What is Ripple?


  • Ripple is the third most-popular cryptocurrency network that targets big companies and corporations.
  • Ripple’s main agenda is to make international transactions easier, more reliable, and cost-effective for their users.
  • Being a successful business that has over 350 employees, 9 offices across the globe and more than 300 clients, Ripple wants to replace old way of international transfers (e.g. SWIFT).
  • Ripple often refers to more than just one meaning – it is cryptocurrency (XRP), a technology business (Ripple) and a payment network (RippleNet).
  • Compared to other cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum, Ripple has the fastest transaction technology – a record of 1,500 transactions per second.

Cryptocurrency markets are getting more recognition and investments daily. Anonymity, privacy, easy accessibility and blockchain technology are only a few advantages that attract people into buying cryptocurrencies.

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Every cryptocurrency is more oriented towards either individuals or big organisations/corporations, depending on their interests. For example, Bitcoin and Ethereum are more individual-friendly, even though they do offer some deals for businesses. When it comes to Ripple, the Company is trying to target big investors (corporations) that need to send larger sums of money internationally.

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Back in 2012, Ripple started its journey in San Francisco as a company that wanted to change the way payments are made, especially when it comes to international transactions. Their vision was to make the international money transfers easier and more reliable, but mostly cheap for their customers.

Ripple introduced the Internet of Value, a concept they believe that will change the money movement – Ripple team intends to accelerate money transactions so they could be as fast as a piece of information. They also formed SBI Ripple Asia, so that countries like Japan and Korea could start using more blockchain technology for their commercial use.

Ripple’s CEO Brad Garlinghouse stated that the blockchain technology needs a revolution and that the change would only happen if they transform it from the inside.

Ripple is a successful US-based company that has more than 350 employees, 9 offices across the globe and more than 300 customers. Some of their high-profile customers are American Express, MoneyGram, BeeTech, SBI Remit and others.

Ripple takes proud in their advanced technology, as they promise a transaction that will only take a few seconds to finalise itself, at anyplace in the world. Their platform is designed to deliver money in any of fiat or cryptocurrencies to any currency that the buyer wants to receive. Older international transfers like SWIFT are too slow for what Ripple wants to achieve.

It is important to stress that Ripple associates to more than one meaning:

  1. It refers to XRP, Ripple’s cryptocurrency. It behaves as a connection between any currencies being transferred, and occasionally acts as funds that are being sent to corporations (as known as sources of liquidity), usually in the form of cash or credit.
  2. As previously mentioned, Ripple can be referred to a US-based technology business that takes care of the Ripple network and expense protocols.
  3. Lastly, Ripple can also be associated with RippleNet, a system that connects corporations, banks, and payment sources around the world. When receiving money, RippleNet accepts all fiat and cryptocurrencies.

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Even though Ripple is a cryptocurrency, it is not based on the blockchain technology.

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Their technology claims to be the fastest out of all cryptocurrency networks – Ripple can claim 1,500 transactions per second. While Bitcoin and Ethereum can do only 3 to 6 and 15 transactions per second (tps), respectively.

The important factor that differs Ripple from other cryptocurrencies is that it does not need the mining process. All the Ripple’s crypto XRP have been mined before the network launch so no XRP cryptos need to be created anymore. The only issue that needs to be addressed is to introduce or remove some XRPs from the cryptocurrency market. By having this kind of a system, Ripple reduces the usage of a computer energy and decreases all transaction delays. Most importantly, it is eco-friendly.

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As previously mentioned, Ripple wants its currency transactions to be finalised within seconds. They want to provide a better and more satisfying customer experience with their speed, rather than using an outdated technology that finalises financial transactions within 3 to 5 days. Also, Ripple never wanted any rivalry with banks, instead they are cooperating with them and trying to suggest the usage of the blockchain technology.

XRP is distributed within a decentralised network that covers over 150 countries worldwide. Moreover, XRP demonstrated a seven-year stability and proved that it could be used efficiently within enterprises.

All XRPs were made before the launch of Ripple, standing at 100 billion to be exact. The XRP amount is finite, as it has a limited capacity. As of December 2018, around 41 billion XRPs have been in circulation. Meticulously, 1 billion XRPs are being let in the system, and those that do not get used are being held for another month.

Nonetheless, Ripple has shown a great competition in the cryptocurrency market, as the third most-popular cryptocurrency in the world. Those companies that do a lot of international business might be interested in Ripple’s innovative ideas. In the beginning of 2020, there was US$9.1 billion in the Ripple market, with a US$0.21 token value.

It is important to mention that XRP can deflate. That happens because for every transaction, XRP users need to pay a symbolic amount of money (0.00001 XRP ~ a fraction of the US cent) in order to prevent criminals from hacking the network (though, certain transactions will cost more).

It is estimated that about 6 million XRPs have been destroyed since 2012 due to that method.

However, it is expected the number of XRPs will rise due to Ripple’s escrow account (XRPs go to the escrow account if some of monthly 1 billion XRPs do not get used).

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Bitcoin is based on a blockchain ledger and it is mostly known for its cryptocurrency (BTC). Hard-working miners are checking and keeping all transaction secure for hacker attacks, and when needed, they create more bitcoins. Miners are willing to do that work because they get “paid” in bitcoins after every transaction is finalised.

For that reason, the whole Bitcoin network is highly energy- consuming. Bitcoin is more popular among individuals and organisations – all they need to have is a bitcoin wallet that unlocks with the private key, which once lost can never be retrieved.

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On the other hand, XRP is more famous for its revolutionary speed and reliable international transactions. Ripple does not have miners that overlook the transactions, but rather use consensus mechanisms for transaction-checking. There is no main authority for this process, which secures an almost instant finalisation. Unlike Bitcoin, XRP is very eco-friendly because it does not require nearly the same amount of computer technology to operate. Also, Ripple is more popular among banks, rather than individuals.