Ripple has arrived in 2018 by grabbing headlines, mostly down to optimism from mainstream banks that – unlike bitcoin, with its links to the Dark Web and terrorism – offers blockchain technology without the accompanying bad press. Ripple or XRP has a market capitalisation of $112billion, having overtaken Ethereum earlier this year.

It now sits second only to bitcoin’s market capitalisation of $225billion and has gained more than 45,700 percent over the last 12 months. spoke to asset manager Levi Meade, Lead Investment Analyst at Columbus Capital about the many differences in the “protocols” of the new offerings and why this is important in understanding their move towards mainstream adoption. Mr Meade says that, although Bitcoin cash, Ethereum and Ripple are all referred to as cryptocurrencies, they are very difference animals and not necessarily in direct competition with one another.

While legacy Bitcoin has attracted much attention in late 2017, Bitcoin Cash has been quietly gaining traction. Bitcoin Cash, Mr Meade says, was created on the basis of becoming a global currency, with Bitcoin only more recently seeming to be a potential safe haven asset or store of wealth.

In terms of payment, both bitcoin and bitcoin cash have been built to allow the simple A to B transfer of value as the application. Ethereum, on the other hand is referred to as a smart contract platform.

Mr Meade adds: “This was built with the purpose of extending the programmability of money, which simply means that much more complicated transactions than simple A to B transfers can take place when utilising the capabilities of the Ethereum blockchain.” The asset manager presents an example, when he said: “Perhaps you would like to do a transaction with another person or company that has certain criteria to be met which affects the timing and amount of a payment or even perhaps stream of payments. “With this is mind, rather than aiming to become a world currency, Ethereum has the potential to be a fundamental piece of architecture behind the next generation of the Web and smart devices, handling all aspects of value transfer natively to these systems.” Finally, the Ripple blockchain again differs to an even greater extent to bitcoin than Ethereum. Read more from…

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