strongest believers in cryptocurrency often start out the most skeptical. But at some point the perception shifts, and for many institutions – I think we’re finally there.”

Chou’s enthusiasm is in line with a recent Thomson Reuters survey that reveals one in five financial institutions have plans to start buying and selling crypto in the next 12 months. Here are four financial institutions that either already have – or will shortly – incorporate crypto into their trading platforms.

Goldman Sachs

Goldman Sachs, one of the most prestigious financial institutions, is opening the first Bitcoin trading operation at a Wall Street bank. While they will initially only be trading futures contracts linked to Bitcoin’s price, Goldman executives are looking at moving in the direction of buying and selling actual Bitcoins.


The CME and Cboe launched regulated Bitcoin futures in December 2017, serving as the initial trailblazers in crypto’s institutional adoption.

“Futures are the first phase in bringing the Wild West of digital currencies to the mainstream. Next steps are ETFs (exchange-traded funds) and other national stock exchanges adding their own flavors of derivative products,” said Charles Hayter, CEO of the digital currency site Crypto Compare, providing commentary that, back in December 2017, showed great foresight given the rise in institutional adoption that we are starting to see now.


Nasdaq and Gemini Trust Company LLC recently announced a collaboration that would involve the cryptocurrency exchange leveraging Nasdaq’s SMARTS market surveillance technology to monitor its marketplace.

“Since launch, Gemini has aggressively pursued comprehensive compliance and surveillance programs, which we believe betters our exchange and the cryptocurrency industry as a whole,” said Tyler Winklevoss, CEO of Gemini. Our deployment of Nasdaq’s SMARTS market surveillance will help ensure that Gemini is a rules-based marketplace for all market participants.”

Meanwhile, Nasdaq is also looking into offering cryptocurrency futures.  “I believe that digital currencies will continue to persist, it’s just a matter of how long it will take that space to mature,” CEO Adena Friedman said. “Once you look at it and say, ‘do we want to provide a regulated market for this? Certainly, Nasdaq would consider it.”

Morgan Stanley

According to an unnamed insider, Morgan Stanley is moving quickly to add cryptocurrency to their trading products. “Truth be told, this is the next arms race,” said the source. “Everyone is rushing into cryptos. Everyone… It is the digital gold rush. And our firm wants to get there and pull as many levers as we can.”

In my opinion, the rise of institutional adoption in the crypto space goes to show that the mainstream finance world and the crypto space are not pitted against one another, but are rather working together to develop a financial landscape that provides more opportunity than ever before.

To learn more about diversifying your retirement portfolio with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, give one of our IRA specialists a call at 877-936-7175.

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