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That gain boosts the market capitalization of the crypto to $47.15 billion, according to data tracked by CoinMarketCap. The two biggest digital currencies, Bitcoin (CCC:BTC-USD) and Ethereum (CCC:ETH-USD) are also up, 6.83% and 14.56%, respectively.
The first endorsement is actually for Ripple, the payment solutions company that also manages the RippleNet cross-border payment network. As the issuer of XRP, the fintech was named yesterday by CNBC to its ninth annual “Disruptor 50” list. The business news outlet is highlighting the private companies leading out of the pandemic with business models and growth rates aligned with a rapid pace of technological change.
The recognition comes as Ripple faces off with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which has charged the company, co-founder Christian Larsen, and CEO Brad Garlinghouse with conducting an illegal securities offering that raised more than $1.3 billion through sales of the Ripple crypto XRP.
While Ripple has denied the SEC’s allegations, arguing that that XRP is a currency rather than a security that would be subject to strict rules, the matter has prompted changes in Ripple’s governance, including appointing former U.S. Treasurer Rosie Rios to its board.
Ripple’s been busy with its efforts to build out its vision of the “Internet of Value.” The idea is to enable value, in the form of a single payment from one country to another, to move as quickly and seamlessly as information.
To that end, the fintech yesterday signed up BankDhofar, Oman’s second largest bank, to the RippleNet global payments network. This will facilitate payments between the sultanate and India, via a collaboration with that country’s private sector bank IndusInd Bank.
Meanwhile, jumping on the burgeoning demand for non-fungible tokens (NFTs), Ripple moved to reduce what are known as gas fees, the transaction fees that users pay to miners on a blockchain protocol to have their transaction included in the block. In this case, the fintech said it will act to combat the high fees for trading and mint fees on its XRP Ledger for NFTs.
The move comes as the cryptocurrency world comes to grips with the climate impact of energy used in the mining of proof-of-work blockchains. Earlier this month, Elon Musk, the founder and CEO of Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA), caused tremors across crypto valuations when he seemed to have woken to the environmental costs and impact of BTC mining.
His May 13 tweet that the electric vehicle maker “has suspended vehicle purchase using Bitcoin” knocked double-digit value off of BTC and several crypto mining stocks. “We are concerned about rapidly increasing use of fossil fuels” for mining and transaction, he wrote, calling out coal as having “the worst emissions of any fuel.”
Ripple’s Garlinghouse lauded Musk’s move, also taking to Twitter to post:
Let’s not overthink this..few people have changed the world the way @ElonMusk has. No doubt that BTC is here to stay – but denying there is a problem isn’t a path to solving it. Whether it’s through renewables or architectural changes, let’s keep moving on the solution. https://t.co/Ic0Ct6gEKt
— Brad Garlinghouse (@bgarlinghouse) May 12, 2021
The fintech’s NFT announcement seems to show evidence toward a solution.
On the date of publication, Robert Lakin did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.
InvestorPlace contributor Robert Lakin is a veteran financial writer and editor, including previous stints with Bloomberg News and as a buyside equity research editor.
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