Initially thought of as a fad, cryptocurrencies are proving their power as the technology continues to mature. Among the hundreds of cryptocurrencies on the market today, there are three that dominate the market by capitalization and proof of use: BTC, XRP, and ETH. These are the cryptocurrencies powered by Bitcoin, Ripple, and Ethereum blockchains, respectively.

What is the future of Bitcoin, XRP, and Ethereum? Each of these cryptocurrencies offers unique use cases, many of which are already implemented today. The future of cryptocurrencies, in general, is still not certain as regulations are still in the works. However, the big three mentioned earlier will be around for a long time, and we will analyze why exactly.

The Future of Bitcoin

The most well-known and valuable cryptocurrency on the market today is Bitcoin. The future of Bitcoin (BTC) is fairly established. At the time of writing, Bitcoin is receiving government regulation in preparation for institutional investors and, most likely, mass adoption. Even though the technology of BTC falls behind XRP and ETH it will always attract investors. It’s the first-ever cryptocurrency and used by many as a trading currency. 

Mass adoption — arguably the holy grail of Bitcoin — will only be possible if the technology can scale appropriately. At the moment, Bitcoin faces issues with energy consumption and ease of use. 

One way in which BTC can become a more accessible investment is if the planned Bitcoin ETF comes into fruition. A Bitcoin ETF would allow investors to buy into the current value of BTC without going through the complex steps of establishing a cryptocurrency exchange account.

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How can BTC be used?

Digital cash

There are several use cases for BTC already, the most prominent being as digital cash. BTC can be used to facilitate peer-to-peer (P2P) payments, as well as payments to retailers. Moreover, it can act as a store of value for investment purposes.

International remittance

As Bitcoin continues to scale, the transaction fees will continue to drop. Low transaction fees will allow for better cross-border payments, which means that you will be able to convert money between fiats easily. In a best-case scenario for BTC, it would eliminate the need for fiat currencies in general.

Smart contracts

The underlying blockchain technology powering BTC can be used to create smart contracts. These are essentially software programs that can automatically settle contracts as conditions meet. Complex business negotiations with many parties involved can securely operate without the possibility of someone circumventing the rules of the agreement.

The Future of XRP Ripple

XRP is the cryptocurrency built on top of the Ripple blockchain. By design, Ripple enables transactions to settle very quickly and at extremely low costs. This is an ideal characteristic for cross-border payments.

For these transactions to be so quick and to incur such small fees at a large scale, Ripple must be decentralized. Earlier this year, it was confirmed that XRP is decentralized. More to that, BTC and ETH are becoming more centralized with time, while XRP is becoming more decentralized. Source: ripple.com That gives XRP a massive advantage over all crypto coins.

Furthermore, big banks already use Ripple’s technology, and many more are in the works. In the latest Swell Conference, XRP announced that technology giants like Amazon, Airbnb, and Uber have visited and are showing interest in partnering. With all the great news for XRP enthusiasts, it is fair to mention that a significant role in coin’s success will play how well they can persuade financial institutions to use XRP instead of Swift. 

XRP is a very powerful tool, and thus the future of XRP is auspicious. If it can break through some of the barriers to adoption, it could revolutionize how the global banking system operates, and take the price beyond anyone’s imagination. 

Ledger Nano X - The secure hardware wallet

How can XRP be used?

One problem that many people all over the world face is the ability to send cross-border payments efficiently. Imagine needing to send U.S. dollars to someone in a country that only accepts their local fiat currency. You would need to have your U.S. dollars converted into that target fiat currency. Unfortunately, this requires extra fees and long wait times for the payment to settle. Think Western Union and MoneyGram.

With XRP, an individual or institution would be able to efficiently settle payments to entities all over the world, no matter what their local fiat currency is. For this reason, XRP has a strong use case within the global banking system. The team behind Ripple and XRP are currently making strong headway into partnering with some of the world’s largest banking institutions.

Because of its ability to act as an efficient conversion point between fiat currencies, XRP has the ability to extend the customer reach of banks. There is currently a large and growing list of banks that are actually using or experimenting with Ripple technology now.

RippleNet is the name of the network connecting all XRP users. Anyone on the RippleNet can leverage the power of quick, low-cost currency conversions.

The Future of ETH

Like BTC and XRP, ETH is another cryptocurrency powered by a blockchain. Ethereum — the name of the blockchain powering ETH — is a general-purpose blockchain, much like Bitcoin. Contrary to Bitcoin, however, it uses different techniques to validate transactions on its ledger. It also has programming that enables other innovative features, like decentralized applications (dapps).

Dapps are what give ETH the most promise. Examples of the different types of dapps include video games, micro-blogs, and identity management systems. Ethereum has a large and ever-growing ecosystem of dapps. Each dapp utilizes the unique characteristics of blockchain technology.

ETH does not have the same notoriety as BTC, and it doesn’t have the specific use case of XRP. For this reason, it may not become as widely adopted as its competitors. But ETH is one of the top cryptocurrencies, and its unique features may find applications in some sectors of society.

Ledger Nano X - The secure hardware wallet

Going forward

The top three cryptocurrencies mentioned here have all proven their use cases. What’s stopping them from mass adoption is mostly scalability. Also, acquiring and using these cryptocurrencies needs to become much more streamlined without sacrificing the fundamental benefits of blockchains.

Most will agree that BTC has a healthy future since it is the oldest, most well-known, and is general-purpose. XRP has much promise due to its specialized use case with the banking system. ETH combines many of the features of BTC and XRP, but it is far less known than Bitcoin and is a lot slower than XRP. In general, the future of Bitcoin, XRP, and Ethereum is promising and will improve the current financial system.