The cryptocurrency XRP saw a surge in its price following rumors that Western Union is considering using the blockchain as the basis for its money transfers, Business Insider reports.
Following the news, XRP saw its value rise by 20 percent. Western Union’s stock closed out the day on a five percent rise. However, both companies have declined to confirm the rumors. That being said, Ripple, which owns XRP, and Western Union have worked together in the past. In 2015, the two companies worked to develop a program for distributed payment protocols.
While the collaboration between Western Union and Ripple could not be confirmed, Ripple’s official Twitter account did send out a tweet saying that three major financial firms intended to make use of XRP in 2018. The tweet appears to be in response to a New York Times journalist, who said they were having trouble verifying some of Ripple’s customers.
If Western Union does go through with its rumored partnership with Ripple, it would be a massive boon to the emerging cryptocurrency. In addition to Western Union, a group of Japanese banks are currently testing Ripple’s blockchain technology for use in money transfers. Meanwhile, England’s Standard Chartered owns part of Ripple.
XRP has been in the spotlight since the end of December, when the coin saw a massive surge in value. While a single XRP only costs $3.10, it remains the second most valuable cryptocurrency, right behind bitcoin, in terms of market capitalization. It is currently worth more than $120 billion. In terms of value for a single token, it still trails behind several rivals including Bitcoin Cash, bitcoin and Ethereum.
Right now, the coin appears poised to continue its upward trajectory particularly given the volatility of bitcoin. However, it remains to be seen whether or not XRP can become a sustainable alternative to traditonal currencies and money transfers.
The currency’s increased fortunes have been particularly good for Ripple co-founder Chris Larsen. He reportedly owns 5.19 billion XRP tokens making his net worth roughly $14 billion.