Ripple is a cryptocurrency payment system created by Ripple Labs. The native token of Ripple is XRP CRYPTO:XRP, which was built to facilitate global payments. Basically, Ripple aims to replace the traditional banking system by allowing users to transfer money at a low cost.

Founded in , Ripple Labs also developed the XRP Ledger years ago. The XRP Ledger is a peer-to-peer network of nodes, an open-source, decentralized ledger.

While the cryptocurrency segment has delivered exponential returns to investors in the last two years, XRP has trailed the market in this period. Ripple is in the midst of a case with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The SEC alleges Ripple’s management team carried out an unregistered offering amounting to US$. billion via the distribution of the XRP token.

In addition to the ongoing lawsuit, XRP and Ripple will also have to withstand competition from legacy players such as Mastercard NYSE:MA. Let’s see how.

At the start of the last decade, cryptocurrencies were viewed as a speculative asset class. But in the last two years, the widespread adoption of Bitcoin and other blockchain-powered networks as well as the rise of non-fungible tokens and DeFi projects have pushed cryptocurrencies into mainstream territory.

Europe is a key region that is driving innovation in the cryptocurrency space. It received over US$ trillion worth of cryptocurrency in the -months prior to July , accounting for % of global crypto activity.

In order to accelerate the benefits of crypto in Europe, two companies — bitsCrunch and SPENN Technology — have joined Start Path Crypto, which is Mastercard’s blockchain-focused start-up engagement program. Mastercard provides partnership opportunities, insights, and tools to these companies as part of the Start Path Crypto program.

BitsCrunch, a blockchain analytics company, was founded in and pivoted to non-fungible tokens in after it recognized the need to “better protect the ecosystem and ensure secure and reliable trades.”

In addition to creating an ecosystem where start-ups can thrive, Mastercard has widened its portfolio of products over the years. For instance, several Mastercard users were using cards to purchase crypto assets. It also saw users take advantage of crypto cards to access digital assets and convert them to fiat currencies.

In order to take advantage of a rapidly expanding market, Mastercard recently announced it will support a few cryptocurrencies on its network.

The first Bitcoin was mined years back. While Bitcoin has generated staggering gains for long-term investors, there are more than , cryptocurrencies in circulation right now. A few of these digital assets have the potential to disrupt legacy banking and payments systems making them extremely valuable.

The total number of crypto users has almost tripled to million in and this figure might touch one billion by the end of this year. Further, the market size of blockchain businesses that power tokens and coins is forecast to grow from US$ billion in to US$ billion by .

We can see why established companies such as Mastercard are entering the cryptocurrency market, despite the volatility and lack of regulations associated with this segment.

The post Will Ripple’s Price Decline as It Faces Competition From Established Players Like Mastercard? appeared first on The Motley Fool Canada.

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Fool contributor Aditya Raghunath has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns and recommends Bitcoin. The Motley Fool recommends Mastercard.