Current price XRP:
What’s Ripple. Short and to the point
To many people surprise, the phrase Ripple does not mean the cryptocurrency itself.
It’s the name of the company who built the crypto exchange and coin transfer net. It also applies to the real time gross settlement system. What’s interesting, is that it’s an Open Source platform, allowing quick and inexpensive transactions.
Unfortunately, due to excess or misunderstood information, lots of people mistake Ripple with its own cryptocurrency – XRP. Although, the cryptocurrency community is already used to it, it’s just simply wrong to use those two terms alternatively. It can also spread ignorance among users.
What is the XRP cryptocurrency?
In 2012, basing on work of Ryan Fugger and inspired by Bitcoin, Ripple decided to implement their general ledger, called Lendple Consensus Ledger (RCL). At the same time, a native cryptocurrency called XRP was created. It’s worth to mention, that the name RCL was changed to XRP Ledger later on – its use has been described in the RippleNet services chapter.
XRPL is a distributed system, that stores the net users accounting information and provides services in the field of currency exchange. Sam Ripple calls it a distributed Open Source open book, that allows for real-time transactions. Moreover, the transactions are secured and verified by the net users, with the use of the consensus mechanism.
XRP general ledger is administered by a net of independent validating nodes, which constantly compare their transactions records. We should add, that everybody can configure and initiate a Ripple validator node and chose which nodes are the trusted ones. Of course, the company recommends, that their clients verify the transactions by, so called, identified trusted net users list. It’s also known as Unique Nodes List (UNL).
These are the UNL nodes, that exchange transaction information among them, until all agree on the current balance of the general ledger. When all the nodes input the same transactions set to the ledger, then consensus is reached. Transactions agreed by the UNL are considered valid.
What’s particularly interesting, is that Ripple is a private company, that created an Open Source open distribution book. This means everyone can contribute to its code. The XRP Ledger itself can continue operating, even if Ripple company cease to exist.
The money transfer and currency exchange net build by the Ripple company, is called the RippleNet. The idea was to connect banks, payment vendors and cryptocurrency stock exchange and allow them for faster and more profitable transactions.
RippleNet is a sole property of the Ripple company, as opposed to XRPL, which it was based on. Currently, the net offers a three-instrument package, designed as a payment solution system for banks and financial institutions. We can distinguish xRapid, xVia and xCurrent.,
What’s xRapid, xVia and xCurrent? Features description
In this chapter, we will try to explain, in the easiest and most precise way possible, what’s the phenomenon of the services provided by the RippleNet. Let’s start with xRapid, which is often referred to as ‘liquidity on demand’. This solution uses XRP cryptocurrency – which we will describe in a separate chapter – as a bridge currency between multiple fiard currencies.
We need to highlight, that xRapid is based on the XRP Ledger, which allows for a faster validation and ensures lower transaction fees, than the conventional methods.
Let’s use a simple example for you to better understand how xRapid works. Imagine, you’re currently in Australia and want to transfer 200 AUD to your friend in India. You transfer the funds through a financial institution named FIN. They will use the xRapid solutions for the transaction, connecting the exchange platform at your location with the destination one. So, they will exchange your 200 AUD to XRP. Then, in a matter of seconds, XRP are converted to India Rupees, allowing your friend to withdraw the funds you transferred at a cryptocurrency stock exchange in India.
Let’s discuss, what’s xVia now. It’s a standardized interface based on API (Application Programming Interface, it allows applications to communicate with each other). xVia provides the financial services vendors with a possibility, to interact within one structure. It also allows banks, to make transactions through their partners connected to RippleNet. The institutions can attach invoices or other kinds of information to the operations they make.
So, we described two out of three services provided by the RippleNet. Then, it’s time for xCurrent! Its purpose is to ensure immediate settlements. It also allows to track cross border transactions between RippleNet users. As opposed to xRapid, xCurrent is not based on the XRP Ledger and, by default, does not operate on the XRP cryptocurrency.
It’s worth explaining, how the service was built. It’s based on the Interledger Protocol (ILP). Moreover, it was designed by the Ripple company, as a mean to connect accounts or payment platforms. XCurrent consist of 4 main components: Messenger, Validator, ILP Ledger and FX Ticker. We’ll explain their purpose one by one.
Messenger, as the same suggest, is used to exchange messages between institutions connected to RippleNet. These are, among others, information about risk and compliance, transaction fees, exchange rates, details on payments and estimated time of funds transfer.
Validator is responsible for Interledger funds transfer coordination. It’s used to cryptographically approve or reject transactions. Worth noting is that financial institutions, may either possess their own validators or use the external ones.
ILP Ledger is a supporting ledger in the xCurrent component. It used to track credits, debits and liquidity between the contract parties. Funds are settled atomically, which means the entire transaction settles instantly or not at all.
