Ripple which is both a platform and a cryptocurrency is an open source protocol which is designed to allow a cheap and fast transactions.
Bitcoin which was never intended to be a simple payment process, but Ripple is definitely going to rule all the international transactions across the world. Pretty ambitious, but the question is how? Maybe the currency exchanges will disappear in the next coming few years like the Blockbuster stores.
The Ripple platform has its own currency (XRP) but it also allows its users to use the platform to create their own currency through RippleNet.
Ripple Labs Inc., created the Ripple which is a network that aims to provide a secure financial transaction and instantaneous one which is of any magnitude and also at a negligible cost.
As long as the users are willing to exchange a type of currency or the trading pair, then with Ripple there is a way to send and receive the pair.
Not like the other cryptocurrencies, where Ripple, is not a so-called altcoin it does not use the mathematical proof-of-work system. It instead depends on a protocol of consensus, which requires its users to give their trust to the nodes which are responsible for maintaining its integrity of the network, other than to the miners.
At present the traditional financial transactions are slow and also expensive, also there is no clear global network or arrangements for such transactions.
But Ripple seeks to make the process incredibly efficient by using the blockchain technology and also by the use of its token, XRP.
What is Ripple exactly? It is actually constructed on an open source distributed internet protocol and it supports tokens which actually represents anything from the currencies and its commodities to the air miles. Ripple tries to increase the efficiency of the transactions between the financial institutions.
XRP the token of Ripple acts as a digital asset that which exists on the XRP ledger and it is one of the open-source product which is created by Ripple. XRP is known as the pivotal component of the Internet of Value, as it solves a key point of friction and to facilitate the cross border payments.
The XRP token is used for representing the transfer of value across Ripple Network. The main aim of XRP is to act as a mediator for both the cryptocurrencies and the fiat – exchanges.
The best way to describe it XRP is nothing but a ‘Joker’. But not as the creepy Batman enemy, but as the card which can be used for any other card.
If the user wants to exchange dollars to euro, it can be done through dollar with dollars and euro with euros to minimize the commission fee. Because the transaction cost on Ripple is $0.00001.
To give a better illustration on what it is, it is just a simple journey back in time to its predecessor called Ripplepay. The Ripplepay services were enabled to the interconnected businesses so as to control and conduct the payments between each other.
Is Ripple the next Bitcoin?
According to the predictions and forecasts of 2019, Ripple is expected to rise with 20 USD in the next 24 months and also has a longer run which possibly can overtake the largest cryptocurrency that is bitcoin which actually makes the strong evidence that Ripple is the next bitcoin.
Things are actually seen moving fast for the ripple currently, which is a very exciting one for the crypto bulls especially the Ripple bulls.
The charts and graphs in the crypto land make a clear view that the ripple is the next new Bitcoin, because ripple shows a record to move as high as the latest large coin. Ripple is the first coin to rise in short time where many other large coins are still struggling to break down their territory.
Ripple is actually registered to breakout twice in a very short period of time. The relative strength needs for the leaders needs to be exceptional and at present Ripple is showing such kind of strong leadership.
Earlier Bitcoin was considered as the future of cryptocurrencies, and it has become a more mature investing vehicle where its capital can seek a 100 fold returns and it is the basic characteristic of the crypto market.
But the dynamics have changed over time, by assuming the overall growth assumptions of Ripple with its price forecast, where it is believed that the capital seeking 100 fold returns and the capital which is seeking a low risk high rewards opportunities will gradually flow to the Ripples XRP token.
Bitcoin which has seen a massive inflow of capital in 2016 and 2017, but in the coming future the dynamics change. A small number of the crypto projects which deliver a real value will be the winners and eventually these winners will take the dominant trend in the next future.
At the basic level, the mechanism used by both the Ripple and Bitcoin for keeping the track of balances was mostly common which means they both have the same concept of addresses and public/private keys.
Also adding to it, any modification to the database is conducted through the digitally signed transactions. And, this is where the similarities end.
Ripple is an internet transaction protocol that which permits the individuals to conduct transactions in any type of currency, while on the other hand Bitcoin is just a cryptocurrency.
Example, A Person X can use Ripple to pay in Euros, and the Person Y can directly receive US Dollars by using Ripple.
Bitcoin has marked itself as secured through a process called mining, which involves many special hardware solving mathematical equations, while Ripple uses some other method,where its transactions are broad casted throughout the network and are specially checked by selected nodes or servers to reach the consensus.
Though Ripple is not a direct competitor to Bitcoin, but can replace Bitcoin in near future.
What is RippleNet?
RippleNet is nothing but a network of institutional payment-providers like the banks and money services or businesses that which uses the solutions developed by the Ripple to provide a friction less experience so as to send money globally.
To illustrate with an example: Firstly, Mr. A who lives in New York and has a chocolate box which he doesn’t need. And he is very much interested to watch a baseball game, for which he doesn’t have a ticket. Secondly, Ms. B who lives in Los Angeles and owns a rare stamp which she would like to give away for the chocolate box.
Lastly, we have Mr. C lives in Alaska and is looking very much for the rare stamp, and he has a ticket for a baseball game in New York.
