Ripple is the third largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, after Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH). Its current market cap is over 9 Trillion. In this page, we’ll give you a complete overview of the Ripple blockchain, its pros and cons, security features and much more. Let’s dive into it.
What is Ripple?
The first thing to know is that Ripple is both a platform (Ripple Net) and a currency (XRP). The Ripple platform is an open source protocol which is designed to allow fast and cheap transactions. Unlike Bitcoin that was never intended to be a simple payment machine, Ripple was designed for making international transactions worldwide. The platform has its own currency (XRP) but also allows others to use the platform to create their own digital currency via RippleNet.
The Genesis of Ripple
Have you ever wondered, how did this functional and effective cryptocurrency come into existence?
We had the same question and we did our research to unearth the answer. Ripple was released in 2012 by Ripple Labs Inc. with just one thing in mind — to provide one frictionless experience to send money globally using the power of blockchain. To be more precise, Ripple is a platform for a global system of payments, settlements, and exchange. XRP is the cryptocurrency that is exchanged on this platform to facilitate transactions. Ripple is different from both Bitcoin and Ethereum. While Bitcoin is P2P electronic cash, a digital currency, Ethereum is a platform for developing smart contracts. Ripple, however, is a new payment infrastructure targeted towards international financial transactions.
How is Ripple different from Bitcoin and Ethereum?
XRP creation and circulation is a point of differentiation for Ripple. New coins are created by way of mining in most cryptocurrencies. Well, that’s not the case with Ripple. All the 100 billion XRP have already been created, right when Ripple started. What’s even more surprising is that Ripple labs hold about 55 billion XRPs itself. This is something unheard of in the cryptocurrency universe where the focus is normally on decentralization. However, in 2019 XRP labs has been donating/ selling its share of XRP tokens to increase adoption and drive growth in the long term.
Ripple's (XRP) Key Strengths
The cost of a standard transaction on the Ripple protocol is about 0.00001 XRP. The cost of 1 XRP is currently around $0.22. That means the transaction fee is so low that it’s practically free! In this unique mechanism, the XRP that is used for paying fees is destroyed. This means that the number of XRPs are reducing day by day. This also implies that the value of the XRPs that remain will continue to increase.
Ripple transactions are not only faster as compared to traditional payment methods but also as compared to other cryptocurrencies.
At the time when most of the cryptocurrencies are struggling to find acceptance in the mainstream economy, Ripple seems to have found success there. As described earlier, Ripple is already being piloted by many large financial institutions and payment apps. This is one of the key reasons that Ripple is a favorite among investors.
Below you will find our most recent news coverage about Ripple (XRP).
Checkout our most recent news on Ripple (XRP). Ripple is number three in the cryptocurrency market in terms of market cap. Through its decentralized protocol, Ripple allows peer-to-peer payments in a variety of currencies.
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Where Does Ripple (XRP) Struggle?
Centralization is an aspect which has been time and again criticized in the case of Ripple coin. Ripple Labs is the entity that approves the validators for the network, and this leads to the centralization debate. Critics say that it is not in the spirit of the basic philosophy of cryptocurrencies, which has decentralization at its core.
Focused on large corporations
We saw that many large corporations are already using Ripple to reduce their costs and provide a better service. That said, Ripple doesn’t currently have much to offer to an end consumers. Most of the offerings of Ripple have been designed with banks and payment providers in mind. You won’t personally see much change in sending or receiving payments anytime soon.
International payments transfer is an attractive industry for cryptocurrencies. So, Ripple is facing competition from coins like Stellar (XLM), which are targeting the same space.
Ripple is a cryptocurrency focused on solving the problems related to outward remittance and its currently being used by many large banks and financial institutions. Ripple Labs have also started taking actions to ‘decentralize’ Ripple. Does Ripple have a decentralized future? I am not sure about that. However, Ripple is going to increase in value and drive growth in the emerging sharing economy and holding a piece of the future never hurts. If you don’t HODL Ripple, maybe is the time. I am not a financial advisor so, before you take my advice, do your own research to see if it’s a good fit for your investment portfolio.
What is Ripple’s Purpose?
Technology has progressed so much that things like self-driving cars have become a reality. But one sector which has failed to progress much is international payment transfers. Ripple’s purpose is to ease the pain of international fund transfer.
International payment transfers suffer from two major problems:
1. They’re expensive
If you have experienced making a cross-border payment, you’ll know of the costly fees that come with them. High-street banks are typically the worst for this but even services such as PayPal come in high — it costs about 2.9% to make an international payment with PayPal. On top of these charges, customers lose money when currency conversion takes place too.
