By Josiah Wilmoth
Contrary to popular belief, the hottest cryptocurrency of 2017 wasn’t bitcoin — it was ripple.
Ripple Outpaces Bitcoin in 2017 Performance
The year 2017 will likely go down in history as the year that bitcoin and other cryptoassets ceased to be niche projects and began to develop into mainstreamfinancial instruments.
Bitcoin’s development as a mainstreamasset was accompanied by a meteoric price increase that carried the flagship cryptocurrency from just $1,000 on January 1 to as high as $19,891 in mid-December — a valley-to-peak gain of more than 1,800 percent. Even after a moderate downturn during the last week of December, bitcoin ended the year with a 1,318 percent increase.
As staggering as its performance was, however, bitcoin did not even rank among the top 10 in the race to be crowned “2017’s Hottest Cryptoasset.”
That title belongs to ripple (XRP), a cryptocurrency built specifically as a cross-border payments solution for global enterprises. After beginning 2017 valued at less than one cent, the rippleprice exploded by more than 29,000 percent and is currently trading above $2.20, meaning that a $3,450 investment made on January 1, 2017, is now worth more than $1 million.
Developed by the San Francisco-based fintech startup of the same name, ripple now boasts an $85 billion market cap, making it the second-most valuable cryptocurrency, trailing only bitcoin, which is currently worth $225 billion.