In the present system, these people may probably never find each other and will remain with their ‘not valuable’ valuables.
But with the Ripple world they can be able to say: “Hey, I have chocolate, I want baseball” and the system will look into for the shortest and cheapest combination to make it possible.
Also, the Ripple platform allows making the payments in many currencies including the Bitcoin and it also provides a minimal internal transaction commission of $0.00001, yes that’s the true amount of zeros. The only reason why it is not free is to prevent the DDos attacks.
History of Ripple
The protocol of this working prototype was actually created away long back in 2004.But its real history starts in 2013, when the creator Jed McCaleb, who is the owner of EDonkey network, invited a bunch of the world rank investors to invest in Ripple Labs.
Chris Larsen who is an angel investor, a business executive and a privacy activist is considered to be the richest person in the cryptocurrency world. He is best known for co-founding several startups in the field of online financial services and also starting with an online mortgage lender E-loan back in the year 1996.
Jed McCaleb who is a well-known programmer and an entrepreneur has founded several crypto startups like the Ripple, Stellar, eDonkey, Overnet along with the cryptocurrency exchange named Mt. Gox , which at its prime was handling over a major percentage of all the Bitcoin transactions worldwide.
What if it doesn’t have a Blockchain, then how does it verify its transactions and make sure if everything is ok? Therefore for such a purpose Ripple has its own patented technology known as, (RPCA) which means Ripple Protocol Consensus Algorithm.
The word ‘consensus’ means, that if every node is in agreement with the rest of the nodes, and there is no issue. For example, imagine an ancient arena with a hundred wise old men and a city needs an agreement from all of them to make a decision.
So that everybody needs to agree so as to start a war, end a war, raise taxes or proclaim Olympic games and also few other sorts of interesting stuff. But if one of them doesn’t agree then nothing can take place until the problem is figured out.
What is Ripple used for?
Mainly used for the low commission currency exchange. Currently, there are many currencies which cannot be directly converted to each other.
So, the banks need to use a mediator called the US dollar and there is a problem of double commission, while converting the currency A to USD and USD to currency B. Ripple also acts as a mediator similar to USD, but much cheaper than USD.
The fast international transactions of Ripple with an average transaction time being 4 seconds. When compared to Bitcoin it is an hour or more and for regular banking systems it is a few days.
In Payment ecosystem, the users can issue their own currency for fast and cheap transactions. For example, the users can create a currency to buy and see the vintage vinyl’s or the action figures between the collectors.
Ripple is originally designed for a day to day payment system, so it acts more power safe than Bitcoin. As the result, the transactions with it are much quicker and also cheaper.
Ripple has actually started as an official organization, as the main focus of it is to be used by the banks. Therefore it is not a subject of multiple regulation checks like the other cryptocurrencies.
It also has the ability to be exchanged to any currency or any other valuable like gold with a minimal commission. Apart from this Ripple have its own Pros and Cons;
As mentioned earlier, Ripple is an official organization which has the trust of many banks and it is not any other Blockchain startup from an unrecognized and no name company.
It has no inflation and all its tokens are initially mined and they already exist.
Most of the banks use Ripple as the transaction platform, with the higher value of XRP. When all the banks decide to start using it as an unified bank currency instead of processing the redundant currency exchanges then it will definitely make a nice fortune for all the early investors who trusted in Ripple.
It is a highly centralized currency and the whole idea of cryptocurrency is to avoid the centralized control. As the tokens of Ripple are already mined, its developers can decide when to release or not and also how much to release. This means, it acts basically like the investing in a bank.
In addition to being centalized, currently it is pretty much a monopoly as the Ripple Labs owns 61 percent of these coins.
It is an open source and also very smart, but once the code is made accessible then there is a high chance of many people trying to hack it. Some of them may even succeed in it.
Though there is a long list of highly respectable banks which are planning to use Ripple, but according to the Financial Times many of them are still testing it.
The few who have adopted and transacting the real money are just using the platform but not the token of Ripple. This means, that banks perhaps “are not much into Ripple”.
It can at times freeze the transactions. The biggest example of it is when Jed McCaleb, the founder of Ripple Labs, tried to sell more than a million dollars valued Ripple, the transaction of it was reversed.
There were few rumors that Jed breached the contract, but still, the very possibility of freezing the transaction is against the basic principle of cryptocurrency.
Ripple certainly had the potential to move up a notch in 2018, but it is more likely to be seen in 2019. Because the market observes more projects being coded in various other algorithms such as XRP and ETH may likely take a backseat to the next big coin or token. It may take some time for the markets to accept this.
Ripple didn’t go up by one or two notches in the cryptocurrency world in 2018, beacause for three reasons. The first reason is sheer dollar volume which separates each of the three cryptocurrencies in top positions, in terms of the market cap where Bitcoin was over $191 billion, Ethereum was over $84 billion and Ripple was over $35 billion, And to displace Ethereum it would require a deficit of about $49 billion to be close which is very high
The second reason is the use cases for the Ripple are mostly for its trade of assets and not for day-to-day spending.
