Bitcoin has been dominating the conversation with regards to cryptocurrency. Despite its recent drops, it still holds a dominant 36 percent market share in the crypto market.
Ethereum was once the second most valuable cryptocurrency, but now Ripple took its spot on the list.
Ripple's XRP has seen an exponential rise much like Bitcoin's. Over the last year, the cryptocurrency has risen from less than 1 cent to its current valuation of $2.41. This past weekend, Ripple's market share overtook Ethereum.
XRP is seen as a safer alternative to Bitcoin. Over 100 financial institutions have signed up to use it, including American Express, Bank of America, Santander, UniCredit, and UBS. It was set up as an alternative way for banking institutions to pay one another.
"The global payments industry really has been ruled by an oligopoly, led by players like JPMorgan and Citi," said Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse to CNBC. "It's certainly not that surprising to see Jamie Dimon's [CEO of JPMorgan Chase] comments recently on bitcoin given that [they] control that oligopoly."
Besides its growth over the weekend, XRP has been steadily adopted.
Last week, three of Japan's credit card companies signed up to use XRP. Another deal involving Japan saw Japanese and South Korean banks announcing that they would use Ripple's blockchain technology to handle cross-border payments.
Ripple's cross-border payments can be completed within 10 to 15 seconds compared with the usual three days on the SWIFT network. SWIFT continues to be the dominant form of money transfers for financial institutions.
This move would allow institutions to receive same-day payment and cut costs by almost 30 percent. Adoption of this system would start as early as spring 2018.
FA combination of both announcements is what could've caused Ripple's value to rise so high.
In the United States, American Express and Santander UK announced a deal to use Ripple back in November. Both companies partnered with Ripple to provide real-time payments between the US and UK.
Ripple currently has much more XRP in reserve on the market. It is estimated to have $115 billion, which Ripple can use to entice more financial institutions to sign up to use XRP.
Blockchain technology is seen as the future for cross-border payments. The combination of speed and safety is seeing more financial institutions sign up to use Ripple. Adoption of Ripple or other blockchain technology is rapidly rising, as financial institutions look for faster ways of processing payments.