Bitcoin has once again managed to break $40,000 — despite one U.S. politician warning that the growing crypto market increases “the risks to our financial stability and our economy.”
The world’s biggest cryptocurrency hit this all-important level for the first time since June on Monday, riding high on rumors that Amazon planned to accept BTC as a payment method. However, prices cooled when the retail giant issued a denial.
Other factors at play include a rather brutal short squeeze that has liquidated the positions of those who were making bearish bets on Bitcoin.
BTC has risen by 4% in the past 24 hours and by 26.4% over the past seven days — but smaller altcoins such as Ether and Binance Coin are flat on a daily timeframe.
XRP Shines Bright
One cryptocurrency that has put in an outsized performance on Wednesday is XRP, which has surged by 10.5% over the past 24 hours — heading as high as $0.7518.
This appears to be linked to the news that Ripple is looking to make inroads into the remittance market between Japan and the Philippines, which is worth a cool $1.8 billion per year.
In a blog post, Ripple announced that SBI Remit, the largest money transfer provider in Japan, is teaming up with the Filipino mobile payments service Coins.ph — as well as the crypto exchange SBI VC Trade — to establish a new remittance corridor using Ripple’s On-Demand Liquidity service.
The use cases behind this are compelling. Figures suggest that, at 10.5%, Japan has one of the highest remittance costs in the world — almost double the 5.92% that is typically seen in G8 countries.
SBI Remit’s Nobuo Ando said:
“The launch of ODL in Japan is just the start, and we look forward to continuing to push into the next frontier of financial innovation, beyond real-time payments in just the Philippines, but to other parts of the region as well.”