The total Twitter following for Ripple, the cryptocurrency exchange and remittance network, is now officially larger than bitcoin’s.
A sharp-eyed Reddit user caught this change in pole positions shortly after the tipping point on Wednesday. At the time of this writing, Ripple boasts some 731,300 followers to bitcoin’s 728,900.
Ripple had a great 2017, selling just under $92 million of its XRP cryptocurrency in Q4 alone. The company’s 2018 is already off to a promising start as well. MoneyGram, one of the largest money transfer companies in the world, announced that it would use XRP to settle transactions within its own framework just two weeks ago. Most recently, telecommunications company IDT Corporation and currency exchange provider Mercury FX have signed on for similar implementations of the currency to simplify transaction settlements.
“Ripple, XRP, and fiat currency fit hand in glove.” said Alastair Constance, CEO and founder of Mercury FX, in a press release on Wednesday. “What we’re doing together is realizing one of the best use cases for frictionless transactions, which is international settlement.” To whatever extent Ripple’s new partners are “old dogs” in the payments world, they’re certainly learning new tricks.
As Ripple fills a meaningful portion of this niche, the company stands to thrive. The value of Ripple’s cryptocurrency has sufficiently risen that co-founder Chris Larsen became the world’s fifth-richest person on paper. The three-month returns tell some of the story: XRP was trading at $0.24 at the end of November only to spike to a hair under $3.30. While it subsequently sold off dramatically, it’s value is still more than five times what it was 13 weeks ago. Bitcoin is up overall from three months ago, but only about 25% overall.
Ripple is growing more aggressively right now. It makes sense that its social media audience should grow at the same time.