Ripple rose 20 percent Wednesday to an all-time high, up more than 20,000 percent for the year.
The digital currency rose 20 percent to a record high of $1.43, making it the third-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization at $54 billion, behind bitcoin and ethereum, according to CoinMarketCap.
Ripple year-to-date performance
Ripple is officially the name of a San Francisco-based start-up using blockchain technology to develop a payments network for banks, digital asset exchanges and other financial institutions. Network participants use a digital coin called XRP for transactions.
The start-up owns 61 percent of the 100 billion XRP in existence. At Wednesday’s record high prices, that gives Ripple about $87.23 billion worth of the digital currency.
“We are going to invest in the ecosystem to both help accelerate the adoption of Ripple’s technology,” Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse said Wednesday on CNBC’s “Squawk Alley.”
One of Ripple’s selling points as laid out on the company’s website is XRP’s 4-second settlement speed, versus more than 2 minutes for ethereum and over an hour for bitcoin.
Ripple is one of the best performing this year, up more than 20,000 percent after ending 2016 at 0.64 cent. In comparison, bitcoin has gained about 1,500 percent and ethereum is up roughly 9,200 percent this year, according to CoinMarketCap.
“One of the things we all have to remember is the value of a token over the long term is really going to be driven by its utility,” Garlinghouse said. “There’s no question there’s a lot of hype in this system.”