The truth is, Ripple (XRP) has already been listed on Coinbase!
We don’t blame you if you didn’t know about the final verdict of the platform since the debate has been a long and tedious one. Coinbase is known for its spartan choice of coins, and not many believed that it would ultimately succumb to the traders’ pressure and add support for Ripple.
A year ago, in February 2019, the company finally announced on its website that the wait was over.
Coinbase’s Asset Listing Process
Ripple (XRP) is the third-largest digital coin by market cap, dragging only behind the other two most prominent coins, Bitcoin and Ethereum. Then why was Coinbase so reluctant to include it on its list in the first place?
This question extends far beyond Ripple and concerns the platform’s (lack of) acceptance of new digital coins in general. Coinbase has been frequently criticized for the lack of support it offers for the numerous assets, tokens, stablecoins, forks, etc, that are taking over the market.
As of 2018, the platform has a new asset listing process that helps them add support for more assets in a way that’s still secure and compliant. This process allows users to submit a form (free of charge!) suggesting an asset that should be listed on Coinbase and that will be evaluated against their digital asset framework.
Some of the criteria based on this framework are estimating the currency’s potential for future growth, its performance and scalability, current adoption by other platforms and individuals. Assessing the short-term and long-term plans of the network, consistency with the platform’s policy, the asset’s liquidity and geographical distribution, etc.
Currently, apart from Ripple, Coinbase supports only the crypto giants Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, and Litecoin.
Why Is It a Big Deal for Supporters?
In February 2019, Coinbase announced that Ripple is available on its web platform and smartphone apps. Customers are since then allowed to buy, sell, receive, store XRP, or convert them to bitcoins. You can send them to someone else on the other side of the world for very low fees.
Ripple is the cryptocurrency used to keep the Ripple peer to peer network and blockchain running and to provide source liquidity. The network supports all kinds of currencies, both fiat and cryptos alike. It’s primarily intended for large corporations, banks, and other financial providers that engage in international money transfers. Instead of having their business suffer from transfer delays and service costs, they’re now able to do this faster and cheaper.
Apart from serving as a regular tradeable asset, Ripple functions as a bridge currency in transactions with different fiat currencies, as they can all be converted into XRP instead of customers having to pay the exchange rate elsewhere.
Since its adoption by Coinbase, Ripple’s popularity rose even more. Moreover, the coin experienced a sudden price increase thanks to major bank adoption and support from world-leading institutional investors such as Yes Bank, Axis Bank, Core Innovation Capital, Union Credit, Westpac, Andreessen Horowitz, Accenture, CME Ventures, Tetragon, Standard Chartered, Santander Group, Seagate Technology, and more.
On the official website, it says that Ripple now has more than 300 customers which sounds quite impressive once you realize these customers are financial providers serving clients across 45 countries.
Ripple’s Pros and Cons
Ripple’s major stepping stone was building a network that facilitates cross-border payments with lower marginal cost and increased speed, driven by the goal to make money circulate as easily as information on the Internet. The XRP ledger can handle up to 1,500 transactions per second! In comparison, Bitcoin can only process 7 transactions per second and consumes far more energy to fuel its proof of work mining mechanism.
However, Ripple has received a lot of criticism from members of the crypto community who believe that the platform is violating one of the main principles the blockchain technology stands for. They’re talking about the fact that Ripple is less decentralized than other cryptocurrencies.
At the start, traders were skeptical that XRP would never be an open-source platform but the Ripple team proved them wrong and made the code open-sourced so that technically anyone can start their own node now. The team has also promised to make the network more decentralized and increase the number of validating nodes with more of them being operated by outside parties.
Traders around the world seem quite happy with Coinbase’s decision to offer support for Ripple, evident by the fact that the interest in this coin has increased even more in the months following its adoption by the platform. It remains to be seen what kind of implications this will have for both Ripple and Coinbase.