Cryptocurrency XRP, the digital token created by Ripple, has seen its share price surge of late - outperforming rivals Ethereum and Bitcoin in 2021.
The price of XRP has doubled over the last week, from $0.89 per share on 7 April to $1.62 per share on 13 April, attracting increasing interest from investors.
But why has the cryptocurrency’s market value skyrocketed - and what purpose does it serve?
Let’s find out.
What is Ripple XRP?
Ripple and XRP are two different things but are often put together when discussing the cryptocurrency XRP created by the company Ripple Labs Inc.
Ripple, founded in 2012, is a type of global payment protocol service which allows for quick and secure currency exchanges for members of an online community.
It created its own cryptocurrency - XRP - to allow for financial institutions to transfer money for negligible fees and little delay, attracting many major banks across the world.
How is Ripple different to Bitcoin?
Bitcoin is an equivalent digital currency to the physical types of currencies such as US Dollars and GB Pound Sterling and can be widely used for purchases and investments.
Cryptocurrencies have seen a rise in popularity in recent months - largely thanks to social media mentions from high profile figures like Elon Musk and Snoop Dogg.
Tesla CEO, Musk, rapper Snoop Dogg and Kiss frontman Gene Simmons sent shares of Dogecoin soaring when the trio mentioned the cryptocurrency on Twitter.
Bitcoin saw its market value skyrocket when electric car company Tesla invested heavily.
Ripple is a lower costing way for people to make transactions around the world by using its payment and settlement system, which also has its own currency XRP.
Why is Ripple XRP’s share price soaring?
XRP’s share price has almost doubled in value over the past week.
Market experts believe this is because an ongoing investigation from the United States’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is reaching a conclusion.
The SEC alleges that Ripple executives raised more than $1.3 billion through an unregistered digital-asset securities offering using XRP.
But the court has denied the SEC access to financial records linked with co-founder Chris Larsen and CEO Brad Garlinghouse, who are named defendants in the case.
The judge decided it would represent an unwarranted invasion of privacy, as traders looked through the SEC case and at its recent activity.
Where can I buy Ripple XRP shares in the UK?
It can be a tricky field to navigate for the uninitiated but if you're confident in buying cryptocurrencies then there are numerous places to go.
XRP is available to purchase from various exchanges such as Binance, Bitstamp, Kraken and GateHub, as well as through Ripple.
In October 2020, Brits were banned from buying some cryptocurrencies after a rise in the number of people making bad investments and losing money.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) warns people about the risk of investing in cryptocurrencies, referencing price volatility, product complexity, charges and fees, marketing materials and consumer protection.