Last component to describe is the FX Ticker. Its purpose is to provide exchange rates, between the transaction parties. Additionally, it tracks the account of each configured ILP Ledger.
It’s worth to mention, that although xCurrent focuses mainly on the fiat currencies, it also supports cryptocurrencies transactions.
Who created Ripple? Project history
It’s particularly interesting, that the beginnings of Ripple reach back to 2004. It’s when the project was designed by Ryan Fugger. The first Ripple protocol, as a decentralized digital monetary system – RipplePay – was built he the same man. Just to be clear, the system was not launched until a year later, in 2005. His mission was to ensure secure solutions, focused on the payments in the global net.
Following that, in 2012, the project was reassigned to Jed McCaleb and Chris Larsen, who founded a technology company called OpenCoin. Since then, Ripple began to focus on the payment tools, designed for both banks and financial institutions.
In 2013 OpenCoin changed its name to Ripple Labs. Then, in 2015, the project was labeled Ripple.
XRP vs. Bitcoin (BTC) – the differences
It needs to be highlighted, that in oppose to Bitcoin, the general ledger of XRP has not been based on the consensus algorithm, the so called ‘Proof of Work’. What’s the impact of that? It means, that the transactions verification does not depend on the exploration process. Even simpler – the mining does not occur, the XRP is not being excavated.
Instead, the net reaches the consensus using its own protocol, known as Ripple Algorithm Protocol Consensus (RAPC).
XRP vs. Bitcoin (BTC)
100 billions XRP
21 millions BTC
Coins in circulation
43 366 238 611 XRP
18 150 687 BTC
Around 4-5 seconds
Around 8 minutes
Information on the XRP destruction and reserves
The total supply of XRP has been restricted to 100 billion of coins. This limit prevents hyperinflation, which can take place in case of currencies with no such control.
But currently, there are only 43 366 238 611 XRP coins in circulation – why is that? The number of available coins depend on several factors. One of them is the process of destroying a small amount of currency each time a transaction is made.
When a transaction is sent through the XRP Ledger a small amount of the cryptocurrency is being destroyed. Senders can determine, how many of their XRPs they are willing to sacrifice. However, the minimal quantity is fixed, it is based on the work required to process a transaction. Moreover, at times when the net is busy, transactions offering to destroy
a higher number of coins can outrun the others.
The current minimal cost of transaction is 0,00001 XRP (can temporarily increase due to network traffic).
Why XRP are destroyed with each transaction? It’s a counter spam measure, it’s too expensive for DoS attacks (Denial-of-Service).
Important! Each XRP ledger account is required to have a small reserve of XRP. The quantity is given by the validators and in case it decreases, the amount of XRP, that was previously blocked by the reserve, will be released. Such a change took place for the last time in December 2013, when the reserve requirement was lowered from 50 to 20 XRP.
What’s an escrow?
Ripple company decided for an atypical XRP distribution strategy, which aims at strengthening the exchange rate of the currency and that builds trust, usefulness and liquidity of the currency. How it’s done? Ripple placed 55 billion coins in escrow, a cryptographically secured trust account.
How the escrow works? Ripple created 55 contracts, each worth 1 billion XRP. Each deal expires on the first day of each month and after the expiration coins can be used by Ripple. The company uses XRP as an incentive to the market makers, who offers tighter spreads for payments and sell XRP to institutional investors.
What happens to the unsold XRP? At the end of the month they are returned to the escrow and placed at the end of the escrow queue. This restriction allows to predict the supply
a bit, which is important for the demand.
Criticism of Ripple company and XRP cryptocurrency
There’s an intriguing phenomenon of harsh criticism of the project, present at the cryptocurrency community. What is that they do not like? It’s mainly about the Ripple centralized character, which contradicts with the ideals and qualities of decentralized blockchains, like Bitcoin.
The word spreads on the UNL nots as well. On one hand, they ensure protection from malicious or untrusted servers, that validate correctness. One the other hand, they control the net regulations. Although, it secures the net from problematic validations, it also creates a loophole for the regulatory authorities, that might take action and enforce undesired or even invasive changes!
And to top it all off, in 2015 The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) fined Ripple Labs with 700 000 USD, for not registering the company in FinCEN. Office dependent on United States Treasury Department also accused Ripple Labs of not reporting to the authorities a few suspicious transitions, executed by external parties, with the use of XRP. Ripple Labs was forced to obey all the guidelines implied by these authorities.
XRP – how much does it cost?
The current XRP exchange rate is 0,204205 USD (as of 09.01.2020). It’s placing XRP on the third location in the CoinMarketCap ranking (based on the market capitalization). It’s ATH – highest price, took place on 4th January 2018. It reached 3,84 USD.
Which currency stock exchange offer XRP?
Currency stock exchange for XRP
Crypto-crypto stock exchange
Crypto-fiat stock exchange
Which wallet to choose for XRP?
Cryptocurrency wallets for XRP
By: Karolina Kropopek
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