San Francisco-based startup Ripple rose 20 percent Wednesday (Dec. 27) to an all-time high after news that Tokyo-based financial services company SBI Holdings and its subsidiary SBI Ripple Asia have established a “consortium” with some Japanese credit card companies to utilize blockchain technology.
Ripple and SBI Holdings created SBI Ripple Asia in January 2016. Ripple uses blockchain technology to develop a payments network for banks, digital asset exchanges and other financial institutions (FIs). Participants use a digital coin called XRP to complete transactions.
While the extent of Ripple’s involvement in the new consortium wasn’t clear, the digital currency rose 20 percent to a record high of $1.43, making it the third-largest cryptocurrency behind bitcoin and ethereum. CNBC reported. Because Ripple owns 61 percent of the 100 billion XRP in existence, this week’s record high prices gives the company about $87.23 billion worth of the digital currency.
“We are going to invest in the ecosystem to both help accelerate the adoption of Ripple’s technology,” said Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse.
Ripple is one of the best performing digital currencies this year, up more than 20,000 percent after ending 2016 at 0.64 cent.
“One of the things we all have to remember is the value of a token over the long term is really going to be driven by its utility,” Garlinghouse said. “There’s no question there’s a lot of hype in this system.”
Ripple has raised $93.6 million from investors such as CME Ventures, Standard Chartered Bank, Andreessen Horowitz and Alphabet’s GV, formerly Google Ventures.
In addition to this recent news, there was an announcement earlier this month that several Japanese banks and South Korean banks are testing Ripple’s systems for cross-border payments.
The company has said that more than 100 FIs use Ripple’s blockchain network. In November, Ripple said American Express FX International Payments (FXIP) and Santander would use Ripple’s network for cross-border payments between the U.S. and the U.K.