What is Ripple? Everything You Need to Know About Ripple
Since the introduction of Bitcoins and other subsequent cryptocurrencies (altcoins) in the commercial world; interoperability has been a major challenge facing most of them. As a result of the weakness in most digital currencies to facilitate settlements across different countries and in different currencies, the cost of transactional fees imposed on users is really high.
Fast cross-border payment infrastructure is, therefore, what most digital currencies need to spread their scope across countries and continents. Ripple provides this solution. It boasts of the most advanced blockchain technology that is scalable, secured, and interoperates between different settlement networks.
What is Ripple?
- Ripple is both a payment network and a payment protocol.
As a network, Ripple brings together banks, payment providers, digital assets exchange, and corporates via its infrastructure referred to as RippleNet.
The RippleNet platform provides frictionless experience for users to send money globally.
- As a payment protocol, Ripple has the most scalable asset for facilitating real-time global payments, referred to as Ripple Coin/XRP.
Based on market capitalization. XRP ripple has consistently been ranked in the top five cryptocurrencies for several years from the time of its inception in 2012.
Ripple was developed by a company known as ‘Ripple’ and launched in 2012. A rich history that can be traced back to 2004 lies before the actual launch of Ripple in 2012. In 2004, Ripplepay was developed as a global online secured payment option by Ryan Fugger.
The conception of the current Ripple Network was made by Jed McCaleb and later designed and built in the year 2011 by Artur Britto and David Schwartz. Chris Larsen later joined the Ripple team in August 2012. After fully realizing their ideas, this team presented it to Ryan Fugger and took over from him.
Ripple Labs, initially referred to as OpenCoin, has been the primary developer of the Ripple Network. The change in name is attributed to various partnerships the company got established with different companies.
What is the technology behind Ripple?
- Ripple is based on similar principles to those of Bitcoin; the system runs on a blockchain.
- A blockchain is a digitized and decentralized public ledger for registering all of a given cryptocurrency’s transactions.
- You can visualize a blockchain as a spreadsheet duplicated across a network of computers; the different computers are required to regularly update the spreadsheet based on their activities.
- Unlike Bitcoin whose source code is opensource, Ripple’s source code is privately owned by the company. This means that the source code cannot be verified by an outsider.
The Ripple Network (RippleNet), has two categories of participants. The Network Members, and Network Users.
Network Members are the enablers of the RippleNet and include banks and payment providers. Their mandate is to create trust between the network Users and verify transactions.
Network users are the originators of RippleNet and include platform businesses, corporate treasuries, banks and payment providers, as well as solo consumers. All of them look forward to making global settlements (payments) with their different associates.
- xCurrent, Ripple’s Software, offers the Network Members and Network Users, a cross-border payment solution while lowering their total cost of the settlement.
All members of RippleNet are interconnected via xCurrent; a global real-time gross settlement system (RTGS system), that enables Network Members (banks and payment providers) to send, receive, clear, and settle transactions.
This is done with increased speed, transparency, and efficiency across the global RippleNet’s coverage of banks and payment providers.
- xCurrent is built around an open, natural protocol, that is interoperable between different ledgers and payment networks (ILP- (Inter-ledger protocol) technology).
It is is a cryptographically secured, end-to-end encrypted remittance platform, with unchangeable transactions and information redundancy.
- For smooth transactional processes between different banks and payment providers, xCurrent is designed to comply with each Network Member’s risk, privacy, and compliance requirements.
This synchronization with banks and payment providers existing infrastructure minimizes business disruptions.
xCurrent has four solution components including:
- Messenger: This is a bidirectional messaging platform that realizes communications between banks and payment providers in the RippleNet.
Messenger enables the Network Members to exchange KYC (Know Your Customer), risk, fees, payment details, delivery time frames, and any other information related to transactions.
- Validator: This is a cryptographic component of xCurrent the confirms the success or failure of a transaction.
Validator coordinates the movements of funds across the ledgers of different Network members. It is the single source of truth regarding the nature of various transactions carried out on RippleNet.
