Understanding Ripple and XRP Cryptocurrency

Ripple (XRP) Cryptocurrency Review Article Cover

Ripple’s XRP is a peer-to-peer private centralized cryptocurrency based on distributed consensus ledger. The Ripple platform facilitates money transfers, focusing on extremely low operation fees and lightning-like transaction speed.

Ripple is the only corporate crypto solution in the world for global payments. Some argue that Ripple can not even be called a cryptocurrency, while others are confident that this is the most promising digital asset as of today. This platform aims to become the next big thing in the payment systems industry and is already widely used by banks worldwide.


Read our Ripple (XRP) Price Prediction


What is Ripple consensus protocol like? How was the idea of such a platform conceived? How did this digital coin come close to the market leaders, Ethereum and Bitcoin, and what is its scope of application? Let’s dive into the Ripple (XRP) cryptocurrency world with this review by Changelly!

Ripple Labs History

Jed McCaleb Ripple XRP

In 2004, Canadian programmer Ryan Fugger and Jed McCaleb founded Ripplepay, a payment system based on a trusted peer-to-peer financial network.

In 2011, in the wake of the success of Bitcoin, the creators of Ripple decide to decentralize the network without using mining. Chris Larsen joins the team.

Ryan Fugger

In January 2013, the company released its XRP token. The coin could be transferred directly from user to user without gateways. 

In April 2013, the company received investments from Google Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz, IDG Capital Partners, FF Angel, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Bitcoin Opportunity Fund and Vast Ventures for $1.5 million.

Due to the increase in the number of partners, the value of the coin and its capitalization increased, and in early 2014 it briefly bypassed Litecoin.

In June 2016, Ripple received a BitLicense from the New York State Financial Services Department.

In January 2017, Chris Larsen delegates its powers to Brad Garlinghouse.

In February 2017, the partnership was signed with the largest bank in the United Arab Emirates, the National Bank of Abu Dhabi.

As of September 2020, Ripple partners with over 300 banks and other financial institutions on six continents and has 350+ employees working in 9 offices all over the world.

How Ripple Protocol Works

The Ripple network is powered by the Ripple Protocol Consensus Algorithm. It doesn’t work like the popular Proof of Work or Proof of Stake protocols. Instead, it provides a consensus validation for the ecosystem’s accounts and transactions by a number of independent nodes. For an operation to be validated, all nodes have to agree on it, and that’s the only way the operation will be executed. This protocol allows the system to prevent double-spending, primarily by taking a poll to determine the majority vote. 

Ripple won’t allow you to spend the same amount of money twice or multiple times, because the system determines which transaction was the first to be requested, and deletes all the following ones. This consensus protocol takes mere seconds to complete the validation process, so the transaction time is minimal: it takes around four seconds on average to complete an operation.

Ripple protocol works through gateways. Gateway is an intermediary used as a link in the trust chain between two parties that want to complete a transaction. Usually, banks are those getaways. Ripple architecture is similar to that of SWIFT, a global fast payment system. 

The Ripple platform offers three primary software products: xCurrent, xRapid, and xVia. 

  • xCurrent is the software aimed to provide interoperation between different ledgers and payments networks using Interledger Protocol. Basically, it allows banks to communicate with each other and easily confirm payment details. 
  • xRapid is the source of liquidity for the network: it enables XRP to be a bridge currency and facilitates fast exchange with a stable rate. 
  • xVia is a payment interface that is simply used to send payments between users.

The Ripple payment system processes over 1700 transactions per second. It is roughly the same amount of TPS handled by Visa, the money transfer industry leader in terms of speed and coverage. Ripple works at a faster speed than most popular traditional money transfer services thanks to its protocol consensus algorithm. 

XRP transaction speed

To sum it up, here are the crucial features of Ripple private blockchain:

  • High speed (always less than 10 seconds per transaction, 4 seconds on average);
  • Low fees (0.00001 XRP per transaction);
  • High level of trust in nodes;
  • Scalability (Ripple can process 1700 transactions per second);

As previously mentioned, the Ripple network has the ability to cancel or adjust transactions in case of false data entry. Classic networks are not capable of that. The Ripple ledger not only guarantees users fast and cheap operations but also allows them to use a customer database, marketing software, and even seller logistics. In other words, one can build the entirety of a company’s operations and processes on the Ripple network. 

