Coin of the Week: XRP
Before we get started, it's crucial to understand the difference between XRP, Ripple and RippleNet.
XRP is a cryptocurrency that runs on the RippleNet payment platform, which in turn runs on the XRP Ledger, a distributed ledger database. As for the XRP Ledger, it is open-source and is not based on blockchain, but rather on the publicly accessible distributed ledger database.
Payments on RippleNet are made instantaneously via a real-time gross settlement (RTGS) system. You can transact on the XRP Ledger using any currency, not just XRP, the cryptocurrency native to the platform.
The concept behind Ripple and its native token predates the emergence of the crypto industry, as well as Bitcoin. RipplePay was founded in 2004 by Ryan Fugger as a peer-to-peer financial network. The goal was to eliminate the need for banks by exploiting the financial relationships between network participants. Whenever participant A wishes to transact with another member of the network that B has trusted, B acts as a third party on behalf of participant A.
Back in 2011, Jed McCaleb - the founder of Mt. Gox and an early Bitcoin pioneer - proposed a crypto model as an alternative to Bitcoin based on this concept. According to McCaleb, Bitcoin mining is an overly resource-intensive and costly process that is bound to eventually undermine the value of the currency. To evolve RipplePay into a crypto network, he approached Fugger. Chris Larsen - a serial entrepreneur and Ripple President - was officially handed over RipplePay by Fugger in 2012.
The team began working on Ripple's first iteration, named OpenCoin, shortly after the handover. Between 2012 and 2015, the company changed its name twice.
As well as cultural and systemic changes, the project underwent several revisions. The most significant change was the switch to Ripple Gateway.
Aimed at being a faster, less expensive, and more scalable alternative to existing monetary payment platforms, such as SWIFT, XRP was created by Ripple.
A global XRP Community maintains RippleNet's ledger, including Ripple the company actively participating in it. An XRP Ledger transaction is processed every 3-5 seconds, or whenever independent validator nodes make a consensus on both the order and validity of XRP transactions - unlike bitcoin (BTC), which is proof-of-work mined. A Ripple validator can be anyone, and the list currently includes Ripple, universities, financial institutions, and others.
Where Can You Buy XRP?
By Warren Manuel
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*Curated from different sources.