Official Website: https://www.ripple.com/
Ripplenet is an open-source protocol designed by Ripple for fast and cheap transaction, through a digital asset that is being used in commercial payments by a financial institution. XRP being that token that is used to constitute the transfer of value across the Ripple network.
What makes XRP/Ripple different to Bitcoin and other popular Cryptocurrencies is it was set up in the hope to achieve a solution that provides a frictionless way to send money globally, for banking, money service businesses and other payment providers. They do this through their 2 main services xCurrent and xRapid.
XRP is the name of the actual cryptocurrency itself. It is, however, used and developed by Ripple and this is where some confusion may lie, as some think they are one and the same thing. XRP is essentially the bridge between the two currencies that are being transferred, whether that be other cryptocurrencies or fiat exchanges, acting as a mediator. In addition to this, you can trade and store XRP just like any other Cryptocurrency.
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XRP (XRP) was launched in 2012 by San Francisco-based fintech company Ripple. Its founders include angel investor and privacy activist Chris Larsen, along with programmer and entrepreneur Jed McCaleb who is well known for founding several cryptocurrency companies including Ripple Labs, Stellar, eDonkey, Overnet and cryptocurrency exchange Mt. Gox, which at its primes was handling over 70% of all Bitcoin (BTC) transactions.
Currently, Ripple is led by a larger team, some of whom include CEO Brad Garlinghouse, who has had previous experience as a CEO at collaboration service Hightail, as well as being President of Consumer Applications at AOL. Another notable member of Ripple is Chief Technology Officer David Schwartz, who previously has developed encrypted cloud storage and messaging systems for the National Security Agency (NSA) and CNN. This team and their 350+ employees are always developing Ripple, Ripplenet, XRP (XRP), xCurrent and xRapid to help push for a more frictionless global payment system, in the aim to reduce cost, increase speed, provide more access and give certainty.
Ripple Labs does not have a traditional roadmap for XRP compared to other cryptocurrencies. Instead, there are 4 key focuses which they believe will help them to create a new global payments infrastructure. XRP is increasingly being used for cross-border payments providing customers with real-time, low cost and fully trackable payments on a global scale. This is the primary use case for XRP and through Ripple Net, innovates on existing global payment networks.
The four main focuses of RippleNet are:
1. Access – Banks, payment suppliers and others operating with new partners in foreign markets, produce bespoke connections that are frequently cumbersome and more expensive than need be. RippleNet have a rulebook; a legal framework which outlines the obligations, rights and rules of network participants. This is enhanced by the single and decentralized infrastructure across the entire network, making it simple for RippleNet customers to instantaneously transact with new partners using XRP.
2. Speedy Payments – Thanks to RippleNet’s pathfinding and instant settlement, ensured payments are routed from the originator to the beneficiary, and once the route has been appointed, payments are settled instantly.
3. Payment Certainty – All the transacting parties are aware of all associated costs, and therefore the amount the beneficiary will receive. This is because RippleNet’s messenger API allows financial institutions to exchange KYC requirements, payment details, fees, FX rates, and therefore the expected delivery time of the funds. This provides genuine and upfront visibility to the actual cost of the transaction.
4. Lower Cost – To enable this, the originating currency is converted to XRP on a domestic digital asset exchange, sent across the XRP Ledger, and then converted back to fiat at an exchange in the destination country, all in an instant. The average transaction cost is 0.00001 XRP, or approximately £0.0000025.
XRP cannot be mined in the better-known ways like other Cryptocurrencies. Instead of having a consensus algorithm like Proof-of-Work (PoW) or Proof-of-Stake (PoS), which is completely decentralised and requires miners to output higher hash rates, to increase the opportunity of receiving a reward for the next block.
Instead, at the outset, 100 Billion XRP coins launched the currency. Ripple labs still holds about 60% of the entire supply of XRP as of January 2019. Ripple Labs sell XRP to strategic partners such as banks, payment processors and cryptocurrency exchanges growing the Ripple Network. Releasing up to 1 billion XRP a month ‘to grow the team, business and ecosystem’. This results in increasing numbers of payment institutions on boarded and accepting XRP in turn increases liquidity and global demand.
xCurrent is Ripple’s enterprise software solution that enables banks to instantly settle cross-border payments with end-to-end tracking. Using xCurrent, banks message each other in real-time to confirm payment details prior to initiating the transaction and to confirm delivery once it settles.
xRapid is also used by banks to transfer money and value from one country to another. Except it uses XRP to settle between any 2 forms of currency, including other cryptocurrencies. This allows banks to quickly and cheaply settle globally, saving banks from 40% up to 70% over the existing SWIFT payment network.
Over 100 companies and banks have signed up to use the xCurrent system to help them transfer money more quickly and efficiently. However, xCurrent doesn’t use XRP tokens, but instead uses ILP and bi-directional messaging to settle the 2 banks ledgers. XRP tokens are used in the xRapid system and have some major transfer services and banks such as WesternUnion and Mercury FX signed up to using the system.
Ripple does not officially endorse, recommend, or make any representations with regards to digital wallets on their website. However, like other cryptocurrencies, there are many wallets compatible with storing and holding XRP. Leading hardware wallet providers such as Ledger and Trezor are integrated with XRP and an XRP wallet come as standard on all their devices.
Dedicated Wallet providers such as Toast Wallet and exodus are also great for storing, sending and receiving any XRP you may already have or are looking to purchase. It is always recommended that you ensure using a secure wallet, create back-ups and store any sensitive recovery information. As well as, complete your own research and due diligence.
You can currently buy XRP under the ‘Buy Coins’ page, as well as selling XRP under the ‘Sell Coins’ page on our website. Here you will also be able to find our email to contact us for any exchanges or trades you would like to make using XRP.
Overall XRP has received significant backing from existing financial institutions. It is being widely adopted by many banks and payment processors improving the RippleNet, which aims to be a solution to a lot of current cross-border banking issues using blockchain and decentralized infrastructure, reducing time and cost. XRP has consistently remained a top 5 cryptocurrency by market capitalisation, this is because of the significant real-world applications that they offer through their RippleNet, xCurrent and xRapid systems. Ripple Labs are also sure not to flood the market with XRP, which would undoubtedly cause the price to plummet.
Ripple also has a few projects like Ripple for Good and RippleWorks, which are contributing to bringing organizations and initiatives with the potential of advancing socially responsible uses of blockchain and cryptocurrency. Hoping to promote innovation and education within different communities around the world, including that of public schools and universities.
Ripple Website: https://www.ripple.com/
XRP Block Explorer: https://bithomp.com/explorer/
Ripple GitHub: https://github.com/ripple
Ripple Whitepaper: https://ripple.com/files/ripple_consensus_whitepaper.pdf
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is intended for informational purposes only. It is the readers' responsibility to complete their own research and due diligence.