Bitcoin, LiteCoin, Ethereum and Ripple are the four most popular cryptocurrencies
The cryptocurrency Ripple has warned of a ‘Bitcoin civil war’ as it celebrated a remarkable quarter in which the virtual currency XRP soared in value by about 1,000 percent.
XRP, Ripple’s cryptocurrency, has just enjoyed a ‘quarter for the ages’ which saw its value shoot up from the price of $0.20 at the beginning of December 2017 to a high of $2.19 just before New Year.
Ripple has also announced partnerships with IDT Corporation and MercuryFX, which both handle money payments on a global scale and will now use XRP to carry out transactions at high speeds.
In a blog post, Ripple’s Miguel Vias, head of XRP Markets, said the last quarter of 2017 also raised some serious worries.
The price of Ripple over the past week (Chart: Coindesk)
He wrote: ‘There were some great advancements in the space. Unfortunately, there were also some concerning developments, in particular, the very public bitcoin vs. bitcoin cash civil war and concerns around ether (ETH) and litecoin (LTC) leadership commitment.
‘This may be where XRP most significantly distinguishes itself going forward.’
XRP also became available across more than 50 exchanges globally which ‘was likely a driver of growth’.
Bitcoin Cash was created on August 1 when a group of Bitcoin miners announced that they would be ‘forking’ to create a new currency which makes trading faster and easier.
Logging transactions on the Bitcoin blockchain is notoriously slow, with between three and 7 logged every second. Bitcoin Cash is designed to work much faster and allow many more transactions to be logged at a speedier pace.
Some analysts fear a rivalry could develop between the two rival Bitcoins, with investors shifting over to Bitcoin Cash in droves and potentially devaluing the original coin.
Ripple is also famed for the speed of its transactions. It recently struck a historic deal with Moneygram, which will test XRP to see if it could be used to move funds in a faster and cheaper way than traditional methods.
‘Digital assets promise fast transaction speeds but XRP is far faster than all of them, including bitcoin. Cutting settlement times from hours and days to just three seconds or less will remove billions of dollars in unnecessary intermediary fees,’ said Alastair Constance, CEO and founder of Mercury FX.
This week a second crypto ‘bloodbath‘ clobbered the markets and sent the price of Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple and hundreds of other forms of digital dosh into a nosedive.
On Saturday, Bitcoin was worth almost $13,000, but its value dropped by about 20 percent hit a low of about $10,300 this morning. XRP plunged by about 25 percent during the same period to reach a price of $1.26 while Ethereum slipped from $1,165 to about $967 today.
At the time of writing, Ripple is worth about $1.34.