Ripple is a global real-time gross settlement (RTGS) system. It also doubles up as a currency exchange and payment system. It is a name for both the cryptocurrency (XRP) and the open payment network within which that currency is transferred.
Ryan Fugger created Rippleplay in Canada in 2004. It was intended as a decentralized monetary system through which people can effectively create their own money. He intended to provide secure payment options to members of an online community via a global network.
Over the course of time and with the help of new developers, he created a digital currency system that could validate transactions by seeking a general agreement among the network’s members. It eliminates for a centralized exchange making the process energy efficient and quicker.
The team involved with this established OpenCoin in 2012. OpenCoin created the Ripple Transaction Protocol (RTXP). It facilitates a fast transfer of currency, reduces the waiting time for transactions and avoids the fees that may be charged for such transactions by other payment systems. You can exchange any fiat currency (USD, GBP etc), any cryptocurrency and commodities such as gold
How does it work?
Ripple acts as a bridge between means of exchange. It uses the XRP as a central currency to facilitate transactions between different currencies. For example, if you wish to trade USD for Euro through traditional payment systems, then the process could take several days to complete and incur huge transaction costs. Ripple, however, trades the USD for XRP and then the XRP for Euro by establishing XRP as the central currency.
- Each transaction barely takes 5 seconds to materialize.
- Transaction fees are negligible compared to other systems.
- The XRP can handle up to 1500 transactions per second, making it highly scalable.
- XRP is evenly distributed across the globe and not concentrated in the hands of a few.
- Ripple has positioned itself as a complement to Bitcoin rather than a competitor. It facilitates the seamless transfer of Bitcoin and has opened up more avenues for Bitcoin to grow and expand.
Ripple is considered to be an oddity in the crypto-world. While most cryptocurrencies aim to replace banks and view them as direct rivals, Ripple has taken a different course and purports to assist banks by making inter-bank payments easier, quicker and cheaper. As a result, it has faced a lot of criticism within its sector but has nevertheless continued working towards its vision and has established itself as the sole enterprise blockchain solution for global payments. The results are there for you to see as it ends 2018 with the second highest market capital ($86.3 billion!!) in the world among all cryptocurrencies!