The cryptocurrency space has come a long way and evolved in several ways. Starting with the use of Bitcoin to buy pizza, cryptocurrencies have become branded as a tool for criminals to perpetrate their illegal activities. They have also been used as a quick means of making profits which peaked in 2017 when most top cryptocurrencies got to their all-time high prices.
As the crypto industry matures, it seems it will take more than just the above-mentioned factors to attract real patronage and thus real growth. Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse in an interview earlier said from 2020 and beyond, utility, rather than speculation and illegal use will determine the growth of cryptocurrency projects.
“Years ago crypto was solving really illicit, kind of silk road and illicit use cases then, they moved to the really speculative bubble that we saw.. And I think we will continue to see in 2019, 2020 and beyond, they focus on utility. How are these technologies, how are these digital assets solving real problems for real customers? In the absence of the real utility i don’t think you are gonna see the whole market grow and live up to its potential.”
One of the use cases for Ripple is the provision of XRP-powered payments platform, On-Demand Liquidity which is set to experience a higher volume in 2020 with more corridors opening up. This seems to be the utility focus for XRP in 2020 according to Garlinghouse’s remarks.
Meanwhile, XRP seems to be solving real problems for Ripple’s customers already. Recently, SendFriend, a major remittance company in the U.S and one of Ripple’s top clients, used the On-demand liquidity service to cut remittance fees by 80%.
According to SendFriend CEO, David Lighton at the Ripple’s University Blockchain Research Initiative (UBRI) Connect Conference, traditional remittance is very expensive but Ripple’s blockchain-based ODL removes the need for working capital which is responsible for high fees, thus cutting the cost of international money transfer by at least 75%.
Ripple has made some strategic moves this year including partnerships and investments which may be prepared for placing the company in a strategic position to serve its customers better. As utility becomes the focus, 2020 may be the start of a major shakeup for the industry. Which projects will survive will be determined by what it has to offer and Ripple seems ready to face that.