Between January 3 and 4, 2021, LTC overtook XRP to become the world’s fourth-largest digital currency by market capitalization.
While the gap between the two valuations was significant, only last month, a lawsuit by the US SEC caused XRP’s price to drop and stagnate.
The rest of the crypto market, meanwhile, has found itself in the midst of a bull run.
Ripple Losing Momentum and Investor Confidence
Even setting aside recent developments with the SEC, public interest in Ripple’s XRP has been waning due to the lack of new banking partnerships and heightened competition.
The company has long projected that its token would soon become the largest cross-border payments system. While Ripple has partnered with an impressive 300 financial institutions across 40 nations, it pales compared to SWIFT’s 11,000 partners spread over 200 regions.
Ripple’s leadership argues that the current SWIFT banking system is slow and inefficient, and rightfully so. International bank transfers can take upwards of several hours and even days to clear successfully.
The complete lack of intermediaries in a blockchain-based system intends to alleviate much of these delays while affording lower fees. However, with the SEC stepping in, it remains to be seen if banks will agree to further partnerships with Ripple.
Ripple also faces stiff competition at the hands of Facebook’s Libra and JPMorgan Chase’s JPM Coin. Expected to launch this year, these coins aim to facilitate inexpensive P2P transactions between customers and businesses.
LTC on an Upward Trajectory
Litecoin (LTC), meanwhile, could not have had a more successful run to its current valuation of ~$10 billion. While it battles XRP for the fourth spot, Litecoin’s price has jumped 16% over the past week. Meanwhile, XRP’s plummeted by over 21% during the same period.
The Litecoin community awaits the launch of a new protocol that aims to improve privacy and scalability. Dubbed Mimblewimble, the protocol is a modified version of the current Proof-of-Work consensus mechanism.
It effectively changes the structure and storage requirements of blockchain transactions, making it easier to verify new transactions and store old ones.
LTC’s growth spurt can also be attributed to institutional investors. Grayscale, a company with over $20 billion in crypto assets, purchased at least $145 million worth of Litecoin.
Most of this capital was accumulated over a relatively short period in late 2020. In contrast, Grayscale’s XRP Trust has an AUM (Assets Under Management) of just $8.4 million.
XRP May Lose Top 5 Digital Token Spot
With Litecoin doubling its market capitalization, XRP will likely drop out of the top five digital tokens (by market cap) very soon. The next cryptocurrency in line, Polkadot, is also charged with positive price momentum, gaining 60% over the past week alone.
If these trends continue, will investor confidence in XRP decline further?