Ripple is the world’s third most valuable currency. Even with each coin trading at only $0.29, so many people and institutions buy Ripple that its total market cap is more than $11 billion. Only Ethereum and Bitcoin are more valuable in total supply.
Ripple made a name for itself all the way back in 2012. That’s a couple of lifetimes in crypto years, but the company has managed to continue advancing its platform and increase user adoption. Ripple is built for fast, efficient financial transfers. Its immediate applications are in the realm of banking. Indeed, financial institutions can and do use Ripple to move money more efficiently. But Ripple’s ambitions aren’t just for the rich and powerful.
Ripple can be used to send money across borders. It can also serve as a payment channel for any other application. Transfers like these may be used by an immigrant worker to send funds back home. Using traditional payment networks like Western Union, this remittance might cost $30 or more, even for sums as low as $100.
Rather than attacking the powers that be, Ripple is integrating them. Western Union may be antiquated and usurious, but Ripple has made inroads in order to make Western Union more affordable and fast. There are talks about a Ripple/Moneygram partnership, and Ripple is already well established in the banking industry.
So what’s stopping Ripple from becoming the new technological standard for moving money? Well, the Ripple network is just not powerful enough… yet.
Ripple Cobalt is Coming
Ripple Cobalt is a complex array of technical advancements that will make Ripple faster and more reliable. Presently, it takes about four seconds for a Ripple transaction to move between sender and recipient. That’s shockingly fast compared to payment channels like Western Union (which takes days) – but Ripple can go even faster.
Ripple Cobalt will reduce this time to one second or less. No matter where in the world a recipient lives, funds can clear from source to destination in the span of one heartbeat. Speed is just one of the benefits of efficiency. Ripple Cobalt will be cheaper to use (Ripple is already cheap at the moment), making it a natural technology to adopt for established financial channels like the ones we’ve already discussed.
With Ripple Cobalt, Ripple will begin to make big advancements to becoming the world’s most popular cryptocurrency. Ripple is already more reliable than Bitcoin and Ethereum, at least as a payment solution. Anyone who has used Bitcoin and Ethereum more than a few times knows that sometimes the platforms work perfectly. Other times, transfers are expensive and slow. In the worst cases, transactions can be delayed for weeks.
How and When Will Ripple Cobalt Happen?
Curious about how Ripple Cobalt works? Ripple had this to say in a published statement:
“We present Cobalt, a novel atomic broadcast algorithm that works in networks with non-uniform trust and no global agreement on participants and is probabilistically guaranteed to make forward progress even in the presence of maximal faults and arbitrary asynchrony. The exact properties that Cobalt satisfies makes it particularly applicable to designing an efficient decentralized “voting network” that allows a public, open-entry group of nodes to agree on changes to some shared set of rules in a fair and consistent manner while tolerating some trusted nodes and arbitrarily many untrusted nodes behaving maliciously. We also define a new set of properties which must be satisfied by any safe decentralized governance algorithm, and all of which Cobalt satisfies.”
More details about Ripple Cobalt are available in the full text of Ripple’s statement. The paper is 49 pages long and fairly dense, but you’ll be much better informed about the nuance of the Ripple Cobalt system. This is especially recommended for investors.
So when will all of this happen? Ripple has set no date – not even a possible window of time yet – and even analysts and engineers are hesitant to make release date claims. Updates like this are incredibly sophisticated. If we’ve learned anything from ongoing projects like Ethereum, ARK, Lisk, Cardano, and ICON, it takes a long time to build powerful technology.
Ripple Cobalt could be days away. It might also take weeks, months, or years. Fortunately, Ripple is already a functioning technology (one of only 40 in the crypto top 100). The platform is already effective enough to be gaining fans in the public and private arena, and this is unlikely to stop before Ripple Cobalt is released. As fans of Ripple, we think the upcoming update will only further solidify Ripple in the new face of global commerce.