Ripple Use Cases

First of all, Ripple is a money transfer and payment ecosystem. It has a broad scope of application. Ripple is used as:

  • A means of low fee currency exchange. Ripple significantly reduces transaction costs because of the low commission it charges.
  • A way to transfer funds cross-border at high speed. Money transfers through Ripple are nearly instant and take four seconds on average, which is much faster than those of other payment systems.
  • It can also be used for P2P purchases, online voting, escrow, and so on. 

Ripple’s XRP Cryptocurrency Explained

XRP is the Ripple platform’s native cryptocurrency. Its main function is to serve as a bridge currency for cross-border transfers when there is a need to trade one currency for another. Ripple quickly attracted the attention of large banks as investors. Today, more than 300 financial companies around the world use this coin. The main advantages of XRP are the speed and cost of transactions. 

To put it simply, Ripple works as a medium currency. Say, you want to trade some JPY for USD. If you do it through the Ripple protocol, the network turns your JPY into XRP and then XRP into USD. Intuitively this arrangement seems more complicated than a simple JPY to USD exchange, but, in fact, it is much faster and much cheaper. It takes only five to ten seconds to complete this particular transaction, compared to three to five days in case of a traditional procedure. As for the fee, the Ripple users enjoy an almost non-existent commission of 0.00001 XRP per transaction.

ripple network

The term “mining” is not applicable to Ripple: it can not be mined. Initially, 100 billion XRP coins were issued at once, each of them divided into a million fractional parts called “drops”. 65% of XRP coins stayed in the company and are owned by the Ripple Labs team members. Only 35% have been released to the free market.

Ripple price mainly depends on releasing important news, for instance, concluding a partnership agreement with a large bank, a speech at a renowned conference, or completing certain tasks set in the roadmap.

XRP Live Price

XRP vs. Bitcoin

XRPBitcoin
Transaction timeAround 1700 TPSAround 7 TPS
MiningNon-applicable, a fixed amount of coins has been issuedApplicable, Proof of Work protocol
Transaction feesVery low – 0.00001 XRP per transactionAround $3 per transaction
Real-world applicationMoney transfers and payment system mediumFull-scale virtual currency
Type of networkCentralized, peer-to-peerDecentralized, peer-to peer
Total supply100 billion (possible to issue more)21 million (finite supply)

Where to Store and Trade XRP

You can use quite a wide range of wallets to store XRP. There are desktop, web, mobile, and hardware wallets for Ripple. Let’s see which ones are the hottest in 2020. 

Desktop XRP Wallets

  • Rippex (Windows, Linux, MacOS)
  • Toast Wallet (Windows, Linux, MacOS)

Mobile Ripple Wallets:

  • Abra Wallet
  • Toast Wallet
  • Crypterium

Web XRP Wallets:

  • Exarpy
  • CoinPayments
  • Cryptonator
  • GateHub

You can also use hardware wallet Ledger Nano X (approx. $80-90) to safely store your funds, or an older Ledger Nano S model. Then, there is always a paper wallet option (Bithomp, for instance). 

For more details, read the Full Best XRP Wallets Guide.

It’s easy to trade the XRP coin because most popular exchanges accept this cryptocurrency and trade it in various pairs.

ExchangeUSDEURBTCETHLTCUSDT
Kraken
Coinfield
CoinBase
Bittrex
Bitrue
HitBTC

Buy XRP at Changelly

Changelly platform offers you a way to buy or exchange XRP with your banking card swiftly, safely, and with minimal authentication procedure.

The purchase option is open both via our website and the Exchange Widget that can be found at our partners’ resources.

Summary

Given the low cost of Ripple’s cryptocurrency, its capitalization is supported by institutional investors and large bank capital. The lack of government supervision makes virtual money independent of economic and political events in the world. This factor also contributes to the popularization of the entire cryptocurrency market, on the general growth of which XRP cryptocurrency grows.

Disclaimer: This article about Ripple’s XRP cryptocurrency should not be considered as offering trading recommendations. The cryptocurrency market suffers from high volatility and occasional arbitrary movements.

Any investor should research multiple viewpoints and be familiar with all local regulations before committing to an investment.

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