Ripple’s XRP saw the strongest growth of any cryptocurrency in 2017

digital currency
The cryptocurrency Ripple surged on the final Friday of 2017, reaching a market cap of more than $86 billion, CNBC reports. Ripple, which is officially known as XRP, saw its value rise by 55.9 percent. At its peak, the currency was valued at $2.23 a coin. Since then, it has fallen to $2.17, but it is still the second most valuable cryptocurrency in terms of market cap, according to Coinmarketcap.com.

Ethereum is currently the world’s third-largest cryptocurrency in terms of market share, at over $69 billion. In the early hours of Friday morning, the two cryptocurrencies vied for the second place in a bout of intense trading. Over the weekend, however, the market seems to have stabilized with Ripple in second place. In fact, Reuters reports that XRP saw the largest growth of any cryptocurrency in 2017. The currency’s value soared by 35,000 percent during 2017.

Bitcoin remains firmly entrenched as the world’s most valuable cryptocurrency in terms of market cap and price-per-coin, but there are plenty of alternatives. Ripple is one of the more interesting of the bitcoin alternatives, due to the fact that it is not just a currency, but a payment network and distributed exchange. These qualities make it easier for users to trade Ripple for other currencies such as the dollar or bitcoin.

Ripple actually began as a blockchain-based payment network for banks and other organizations. The coin offers a four-second settlement time compared to the two minutes for Ethereum or over an hour for bitcoin settlements. Currently, more than 100 banks use Ripple’s payment network and more may join soon.

Ripple’s unique qualities mean it has attracted the attention of many wealthy investors including Google Ventures though the majority of the coins are owned by the startup’s founders.

The cryptocurrency market has been extremely volatile lately with bitcoin, in particular, rising and falling in value at a rapid rate. Ripple appears to be on the upswing, however. Of course, this market has proven itself to be rather unpredictable, so tomorrow could see a new shift in the market though, bitcoin will likely remain on top for the foreseeable future.

Update: Updated to reflect the news that XRP saw the largest growth of any cryptocurrency of 2017. 

Mobile

Rekindled yet again, Nokia’s next-gen phones offer more than just nostalgia

HMD Global, a startup that designs and builds Nokia Android smartphones, wants to put the Nokia brand name back “where it belongs.” It helps that it’s made up of ex-Nokia employees. We go behind the scenes to see how HMD formed.
Emerging Tech

Coinstar machines will let you swap cash for Bitcoin at your local grocery store

Coinstar, the company which owns the coin exchange machines found at grocery stores and elsewhere, will soon let you easily buy Bitcoin with your cash money. Here's how it will work.
Business

Apple banned from distributing some iPhone models in Germany

Apple is following the FTC's lead and has sued Qualcomm for a massive $1 billion in the U.S., $145 million in China, and also in the U.K., claiming the company charged onerous royalties for its patented tech.
Computing

It's not all free money. Here's what to know before you try to mine Bitcoin

Mining Bitcoin today is harder than it used to be, but if you have enough time, money, and cheap electricity, you can still turn a profit. Here's how to get started mining Bitcoin at home and in the cloud.
Computing

Heal your wrist aches and pains with one of these top ergonomic mice

If you have a growing ache in your wrist, it might be worth considering ergonomic mice alternatives. But which is the best ergonomic mouse for you? One of these could be the ticket to the right purchase for you.
Gaming

These are the best indie games you can get on PC right now

Though many indie games now come to consoles as well, there's still a much larger selection on PC. With that in mind, we've created a list of the best indie games for PC, with an emphasis on games that are only available on PC.
Product Review

Controversy has dogged the MacBook Pro lately. Is it still a good purchase?

The MacBook Pro is a controversial laptop these days -- and that's unfortunate. Due to some divisive changes Apple made to the functionality of the MacBook Pro, fans are more split. Does the 8th-gen refresh change that?
Apple

Want a MacBook that will last all day on a single charge? Check these models out

Battery life is one of the most important factors in buying any laptop, especially MacBooks. Their battery life is typically average, but there are some standouts. Knowing which MacBook has the best battery life can be rather useful.
Computing

Want a Dell laptop with an RTX 2060? Cross the new XPS 15 off your list

The next iteration of Dell's XPS 15 laptop won't come with an option for an RTX 2060, according to Alienware's Frank Azor. You could always opt for a new Alienware m15 or m17 instead.
Computing

Always have way too many tabs open? Google Chrome might finally help

Google is one step closer to bringing tab groups to its Chrome browser. The feature is now available in Google's Chrome Canady build with an early implementation that can be enabled through its flag system.
Mobile

Here's how to convert a Kindle book to PDF using your desktop or the web

Amazon's Kindle is one of the best ebook readers on the market, but it doesn't make viewing proprietary files on other platforms any easier. Here's how to convert a Kindle book to PDF using either desktop or web-based applications.
Computing

Worried about your online privacy? We tested the best VPN services

Browsing the web can be less secure than most users would hope. If that concerns you, a virtual private network — aka a VPN — is a decent solution. Check out a few of the best VPN services on the market.
Product Review

Origin's Chronos PC is no looker, but it plays games with eye-popping detail

The Chronos is Origin’s smallest PC, but while it occupies less space than most A/V receivers, it delivers the power of a much larger desktop. Its dull exterior design does the system a disservice. Once you turn it on, you won’t be…
Gaming

Can't stand keyboard gaming on PC? Here's how to use a PS3 controller instead

Properly connecting a PlayStation 3 Controller to a PC is no easy task, especially when you opt for third-party peripherals. Thankfully, our guide will help you through the process.