While Bitcoin had a big year in areas like technological development, venture investment and accessibility to the masses, its end-of-2014 reckoning was soured by its poor price performance. As widely reported in major media outlets, bitcoin as a currency was one of the worst performers when compared to its fiat counterparts.
Not so for Ripple and its XRP, which soared to 2014 highs and gained as much as 1800% relative to bitcoin. Its market cap shot as high as $860 million as the currency approached all-time highs.
Its price appreciation has been driven by its emergence in solving real-world problems and the laying of groundwork to solve more. In a blog post, Ripple Labs reviews this year’s accomplishments and its future vision.
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By the numbers: 4 banking partnerships (3 banks, one network), a headcount of 87 and citation in 14 prominent industry reports and research documents.
Like Bitcoin, Ripple compares its evolution to the early days of the internet, which went through its “infrastructure”, “federation” and “independent value” phases:
“Just as the Internet of information required necessary groundwork before the likes of Peter Thiel and Mark Zuckerberg could change the world with PayPal and Facebook, the Internet of money requires a preliminary framework.”
Central to this year’s performance was the maturing and stabilization of its protocol and the release of its consensus whitepaper. But the company also thought ahead, building tools necessary for its future aspirations of reshaping the way we move money. These include Codius, for funds management, smart contracts and distributed applications, and Identity, for risk and compliance.