Crypotcurrency Ripple in the last few weeks has spiked considerably, making it the second most valuable digital currency after Bitcoin.
The currency which was trading at just 25 cents in early December is now worth approximately USD 2.60 with a market cap of more than USD 100 billion.
According to CNN, Ripple differentiates itself from other digital currency platforms by its connections to legitimate banks. Unlike Bitcoin, Ripple isn't created, or "mined" by its users. The control lies with the company.
However, like Bitcoin, Ripple's payment network, RippleNet, also uses blockchain technology.
The companies that use the Ripple platform include Santander, Bank of America, and UBS.
Moreover, financial services companies in Japan and South Korea have also adopted Ripple's technology, thereby helping boost the price of the cryptocurrency.
On a related note, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, amid reports of the rising presence of bitcoins and other forms of virtual currencies (VCs) in India, on Tuesday had reiterated that the former are not accepted as a lawful and legal tender in India.
"Since December 24, 2013, the government and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) have maintained the same stand on bitcoins and other forms of virtual currencies. Through multiple notifications, the two parties have notified the public time and again that bitcoins will not be considered lawful or legal tender in India," Jaitley had said while responding to a question raised in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.
Moreover, the Ministry of Finance had linked digital currencies to 'Ponzi schemes', and argued that virtual currencies have no intrinsic value and are not backed by any kind of assets.
The price of Bitcoin and other VCs, therefore, is entirely based on speculation, which results in spurt and volatility in their prices.