While everyone’s biting their nails today, wondering how long they can HODL as Bitcoin dipped below $11,000 for the first time in… two-and-a-half weeks, Ripple (XRP/USD) quietly smashed the $1 ceiling hitting a high of over $1.37 before following dipping back down to $0.75, where it’s been for the past week after its previous surge from the $0.25 range on the 12th and now back up to $0.98 as of 10:40am EST. This happened following a somewhat tranquil Wednesday trading session where it gained over 20 percent during the early hours. Cryptocurrency tracker CoinMarketCap traced the Ripple price at around $0.99 by end of business Wednesday.

Ripple Breaks $1.37. SOURCE: CoinMarketCap.com

It’s not hard to figure out why Ripple is making waves. They were touting their fast transaction speeds months ago and banking institutions around the world are testing their technology for international currency transfers. Remember when Bitcoin and Ethereum were trading at under $1, before they weren’t? XRP has gained traction to hold a top 3 position compared to every other cryptocurrency in the world.

The value of Ripple isn’t just a bunch of hype; its blockchain protocol continues to gain recognition, not just among investors, but among major financial institutions that recognize its ability to facilitate fiat currency transactions between banks, at lightning speed.

Following the price gain, there has been a significant surge in XRP’s trading volume surpassing $2.7 billion in 24 hours, double what was realized on Wednesday. At least 25 percent of that volume was generated on Bithumb, South Korea’s main Cryptocurrency exchange. The cryptocurrency is trading at a price that’s equivalent to CoinOne and Korbit, which are Bithumb’s local peers; they represent a market value of 5.5% and 5.8% respectively.

Unlike Bitcoin, Ripple was designed with an institutional purpose in mind; to accelerate and simplify local and international funds transfers through banks while eliminating the snail-paced mechanics and costs associated with traditional wire transfers.  Faster speeds and reduced costs translate into higher customer retention and greater margins. It’s that simple.

The Ripple Coin (XRP) was trending fourth until it overtook Bitcoin Cash. These two coins may be in for a long battle now that BCH is trading on GDAX. Experts say that Ripple is a smart choice for anyone involved in a real-time digital currency, alleging that it will completely disrupt the banking world and its financial systems.

Ripple’s success is due not just to its underlying tech, but in the success of its advocates in convincing banks to embrace the technology. Some leading banks that have adopted this technology are UBS, Credit Suisse, Citi, and the National Bank of Abu Dhabi, MetLife and the First Bank in the Middle East. Others are queued up in negotiations towards adopting Ripple, and its advertised capability of providing 1500 transactions per second 24/7.

The slower, older technology, SWIFT has had this monopoly for cross-border settlements with its network in 200 countries and over 11,000 banking institutions. However, with Ripple associating with banks and financial institutions with its Blockchain technology, it’s no longer a matter of if, but when XRP or a similar platform will take down SWIFT.

Looking at the amount of interest and developments happening with Ripple, experts suggest that it still has room to grow, and soon. According to some, we just might see Ripple cross the $2 barrier at the end of 2018.

Unlike other cryptocurrencies, such as privacy coins that may have been designed to work outside of the current fiat economy, Ripple is designed to work within it, differentiating the coin from every other digital currency in existence today.