Cryptocurrencies have been on fire lately, and the gains have gone far beyond bitcoin (BTC-USD). Many people are just hearing about competing entrants in the crypto space, and some of their gains have put bitcoin’s rise in 2017 to shame.

One of the best performers last year was ripple (XRP-USD), a rival cryptocurrency that quickly climbed to become the No. 2 player in the market by total value of outstanding tokens before falling back at the beginning of 2018.

Unlike bitcoin, ripple has a company behind it — Ripple Labs — that has been instrumental in developing the open-source payment network. Many investors who are optimistic about blockchain technology but dubious about trading in cryptocurrencies themselves want opportunities to invest in the companies behind tokens like ripple, and that’s drawing speculation that Ripple Labs could file to go public in the coming year.

Let’s take a closer look at Ripple Labs and whether it would make a good IPO candidate in 2018. Ripple Labs has attracted high-profile interest during its short history.

Just after its founding in 2012, Ripple Labs did a private placement, raising more than $2 million in a seed round of funding in April 2013. Influential investors such as Andreessen Horowitz, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and a fund managed by Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund participated in the seed round. Read more from…

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