As the consumer awareness of cryptocurrencies will rise eventually in 2018 and beyond, when the interest of the masses will be on cryptocurrencies which can be used as currencies, and just not for the investment transactions.
Lastly, the third reason is that as Ripple cannot be purchased with the traditional currencies, it must be purchased using the existing cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum to purchase the XRP. This raises the feed demand for Bitcoin and Ethereum, and therefore will solidify their positions as the top two cryptocurrencies in the market.
Also at present there is no such platform to exchange fiat currency for Ripple (XRP) this may change sooner than expected.
Benefits of Ripple
In Comparision to other cryptocurrencies, the main advantage of Ripple is it has the real-world applications, and also it is currently used by over 100 companies across the world.
Also, any discussion on the value of a coin must be taken into account with the contentious relationship of Bitcoin, Ripple therefore enjoys an advantage as it does not seek to contend with Bitcoin, But rather it complements Bitcoin.
Ripple can also help to facilitate as a bridge between Bitcoin and the mainstream financial world, by helping to facilitate the transfers of Bitcoin from one account to the other.
Ripple actually possesses one of the fastest blockchains which is currently active in the crypto world, which has the transaction times of only two to four seconds.
In comparison to the Ethereum blockchain where the transaction takes approximately two minutes, and a transaction using Bitcoin at present takes around 15 minutes.
Besides this substantial increase in the speed of transactions, the costs of these transactions are also astonishingly low using the Ripple.
A small percentage of XRP on every transaction is destroyed, thus by subjecting the currency to deflation. The minimum cost for every transaction on Ripple is a minimum of 0.00001 XRP which is mandatory. Since 2015, the transaction costs, on an average, have been less than $0.01 and continues till date.
XRP and Ripple
Ripple and XRP are actually misunderstood to be the same but they are actually not. Because Ripple is the company and XRP is the token created by it so as to assist its transactions.
Ripple is a purely enterprise software company and XRP is a digital asset which trades on its own. XRP is owned by many people in lots of places.
The users own a lot of XRP similar to as they own a lot of cash, chairs, and computers, but the company is called Ripple and they sell software.
What exactly is XRP? It is the decentralized native currency which is used by the XRP ledger. In media, XRP is the third largest cryptocurrency by its market capitalization and also this makes XRP the largest second altcoin.
XRP at present is divisible to 6 decimal places. The smallest unit of it is 1/1,000,000 of 1 token, which is called as “drop”. Initially at the time of Ripple’s creation, there were 100 billion tokens, with a cap marked on its supply so as no more tokens to be created.
The fact is small percentage of XRP is destroyed with every transaction; which is a deflationary asset and makes a diminishing available supply.
Although for the users of Ripple network it is not mandatory to use it, as the medium of exchange or as a value to store.
XRP is an abbreviation which is got from Ripple to “RP” and prefixed with an X. The users can see Ripple’s XRP token listed on crypto exchanges. One of the basic functions of XRP is to act as a mediator currency.
It is used in cases where there are no immediate and direct exchanges between the two trading pairs. Therefore, within the network, XRP is freely traded against the other currencies.
Ripple’s main focus is not to establish as an alternative currency, but to facilitate as a trade between the two currencies. Therefore XRP can be thought as a Joker card, which means a card that can take the form of any other alternative card.
In order to store XRP, the most widely used are hardware wallets; one such is the Ledger Nano S which supports XRP storage. As it is a hardware wallet, it is an exceptionally safe one to store the user’s currencies and also it is relatively easy to use. It is always recommend to use the hardware wallet where needed.
Toast Wallet is an open-source XRP wallet which is free to use and is available on IOS, Android, Linux, Windows and Mac. Toast Wallet is a software wallet; therefore it is not recommend to store large amounts of XRP in it.
As said earlier it cannot be mined. And, it relies on the validators, in form of nodes so as to secure and maintain the network using the consensus protocol.
In most of the cryptocurrencies, there are financial incentives provided for the Proof-of-Work miners so that they are rewarded for securing the networks.
And this concept protects in the level of decentralization of a platform, which has a significant speed trade-off. But, Ripple needs to be fast and therefore it cannot use the Proof-of-Work mining algorithm.
Ripple which is one of the polarizing cryptocurrencies around and its supporters point to ahigh number of partnerships, high market capitalization and real-world use cases while the detractors point to its lack of decentralization and its aim to help the banking sector, rather than to eliminate them.
Ripple also enjoys an enthusiastic following within the online community which has grown stronger since XRP held up better than the other cryptocurrencies during the recent crypto bear market.
Ripple is considered as the second biggest altcoin by the market capitalization, and is currently the biggest by its number of employees. The Ripple technology allows the most instantaneous cross-border transfers with marble negligible costs.
The company of Ripple holds a substantial financial capital and has also proven to be effective at gaining the business partnerships, by fueling the belief which down the line, it can succeed at gaining a global adoption for its token, XRP. If XRP is adopted globally, it can immensely assist the financial sector by allowing them to trade both the liquid and illiquid pairs at high speed and at a fraction of very low costs.
While there is nothing certain about the global adoption of XRP, it is also not denying the potential benefits that it offers to the financial institutions across the world.