Ripple (XRP-USD) coins, tied to the XRP ticker, surged 18% higher on Monday. But the gains were built on rumors, and I didn't think they would last. Today, Ripple's (XRP-USD) mini-bubble popped for all the expected reasons, and the cryptocurrency is trading 11% lower again.
What's going on
Monday's surge rested on speculation that the popular Coinbase exchange would add Ripple to its hand-picked selection of four supported currencies. This is, after all, the largest and most heavily traded currency that isn't on Coinbase's menu yet, so it would make all kinds of sense to add support. So when cryptocurrency enthusiasts found out that the CEO of Ripple will be on a cryptocurrency panel at CNBC's "Fast Money" today, right next to Coinbase's chief operating officer, the stage was set for a massive partnership announcement.
Well, that was the theory. In practice, there's no such announcement in the works at all. The two blockchain business leaders will just show up on CNBC to discuss their own businesses in whatever larger context the show's hosts want to pursue, and that's all.
Don't just take my word for it.
When Coinbase caught wind of the Ripple (XRP-USD) rumors, the company was quick to tweet out a reminder of its process and policy for adding new asset classes:
In a nutshell, Coinbase vehemently denies that it has decided to add any new assets to its small catalog of supported cryptocurrencies. If it does, that decision will be announced via a post on the company's blog "or other official channels."
I suppose the "other channels" blurb gives Coinbase some wiggle room to make announcements from a large, public stage such as this cable TV show, but the company sure is trying to convey the sense of a proper process here. Wriggling through that loophole could cause significant damage to Coinbase's street cred, especially so soon after reminding us all exactly what policy the company would be breaking.
What Ripple investors should be watching for instead
There is no Ripple-on-Coinbase announcement coming tonight. Besides, gaining access to Coinbase might be a big deal for smaller digital coins with less liquidity and lower trading volumes. But Ripple is already a giant of this industry without Coinbase, and is more interested in working out partnerships with traditional financial institutions.
Money transfer specialist Western Union springs to mind, as does Spanish megabank Banco Santander. Both of these traditionalists are already testing the waters of Ripple-powered international money transfers. That's the kind of news that really should be moving this major cryptocurrency.
Feel free to ignore any rumors of Coinbase support for Ripple (XRP-USD) trades. Even if they were true, it wouldn't make much of a difference to Ripple's (XRP-USD) true worth.