Crypto News: Bitcoin weathers bad news, while Ripple adds more networks
The eagerly anticipated Weiss Ratings for cryptocurrencies, the first attempt to rank the newest asset class, gave Ethereum’s Ether token a B, the highest rating for any of the 74 currencies under scrutiny. It cited its readily upgradable technology and better speed, although did highlight some bottlenecks. The price surged beyond $1,100 on the news.
Bitcoin, the biggest cryptocurrency by market capitalisation, and Ripple both received a C in the A-to-F grading system – although they still traded around the day’s highs.
Leading exchange and remittance service providers IDT Corporation (US) and MercuryFX (UK, Hong Kong) have signed up to use Ripple’s xRapid platform.
Both companies cited xRapid’s ability to expedite real-time, transparent payments. They join MoneyGram and Cuallix who also signed up for the platform.
IDT, a New Jersey-based company specialising in VoIP services, only launched its payments app last year.
Bitcoin’s viability as an alternative means of payment was dealt a blow when one early adopter will stop accepting the cryptocurrency in April. Stripe, a payments software developer, will process its last Bitcoin transaction on April 23, citing high transaction fees and lengthening confirmation times – which prove problematic in a volatile environment.
Four years ago, the company was the first major online payments platform to accept Bitcoin, and founder Tom Karlo remains a fan of cryptocurrencies, but he is persuaded that it has become more a store of value than a day-to-day tool.
Ripple sold $91.6 million worth of its digital currency during Q4 2017 as the price spiked from $0.20 to more than $2 – completing a year that saw the XRP coin’s value surge by 29,631 percent. Ripple reportedly raised $180 million from coin sales last year – without surrendering any equity.
Unlike other cryptocurrencies, Ripple isn’t decentralised and the company owns about 60 percent of all the XRP in existence.
Founder of BK Capital Management, Brian Kelly, insists the current weakness in crypto prices present a strong buying opportunity. As the threat of government regulation around the world, particularly in South Korea and China, and a slew of new coins have helped stifle values in January, the future is still bright, he old CNBC.
“When everyone is saying it’s over, that’s it, Bitcoin is dead, for the 175th time, that’s the time you start looking at it,” he said. “And the money is still coming in. The flows have not stopped.”
Commenting on the price struggles, Kelly says this is merely a “hands off” period while the regulatory issues are worked out.
These ratings need to be taken with a grain of salt.