|Function||RTGS, inc currency – XRP (XRP, IOU)|
|Block completion time ave||3-4 seconds|
|Circulating supply||99.99 billion|
|Supply limit||100 billion|
Ripple is a currency trading network building a brand on providing the most efficient platform for fast transactions.
Jed McCaleb created the idea of Ripple in the pursuit of providing the world with a financial service capable of offering fast and secure payment options to users through a global digital network.
The concept is not too far removed from Bitcoin, but Ripple differs in its design as a platform for multi-currency transfers, rather than a platform for trading a specially designed and usable cryptocurrency.
The issue McCaleb set out to fix was the difficulty in trading in currency, and the seemingly impossible task of eliminating third-party involvement.
Banks had a monopoly when it came to trading one currency for another, but they often relied on each other to make exchanges happen.
Banks do not hold cash in every single currency, so multiple trades with multiple banks usually happen to complete a currency exchange.
This also incurs heavy fees and long waiting periods, most of which are eliminated with Ripple’s system.
Ripple’s transactions cost a fraction of a regular currency exchange and can take less than five seconds, which is significantly faster than arguably all the cryptocurrency providers on the market.
Its currency functions as a token and is traded throughout the network as XRP.
This pseudo currency represents international fiat currency and other cryptocurrencies when they are traded on the Ripple network.
While Ripple potentially works to undercut the banking sector, its design is to incorporate the banks and purpose the product to serve companies as clientele.
Any company wanting to gain access to the Ripple network has to go through a gateway gatewaySomewhere offering access to cryptocurrency for purchasing or a means of tender, usually in the form of an ATM or a bank.
, which are entry points usually run by banks.
The Ripple network is called RippleNet and functions on a system called RTXP.
This system works in a similar way to blockchains in that it consists of a global network of nodes, this time called validators, confirming transactions aligning with RTXP rules.
But while Bitcoin and Ethereum rely on miners to confirm transactions, validators are different in that they do the work in the Ripple network using a voting system.
A unique node list (UNL) forms the body of the most trusted validators in the network.
Their role is to use an 80 per cent voting system to decide when individual trades are confirmed.
Ripple issued its entire supply of XRP upon launch, which means unlike Bitcoin miners, validators are not compensated for their work.
RippleNet offers compatibility with any form of currency through its use of XRP tokens.
Banks can trade currency between them by converting their type of fiat currency into the equivalent value in XRP for a fast and easy transfer of funds.
Banks are yet to use XRP in wider use as a transferable commodity though, because the cryptocurrency is considered to be too volatile in value.
The way Ripple caters for this is with the use of another token called an IOU IOUTokens representing any type of debt, not just currency, serving as a line-of-credit of sorts., which does not hold any fiscal worth but is compatible with anything of value.
IOUs are tokens that can be stored on any Ripple-specified wallet and represent what its name suggests – a debt.
These tokens can represent any type of debt, not just currency, and serve as a line-of-credit of sorts.
The concept of the IOU is only valid if both parties involved in the transaction can validate their claims and trust each other, forming what is known as a trust line.
Some criticisms of Ripple centre around the trust line function, which ultimately has users having to rely on trust to validate the IOU tokens.
This is a departure from Bitcoins original conception idea of the blockchain, which removes the requirement for trust between trading entities.
There are also only a comparative handful of validators on the RippleNet system compared to nodes on other networks, offering a greater threat of system manipulation.
Ripple is also maintained by a corporate operation called Ripple Labs in a way that raises doubts about the cryptocurrency’s decentralised credentials, especially compared to Bitcoin and its blockchain foundation blueprint.
The major difference in decentralisation credentials between Ripple and a cryptocurrency like Bitcoin, is the overarching power a single body has on the performance of the network.
Ripple is a currency trading network building a brand on providing the most efficient platform for fast transactions. Ripple is a platform for tokens and multi-currency transfers, rather than a platform for trading a specially designed and usable cryptocurrency.
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