Why XRP is now world's 2nd-most valuable cryptocurrency

XRP and other leading cryptocurrencies surged in value on Friday amid optimism related to Ripple's new commercial platform for the token and after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission opted to delay, but not outright reject, the proposed listing of a Bitcoin ETF.

For months, Ripple executives have been teasing the launch of a platform that would allow banks and other institutions to speed up international transactions by using XRP, the digital token, rather than local currencies. Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse told FOX Business anchor Liz Claman last January that the platform, once launched, would “solve a global payments problem.”

The token’s value skyrocketed this week after a Ripple executive said the launch could occur within the next few months. CNBC was first to report the projected timeline.

XRP’s valuation rose more than 80 percent in the last 24 hours, allowing Ripple to surpass more established cryptocurrencies like Ethereum and Bitcoin cash to become the world’s second-most valuable token by market capitalization. Only bitcoin is more valuable.

Overall optimism in the cryptocurrency space pushed bitcoin about 4 percent higher Friday. Ethereum rose more than 7 percent.

Additionally, the SEC requested further comment on the proposal to list investment firm VanEck’s bitcoin ETF on the Chicago Board of Exchange, CoinTelegraph reported. Regulators had previously delayed a decision in August.

If approved, the bitcoin ETF would be the first of its kind.

Correction note: This article has been updated to reflect that Ripple and XRP are distinct entities.