At the time of press, Ripple’s XRP is trading at ~$0.302 according to CoinMarketCap. The greater price narrative, however, is the record-breaking bitcoin bear market.
February 2, 2019, marked the 411th consecutive day of price decline for bitcoin. The most popular cryptocurrency is now officially in its longest bear market since its inception. The BTC freefall began on December 17, 2017, when it achieved its all-time high value of $19,764. Previous records were held by the 2013 to 2015 bear market, which lasted 410 days.
The Ripple company token lost 3.7 percent of its value on January 31 and closed the trading day at $0.3154. The XRP/USD trading pair is still in the downtrend corridor, which was formed on December 25, 2018, and fully shaped on January 10, 2019. During the month of January, commentators saw the market shave approximately 12.5 percent off the second biggest cryptocurrency in terms of market cap.
Ripple’s native token almost broke below the psychological level of $0.30 during day trading on February 1, but still managed to recover by the end of the session and closed at $0.312. It made a sight move upwards on February 2 before stopping at $0.315.
The XRP/ USD pair lost another three percent of its value and moved lower to $0.3058 on February 3. The next target for bears will be a strong psychological level at $0.30. Bulls will be looking to recover above $0.32.
CoinGate, the payment gateway for blockchain transfers, announced on February 1 it had added XRP as a payment option for merchants. According to the official blog post, one of the leading cryptocurrencies is now accepted as payment at more than 4,500 of vendors across the Internet. Additionally, merchants will have an option to instantly settle the revenue in Euros, bitcoin, ether, or keep the funds in XRP. In July 2018, The Lithuania-based company also launched Lightning Network payment services for over 100 merchants.
SBI Holdings, a financial services company group based in Tokyo, issued its nine-month financial report on January 31. The document provides information related to the financial results and business strategy of SBI Group companies but most importantly mentions the potential for cross-border payments of the XRP cryptocurrency. In the ”Business Area Separation of Ripple and R3” section of the report, SBI analysts focus on the Corda Network payments and the R3–Ripple solution: “(to) Become a global standard for financial operations such as international money transfers and trade finance.” It is also noted that XRP is the first cryptocurrency supported by R3’s Corda Settler, an application purpose-built to allow for payment obligations raised on the Corda blockchain platform.
On January 29, news broke that R3 would be teaming up with SBI Holdings, to enable the use of R3’s platform in the East Asian region. A day later, Gottfried Leibbrandt, CEO of SWIFT (the global financial messaging service) said it the service was planning to link R3′s platform with its new payments standards framework Global Payments Innovation (GPI).
Leibbrandt discussed the future of cross-border payments with CNBC and Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse at a panel called “Let’s Send the Money” at the Paris FinTech Forum 2019. Garlinghouse pointed out that SWIFT’s GPI program is a big step forward compared to the traditional banking model, but is still lagging behind RippleNet.