Ripple Inc, the management company behind RippleNet and XRP, has proven itself very strategic in their negotiation of partnerships with firms such as MoneyGram and Western Union. Their current focus appears to be taking RippleNet global, with recent projects in the Middle East and beyond. The company, however, is currently embroiled in a class-action lawsuit brought forward by Bradley Sostack, who is an investor in XRP. The lawsuit alleges that XRP was sold to the public as an unregistered security and thus, Ripple Inc is in violation of United States Securities laws. Ripple Inc has denied these claims and insists that XRP is not a security but a utility token. The lawsuit is ongoing and should Ripple Inc be found guilty, they might be fined by the Securities and Exchange Commission. it should be noted, however, that the SEC has been criticized in the past for imposing fines on crypto firms found selling unregistered securities that were considered too small.
In terms of raising funds, Ripple Inc appears to be on a good track moving forward as their most recent funding round raised around $200 million. On top of this, Brad Garlinghouse, the CEO of Ripple, has stated publicly that the company is looking to launch an Initial Public Offering in the near future,
“In the next 12 months, you’ll see IPOs in the crypto/blockchain space. We’re not going to be the first and we’re not going to be the last, but I expect us to be on the leading side… it’s a natural evolution for our company,” he said.
With all these taken into consideration, Ripple Inc will likely be stable into the future.
RippleNet is one of the most hotly debated aspects of the Ripple ecosystem and this is because it is the platform that is being pushed by Ripple Inc to the mainstream. It is also because RippleNet is being set up as a competitor to SWIFT, the global standard for cross-border transactions. The possible future of RippleNet is, however, affected by a number of factors. One of the first of these is SWIFT and how it will change. After all, the reason that RippleNet is being favored by banks across the globe is that it offers a cheaper and faster alternative to the SWIFT protocol. If the SWIFT protocol is able to catch up and offer the same characteristics as RippleNet, it might retain its dominance by virtue of its being a legal system in the banking world. On the flip side, if RippleNet is able to increase its scalability and no major changes happen with SWIFT, it will see even more use.
This, in turn, will propel blockchain technology to the forefront of banking and bring in more opportunities for not just Ripple, but other firms in the blockchain space. There will also be immense benefits for consumers, as the speed and low transaction cost that RippleNet offers will become the norm. The financial world is in a partial standstill due to the current COVID-19 outbreak but is expected to return in full force once lockdown measures are suspended. When that time comes, it will be more evident how RippleNet fits into the global financial landscape.
XRP is the cryptocurrency that powers the Ripple ecosystem and is one of the top 5 cryptos on the market. XRP, like many cryptos, suffered a price slump in 2020 following the COVID-19 outbreak and while it has seen somewhat of a price rebound, it is not clear if it will remain bullish for the rest of the year. As an investment tool, there is some skepticism surrounding XRP and this is due to the highly centralized nature of Ripple as an ecosystem. Ripple Inc controls a large portion of the XRP supply and the tokens that are in supply as not as easily accessible as tokens like bitcoin.
Looking towards the future, it is likely that Ripple Inc will continue to focus on XRP as a settlement tool for cross-border transactions and the sale of it for profit-making and not much effort will be given towards it as a medium of exchange or an investment tool.
It is clear that the various aspects of Ripple as an ecosystem will evolve differently in the coming years, with some being poised to take over the world and some playing a lesser role.