It has been a bit of a wonder, why is XRP coupled with BTC?
While some may reason that many purchase BTC to get XRP and there is therefore a correlation, this doesn't seem to fully explain the phenomenon; I can say for certain that I have never sold a single Drop of XRP just because BTC fell. I'm sure many on this forum many can say the same. So why does the price fall when BTC falls?
I remember when my friend tried to convince me to invest in ETH when it was under 100 dollars. I got a phone call from him. It was before I got into any crypto... "So there is this thing called Etherium and it's like Bitcoin, but it is not Bitcoin." I replied, "I don't know. I'm not getting into Bitcoin... na, I think I'll stay away." "But it's not like Bitcoin," my friend went on not really being able to explain how not. But I wasn't interested in getting into Bitcoin. I had my experience with trying to mine from my computer which ended up being a waste of my time. I wasn't going to get into some "bitcoin lite," a Bitcoin that wasn't really a bitcoin, or some "fake" form of Bitcoin. Therefore, I stayed away at first until he convinced me to just downloaded this app called coinbase. "It's free anyway." Eventually, I found my way to Ripple.
The point here is that someone who is not informed of what makes XRP different and unique from the others will look at xrp as an "alt-coin." Not just because that's what they are referred to as, but because in many people's mind BTC is the king, and everything else is second or third rate. Not because it's at the top of coin market cap, but because if you have to explain xrp to someone, most probably you would start explaining it in the context of Bitcoin, so people see Bitcoin as the first, and the forever-gold-standard.
There are people online who are informed on the topic of Bitcoin, but regarding xrp they're woefully ignorant, but they have no idea of it. They assume that they can fully understand XRP in the context of Bitcoin. Therefore, they talk about XRP as if it needs the same or very similar characteristics as Bitcoin (pre-mined, owned by a company, working with institutions, blah, blah...) This is because they continue to see xrp as if they were looking at BTC.
In regard to the general crypto population, if BTC price is higher, then they start testing some of the so-called alt-coins: "Oh great Bitcoin is up! Crypto must be doing good. I heard something about some alt-coin it's called xrp. I heard Banks use it. Sounds interesting." But if BTC is going down, then people assume that the alt-coins can't be too much better. The thought is, "got to get out if the Bitcoin market. Things don't look safe in the market now. Time to sell my alt-coins.
Brad Garlinghouse was once remarking how the whole market was down because of fear of regulation. His point was that only the coins that would be hurt by regulations should be down, but instead the whole market was down. In my opinion, news of regulation should really push up the price of XRP. Instead people viewed the "Bitcoin" market as a whole. The thought process was something like, "if Bitcoin will be regulated, that wont be good for it or any other crypto."
The coupling of XRP with BTC is only in people's minds. Think about it, if XRP was the first on the scene, it would be seen as the standard. We also would not use the term "wallet" or "cryptocurrency." Maybe we'd use "keys" and "digital assets" instead. The whole idea of these digital assets being a currency is only because the maker of the first crypto was actually try to make a currency, and as you may already know, your wallets have nothing in them besides for you keys. There is no currency or assest in them. A "key ring" would be a more appropriate term for a hardware wallet.
The point is XRP is seen as a BTC lite. To decouple, XRP needs to be seen as a digital asset in its own right.