A Real-Time-Settlement Blockchain
Ripple (XRP) kicked off 2018 with a bang by climbing to the number-two spot on CoinMarketCap. Since then, it’s fallen back to the third position but not before generating a lot of investor interest in the XRP token and its associated technology.
With that said, the answer to what Ripple is exactly is a bit confusing. Most people who hear the term Ripple will automatically think digital currency. The truth is that Ripple is the name of the company that created the Ripple digital currency, called XRP.
To better explain what Ripple is, let’s step back and take a look at Ripple's history…
In May 2011, Jed McCaleb, the creator of the Mt. Gox digital currency exchange and later digital currency Stellar, began to develop a digital currency system. Within this system, Consensus was used to verify transactions rather than mining.
In 2012, McCaleb was joined by Chris Larsen, the founder of E-Loan and Prosper. Together, they approached the original founder of a prominent Ripple payment system, Ryan Fugger. Fugger created a financial system called Ripplepay in 2004, which provided secure payment options to an online community.
After a period of talking, Fugger handed Ripplepay over to McCaleb and Larsen who then launched a company called OpenCoin Inc.
It was OpenCoin that began to develop the Ripple Transaction Protocol (RTXP). This project quickly gathered the attention of investing giants, including Andreessen Horowitz and GV (formerly Google Ventures).
In 2013, OpenCoin announced the linking of the Bitcoin and Ripple protocols through something called the Bitcoin Bridge. This landmark event would allow investors to send digital currencies to each other.
Ripple has come a long way since those early days. In 2014, the company started focusing on acquiring large banking clients. Today, Ripple has over XX clients in the banking space.
But how does the RTXP work? And what makes it so valuable to the many banks that want to use the tool?
As the history of Ripple explains, Ripple isn’t a digital currency in the traditional sense. Ripple has evolved into becoming a powerful, real-time gross-settlement system and remittance network. XRP, the digital currency associated with Ripple, is used within this settlement system to move funds between parties before being changed back to fiat currencies.
By converting fiat currencies into XRP as it moves between two intermediaries, the RTXP is able to move money overseas with very low fees.
A handful of banks has already turned to Ripple’s technology, including Santander, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, and over 61 Japanese banks.
That being said, the digital currency associated with RTXP, XRP, isn’t actually needed for the tools to be used.
If you’re interested in learning more about Ripple, you can access the company’s website here.
And you can access the Ripple white paper here.
How to Buy Ripple
Ripple is available on a wide range of exchanges, including Bithumb, Bitfinex, and Binance.
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