SBI Ripple Asia has formed a blockchain-based anti-credit card fraud platform with nine major Japanese credit card issuers. Photo:
Ripple continues to build its global payment networks that it now says includes more than 200 banks and payment providers worldwide. Ripple cites its network advantages as lower fees, faster transaction times and significant reductions in operational overheads in the 55 countries it now operates in. Image:

The crypto currency XRP, approximately 60% owned by California-based Ripple Labs, has been in the news a lot recently, mainly because of wild variations in its market price.

After a roller-coaster September, XRP surged again over the weekend to become the second most valuable crypto in the world in terms of market capitalization, or “market cap”. The recent rise reportedly brings its market cap to $24.291 billion, just ahead of Ethereum. Although it still lags far behind Bitcoin, at around $120 billion, the gap is closing.

Last month, Bitcoin’s share of the total crypto market cap was 60%. That now sits at just above 50%, with the change being brought about by rises in the leading so-called altcoins, which are led by XRP, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin. XRP witnessed a market rise of more than 100 percent in the month of September alone.

Ripple Labs have also been in the news in Asia because of a partnership with local financial services company SBI Holdings.

The Japanese company announced on September 26 that it had secured a license from regulators to create, in partnership with Ripple, a joint money transfer operation. Ripple Labs specialize in creating bank payments networks whose primary benefit is to speed up up transactions. The Ripple tag line promises “One frictionless experience to send money globally” and SBI Ripple Asia, a joint venture, will now handle Japanese electronic payments via an app called Money Tap.

SBI is already active in the Japanese digital money market after the launching of crypto currency exchange VCTRADE earlier in the year. The financial services group has also supported the launch of “S Coin”, a crypto currency for mobile retail payments.

“Crypto currencies are the future of money and, clearly, XRP is proving to be one of the most useful crypto currencies for businesses, organizations, and individuals. The use of XRP is set to increase, and naturally, this will positively impact its price. I think it is likely that we’ll see it hit the $1.00 price level before year-end. It could even be double this in 12 months’ time as XRP adoption and usage soars,” Nigel Green, founder and CEO of investment advisor deVere Group told Forbes.

Although Japan has embraced crypto, it has not been immune from setbacks, especially having fallen victim to some of the world’s most high profile hacks. The country’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) is currently questioning the Zaif crypto currency exchange following a hack last month.

Japanese media reported the 14th September hack on Zaif resulted in the loss of 5,966 Bitcoins valued at the time at $39 million. The heist also saw a loss of Bitcoin Cash and Monacoin, a Japanese crypto coin, meaning the total lost was 7 billion yen or $60 million.