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What is Ripple? What You Need to Know About XRP?

What is Ripple?

Before we begin to answer this question, it’s vital to understand that Ripple is different from traditional cryptocurrencies. Unlike Bitcoin or Ethereum, Ripple is neither an application platform nor just a cryptocurrency. The Ripple Network is essentially a platform that provides a digital payment network for financial transactions. 

It aims to revolutionize financial payment methods such as cross-border transactions, which are usually costly, complicated, time-taking and often surround a hint of unreliability. By employing a peer-to-peer transaction system, its users are allowed minimal fees compared to its competitors, such as visa, which charge about a thousand times higher. The team behind ripple strives to make these transactions efficient and straightforward.

It primarily targets helping banks and other institutions to make international transactions such as payments, remittances & the sort swift, cost-effective, and reliable. It validates payments on an average speed of 4 seconds on its network, while other networks are significantly slower such as Bitcoin, which takes 3,600 seconds on average. What’s more, is that Ripple allows payments in all currencies, which encompasses cryptocurrencies.

It constitutes 2 inter-connected components. Firstly, The Ripple Network (RippleNet) is an online payment platform. It is built on top of the XRP Ledger and is run by Ripple Labs. Secondly, there is its infamous cryptocurrency XRP, which works on the Ripple Network. Unlike traditional cryptocurrencies, Ripple does not employ blockchain technology. Instead, it validates data using a HashTree and then compares the data across these servers. 

What is XRP?

XRP as briefly mentioned above, is primarily the token utilized by Ripple to make its swift and superior transactions. It is specially designed to convert and transfer any fiat currency into another; due to its ability to swiftly convert and transfer these funds worldwide, it is top-rated amongst some renowned financial institutions such as Santander & American Express. 

Another unique aspect of XRP is the fact that, unlike other cryptocurrencies, XRP can’t be mined. All the XRP ever to be produced has already been created. It has a fixed amount, which has already been produced and distributed. Of the total 100 billion XRP’s, its producers own 60%. This is a staggering amount and has given rise to some conspiracies.

Team Behind Ripple?

Ripple was conceptualized way before the advent of cryptocurrencies. Ryan Fugger had the innovative idea of a decentralized real-time gross settlement system back in 2004. Two computer programmers, Jed McCaleb & Chris Larsen, eventually expanded the idea and invented OpenCoin, which was later renamed to Ripple.

Its founders are hence credited to be Jed McCaleb & Chris Larsen, respectively. They released ripple in 2012 through their US-based company, Ripple Labs Inc, and then hired Brad Garlinghouse as CEO to run the Ripple payments network.

Ripple’s CEO, in his career, has served as the CEO of file collaboration service Hightail and has enjoyed different executive positions at Yahoo. He is an experienced individual and has worked at various well-established enterprises such as Dialpad communications, Outmarch, Tonic Health, etc. 

Understanding the Pros & Cons of Ripple is essential in helping ourselves decide if ADA is a good and potentially profitable investment. Hence, they are discussed below

Pros

Its payment network is Economical & Convenient:

Ripple’s payment method, as discussed above is revolutionizing and making international transactions streamlined and cheap. It is so economical compared to other traditional methods that over 100 financial institutions and banks are endorsing and employing its use more and more every day. Through its cryptocurrency, XRP, Ripple has solved another arduous job of converting one fiat currency into another and has made things very easy and convenient.

It is very swift in settling transactions:

The XRP coin allows transactions to take place and money to move quicker than any of its contemporaries, such as the Western Union. This is possible due to Ripple’s team of network validators being stationed worldwide as well as the ability of RippleNet that eradicates some traditional requirements regarding exchanges & remittances. These elements combined allow transactions to take place in mere seconds. Moreover, it has made these international transactions transparent and reliable.

Ripple is highly scalable & Stable:

The network has consistently proved itself as a revolutionizer and concrete payment network. Millions of ledgers have been transacted at ripple and there have been no complains or issues on the network so far. Moreover, it utilizes a RPCA consensus mechanism which is very environment friendly in terms of its energy efficiency, which further eliminates requirements of major upgrades in the future. These factors make the network and hence the currency increasingly scalable. Its developers boast that it can compete and beat even services such as VISA in the future.

Cons

Like every investment where there are pros, there are bound to be cons. The following are some of the negative aspects of Ripple.

Ripple cannot be mined:

As displayed and explained multiple times in this article, Ripple is unlike most traditional cryptocurrencies. All the Ripple ever to be produced, all 100 million of it has already been produced. Although its creators claim that this aspect is beneficial for the currency and makes it stable, the truth in the matter is that its creators are hoarding and controlling a large quantity of it. It’s chairman and CEO reportedly own a whopping $37.3 billion and $9.5 billion, respectively.

It is feared that Ripple is unregulated:

As the team behind Ripple are the majority shareholders or owners of the currency. It’s unnatural for a cryptocurrency which are invented for freedom for its users to be hoarded by a such a party of individuals who have complete authority over its functioning. This element makes the currency somewhat regulated and centralized, which negates the primary concept and visualization of cryptocurrencies. Ripple has attempted to settle these concerns by placing 55 billion XRP in a secured escrow, out of which only 1 billion can be withdrawn in a month, however, the area is still sketchy.

Ripple’s founder left the board:

Jed McCaleb quit the board after some difference of opinions arose between him and the team, resulting in a deadlock. Upon leaving, he founded another cryptocurrency named Stellar. This is undeniably a negative aspect of the currency.

Conclusion:

Considering the Pros & Cons above, it can be said that both sides present solid and valid points. Ripple enjoys one of the largest market caps in the altcoins sector and has gained a large number of supporters; however, its cons are just as justified and relevant. Simply put, Ripple is a low-risk investment with lots of potential rewards. It’s something you should definitely do some research on before you consider adding to your portfolio.

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