Ripple has recently announced that it has surpassed 200 partners as it adds 13 financial institutions as customers for its payment network, RippleNet, highlighting Ripple's consistent growth towards consolidating the traditional financial network.
The announcement that Ripple has over 200 partners reflects the recently rapid growth of their network of users of their xRapid and xCurrent products, especially among traditional financial companies and banks. Ripple is especially succesful in cornering a market on remittances and cross-border payments, which is becoming one of the most important use cases for the real-world adoption of cryptocurrency technologies.
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eToro's Mati Greenspan recently stated that some banks are reticent to adopt XRP because of cultural problems among its rapid fans, but whatever apprehension that the banking institution has is not enough to keep a huge number of worldwide clients from flocking to their cross-border payment services, which threaten to overthrow SWIFT, the current industry standard.
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Greenspan's comments speak to the consistent criticism that Ripple has had since introducing its XRP cryptotoken- long XRP has been declared centralized because the plurality of XRP is in fact owned by Ripple, which created it. Generally, crypto purists are put off not only by this fact, but a cultural zeal among its supporters, which Greenspan alludes to. While crypto enthusiasts might see these as problems, financial institutions (who don't have to run into XRP-heads on Twitter much anyway) really don't, being more concerned with economic efficiency.
Still, other cryptocurrencies likely won't have to directly compete with XRP, whose main purpose will be to provide liquidity for Ripple's other projects. XRP is essentially a utility token for large financial instituions, and its incidental use as either a payment token or an investment vehicle rises and falls on this use, which according to Ripple's recent announcement, is moving solidly forward.