- ILP Ledger: This Xcurrent component tracks all credits, debits, and liquidity across Network members and Network Users on RippleNet.
- FX Ticker: Different ledgers have different exchange rates that might slow down the speed of a transaction.
FX Ticker smoothens the exchange process between different ledgers by enabling liquidity providers to post foreign exchange rates.
Furthermore, FX Ticker monitors all accounts, currencies, and authentification credentials of the ILP Ledgers.
Pros of RippleNet Technology
- According to many Ripple XRP News, it is the best digital asset for payments.
- RippleNet is one of the few digital assets with a clear use case. This assures the safety of the transactions carried out by different Network Users.
- RippleNet instantly settles global transactions across different networks and ledgers, unlike other blockchains that take prolonged periods to settle transactions.
- Ripple news indicates that it is the only digital asset designed to interoperate between different financial institutions registered across the globe.
- As a result of its implementation by many financial institutions, RippleNet is constantly evolving in terms of usability, reliability, security, and scalability.
- Since banks and other payment providers using RippleNet have a smooth operating ground in terms of communications and transactions, the blockchain technology offers low operational costs.
- RippleNet offers high customer acquisition and retention rates for its Network members, as a result of high-speed, on-demand, cost-effective, and traceable global payments it delivers.
Cons of Ripplenet Technology
- Ripple is centralized in many ways compared to other blockchain financial systems such as Bitcoins. Its cryptocurrency XRP, is not mined.
- The over-centralized nature of Ripple requires them to be extremely transparent in order to gain users’ confidence and eliminate doubts.
- The Ripple meaning faces a threat from future competitors who might develop more innovative interoperable financial systems offering more advantages than their platform.
Ripple Market Trends
- The current (11th Jan 2018) Ripple Market Capitalization stands at approximately $ 173,995,750,489.78 with a ledger number of approximately 35,738,202.
- XRP ripple is reported to have seen the largest growth compared to any other cryptocurrency in the year 2017.
- The first Ripple Surge took place on 12th December 2013. The digital currency leaped from a market value of $0.27 to $0.51, seeing an 84% growth.
- In the subsequent days, XRP grew again and stagnated at $0.75. It further continued on an upward trend up to $1.73.
- In the early days of January 2018, Ripple has seen its value grow to a peak of $2.23 per coin. The figures have kept on falling and fluctuating between the value depending on various factors affecting the market trends.
- According to Ripple XRP News, it is still the 3rd largest cryptocurrency ranked in terms of market capitalization.
- Being more than just a currency (it is also a global payment network and distributed exchange platform) compared to Bitcoin which is the most valuable digital currency based on market capitalization, Ripple has proven to be easier to trade for other fiat currencies and altcoins.
- Ripple forecasts predict a further upward trend as a result of the flexibility the coin bears from its payment system, currently installed by more than 100 banks globally.
- Most Ripple News indicates that its unique qualities really play to its advantage and makes it a potential investment for many, currently, and in the years to come.
Can Ripple be mined like Bitcoins and many other altcoins?
- Ripple Mining is an impossible venture! This is because the cryptocurrency was premined before its launch.
- There are a total of 100 Billion XRP (Ripple Coins), which can neither increase or decrease in number.
- This means that unlike Bitcoins and other altcoins, Ripple is not dependent on any third-party redemption.
- In place of miners who fuel transactions on other blockchain networks such as Bitcoin, Ripple makes use of Network Members (Banks and other payment institutions).
- The Network members work on a RippleNet software-xCurrent; which has validators that fuel transactions.
To Sum It Up
Ripple presents a new face in the cryptocurrency world which offers not just a digital currency alone but also a global payment network and distributed exchange platform. The unique features give XRP Ripple a competitive edge in comparison to other cryptocurrencies.
To learn more about other competitive cryptocurrencies, kindly check our other posts with comprehensive coverages on different cryptocurrency-related topics. Thank you.