The popularity of cryptocurrencies has driven up the value of many cryptocurrencies over the past year. Since January 1, 2017, Bitcoin (BTC) has skyrocketed 858%, hitting an all-time high on December 17, just short of US$20,000. Litecoin (LTC), another cryptocurrency that performed well, surged 4079%, while Ethereum (ETH) went up 8716%.
Market leaders, like Expedia, CheapAir.com, SurfAir, and Starbucks have already rolled out cryptocurrency payment methods, seeing tremendous opportunities moving forward.
In November 2017, Ripple, whose value went by more than 12,000% and is backed by a number of international banks and financial institutions, teamed up American Express (NYSE: AXP) and Santander (NYSE: SC) on a blockchain pilot to speed up cross-border payments between the US and UK.