Cryptocurrency ripple jumps as traders speculate on Coinbase adding trading

Key Points
  • Ripple climbed as investors speculated leading U.S. cryptocurrency marketplace Coinbase will add the digital currency to its platform.
  • Coinbase has not made any announcement.
  • Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse is set to appear on CNBC's "Fast Money" Tuesday, alongside Coinbase President and Chief Operating Officer Asiff Hirji.
  • Strong demand from South Korean investors also helped ripple, or XRP, rise Monday.
Brad Garlinghouse, chief executive officer Ripple
Tony Avelar | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Cryptocurrency ripple climbed Monday amid renewed speculation that popular exchange Coinbase would add the cryptocurrency to its platform.

Coinbase tweeted Monday that the company has "made no decision to add additional assets to either GDAX or Coinbase" and that "any statement to the contrary is untrue and unauthorized by the company."

A Ripple spokesperson told CNBC the company does not respond to rumors or speculation.

Ripple's XRP coin, the third-largest digital currency by market cap, traded near $1.04 as of 2:04 p.m. ET Monday, up about 9 percent over the last 24 hours, and roughly 3 percent on the day, according to CoinMarketCap.

Coinbase is the leading U.S. marketplace for buying and selling major digital currencies and is popular with both retail and professional traders. The platform only supports bitcoin, bitcoin cash, ethereum and litecoin right now. As a result, the addition of a new coin to Coinbase would likely bring in many more buyers.

Ripple 7-day performance

Source: CoinMarketCap

"I've seen rumors spreading around Coinbase additions and Japanese banking partnerships and [Ripple CEO] Brad Garlinghouse's upcoming appearance on Fast Money," said Alex Sunnarborg, founding partner at cryptofund Tetras Capital.

"Larger buys in advance of expected news in these markets are then compounded by retail investors buying out of FOMO and trying to chase gains," Sunnarborg said, referring to the acronym for "fear of missing out" on price gains.

Crypto class: How to buy ripple
Crypto class: How to buy ripple

A CoinDesk article also raised speculation about a major exchange listing for Ripple, citing an upcoming appearance by Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse and Coinbase President and Chief Operating Officer Asiff Hirji on CNBC's "Fast Money" on Tuesday. However, those two are appearing in separate and unrelated interviews on the show.

Ripple, or XRP, is still trading more than 70 percent off its record high of $3.84 hit in early January. The cryptocurrency had surged in December amid speculation it would be added to Coinbase.

Strong demand from South Korean investors also helped XRP rise Monday.

The cryptocurrency traded at a 1-cent premium on a major South Korean exchange called Bithumb, according to CoinMarketCap. Trading in South Korean won made up just over 33 percent of XRP's daily trading volume, according to CryptoCompare.

Ripple is officially the name of a San Francisco-based company developing a network for fast, global financial payments. XRP is the name of the digital token that financial institutions on the network can use to transact quickly.

Coinbase and Visa are at odd over unauthorized transactions
Coinbase and Visa are at odd over unauthorized transactions

In the last half year, Ripple has announced a handful of financial firms are at least testing the use of XRP for cross-border payments.

Just Thursday, global payments company Fleetcor and its subsidiary Cambridge Global Payments will test the use of XRP. The announcement follows news in January that MoneyGram will test XRP, as will MercuryFX and IDT.

Ripple owns about 60 billion of the 100 billion XRP ever made, bringing its market cap based on holdings alone close to $62 billion.