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For a long time now, XRP fans have been struggling with the fact that XRP is not the top of the list. Despite being clearly better in every measurable metric for a crypto-currency, XRP is ranked either second or third on the list in terms of market capitalization. We've dealt with this underdog status with a combination of humor and frustration. And for more than a short time, Ripple had to precisely execute their business plan like a model Silicon valley start-up, not one of those fly-by-night ICOs that we hear so much about now-a-days. One of my favorite quotes from Miguel Vias is that Ripple "doesn't have any gold toilets." He was talking about these same ICOs that are pulling in so much money from inept investors. (source: __https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aiNDDWZs0b4__) No, Ripple was different, and much more self-disciplined - almost Spartan? They operated lean, carefully choosing where and when to place their resources and their efforts, not afraid to change course when it meant getting results in a specific area. This is the mark of a well-led company, that can navigate through completely uncharted waters in a landscape filled with danger. They were short on cash... always? I'm just guessing, but 2013 and 2014 must not have been easy for Chris Larsen and company. They endured, however... they persisted... and now here we are! 2017: The Underdog Takes the Stage Ripple has continued to impress the market and even their staunchest critics over at bitcoinland with their continued critical wins in every category that matters. The Inter-ledger protocol (ILP), The Ripple Consensus Ledger (RCL), and the digital asset / cryptocurrency (XRP) have proven to be a very formidable combination that no other grouping of technology can beat. (source: https://ripple.com/xrp/) Ripple has made it possible for businesses, financial institutions, banks, central banks, and governmental authorities to participate in the distributed ledger technology revolution, and most importantly, has made it easy for them to do so. The Wonderful Flip Side of Supply Much has been made of the XRP lockup. (source: http://www.coindesk.com/ripple-pledges-lock-14-billion-xrp-cryptocurrency/ ) It will shut off the supply of XRP to minimum levels for years to come, giving the markets a mathematical certainty abut supply. Not only that, but it will use and demonstrate the Escrow functionality within the RCL; escrow is a huge selling point for financial institutions. The XRPChat community debates about the supply of xrp, but we seldom give though to the flip side: just how much cash has Ripple received in 2017 for its off-the-books sale of xrp to financial institutions and market makers? Some of us believe they've sold at a discount. Others of us believe that it must have been sold at a premium. Regardless, the inevitable conclusion is that Ripple (the company) now has enough cash to go in almost any direction they want. This is an epic sea-change. No longer do they have to play underdog to crypto-currencies whose only goal is to make a few founding members wealthy. It's become readily apparent to the larger financial community that Ripple is about payments, and about transforming global payments into a system of three-second transfers, even between fiat currencies and crypto-currencies. It is flexible, fast, and transformative in nature, and it's being adopted worldwide at an alarming pace. Ripple and its technology stack is now an unstoppable force; what will the new headlines say today?