2. They’re slow
In the age of the internet where everything is instant, international transactions can take anywhere from days to weeks. There is no specific reason for this other than the fact that financial institutions do not wish to upgrade their technology, which is unacceptable. In this process, financial institutions are making a lot of money and the customers are suffering. Ripple aims to change that and make international transfers instant and cheap.
Ripple is to banks what the internet is to the world, and they call this concept “Internet of Value”.
Ripple’s vision is a more interconnected world, with faster, cheaper and more transparent global payments. Since Ripple began in 2012, it has been working toward solving this problem and has been able to generate a lot of interest from investors.
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Ripple is one of the oldest cryptocurrencies, but it was not always as popular as it is now. In April 2017, the crypto community took a keen interest in Ripple and it gave returns of 55203 percent from January 2017 to 2018. Like all other cryptocurrencies, Ripple saw a huge price crash, post the historic bull run, in Q1 2018. There was a slight revival in its price, during October 2019, but it is not significant enough, compared to the bull run.
Ripple continues to enjoy the third spot among the top ten cryptocurrencies by market capitalization. Ripple’s dev and business teams have never let it rest. From strategic partnerships to increasing circulation, global presence and improving the payment infrastructure, Ripple has done it all.
Ripple's Adoption and Real-life Use Cases
Unlike Bitcoin which aims to remove banks as intermediaries, Ripple’s strategic partnerships are with banks. Ripple is being used by banks to make international payments faster, cheaper and more transparent. Currently, banks use Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) to facilitate cross-border payments in a secured manner.
SWIFT is basically a messaging network that securely transmits payment orders from one bank to another. 10,000 SWIFT member institutions send approximately 24 million messages on the network every day. Point to note here is that SWIFT itself does not hold any money or accounts for the banks. It is just a communication channel, but a very important one as a large amount of international trade relies on it.
The problem with SWIFT is that it has not changed much since its inception in 1974. So, Ripple is trying to bring about the change that SWIFT has failed to do. You can think of Ripple as a direct competitor to SWIFT. Ripple network is being used and tested by financial institutions and banks to send and settle international payments in a more efficient manner. It is already backed by over 100 financial institutions from all over the world which includes names like American Express, Santander, Standard Chartered and others.
Does Ripple’s Centralization cause issues?The initial idea of cryptocurrencies was to eliminate centralized agencies like banks and create a truly decentralized system. Well, Ripple Labs Inc, the company behind Ripple XRP itself held more than half of the total 100 billion XRP for a long time. This led to some of the same old problems that centralization carries. One entity, Ripple Labs, in this case, becomes too powerful.
Exactly How Secure is Ripple (XRP)?
XRP offers several advantages like:
✓ Low transaction fees
✓ The fast transaction speed of about 4-5 seconds
With this information in mind, let’s see how a Ripple transaction works. Suppose Anne in the U.S. wants to transfer funds to Vivek in India. Assuming that both their banks are on the Ripple network, the transaction would go through the following steps.
Step 1: Anne initiates the transfer of $5000
Step 2: Ripple’s messenger will verify the basic account information of Anne and Vivek through the originating bank and beneficiary bank.
Step 3: Next, nodes on the Ripple network verify that there are enough funds available for sending the payment. After successful verification, Ripple settles the payment.
A point to note here is that in most other cryptocurrencies, this step is performed by a decentralized network of nodes. These nodes are called miners because along with verifying the transaction, they also mine the new coins of that cryptocurrency. However, all the coins have already been released in the case of Ripple coin, eliminating the need for mining. So, nodes that verify Ripple transactions are known as validators. These validators are approved and appointed by Ripple Labs. Whereas, anyone can become a node in the case of other cryptocurrencies.
Step 4: Upon successful verification, payment confirmation is sent to both Anne and Vivek.
This whole process, which could take days through a regular channel, gets completed in only a few seconds.
Does this make it secure?
Yes and No. While most cryptocurrencies have Blockchain Technology as the underlying technology, Ripple is based on its own form of DLT. It is an open-source protocol, hosting a shared and public ledger, using a consensus mechanism to ensure security. It’s easy to see the similarities.The security is provided by the validators that constantly compare their transaction records before coming to a consensus. This way they can make sure that the same money is not being spent at two or more places (also known as double spending).
While Ripple is secure based on the facts gathered from this article, its technology is still in its early stages and would need continuous testing and upgrades to fulfill its objective, especially from the security perspective.
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