Bitcoin may be king, but Ripple is the dark horse in crypto race

Bitcoin was the star of the white-knuckle ride that crypto currencies offered in 2017 but lesser-known names, such as Ripple and Ethereum, are seen gaining prominence in 2018.

Launched in 2012, Ripple had a market cap of $91.79 billion as of Tuesday, second after Bitcoin. It is used by companies such as UBS (UBSG.S) and Santander (SAN.MC) as payment technology. In November 2017, American Express Co (AXP.N) also launched an instant blockchain-based payment system using Ripple. Percentage gain in 2017: About 35,000 percent

While bitcoin jumped more than 1,200 percent last year, Ripple, created by the founder of bitcoin exchange Mt Gox, surged 35,000 percent in the same period.

That means $100 invested in Ripple in January 2017 would have grown to about $35,000 at the start of this year. To be sure, bitcoin is still the biggest cryptocurrency by far – with market value exceeding $250 billion – and is expected to keep that mantle in the months to come.