What is Ripple?
Unlike Bitcoin and Ethereum, which are open source and aim to destroy legacy finance, Ripple focuses on enhancing the existing and fragmented traditional banking system. It accomplishes this by bringing together a network of independent banks and payment providers over a standardized protocol that allows them to communicate and send low-cost, instant payments all over the world.
McCaleb and Chris Larsen co-founded the startup, which initially offered three major products for money transfers between banks. McCaleb eventually became the chief technical officer of Stellar, a competing project with similar goals.
xRapid, a liquidity product; xVia, a payment application programming interface; and xCurrent, a real-time settlement system, were among the items. RippleNet was formed in 2019 when xCurrent and xVia were merged and rebranded. The product “On-Demand Liquidity” (ODL), which is used to speed up the transfer and exchange of fiat currencies across nations, was also renamed xRapid.
How does Ripple work?
Ripple is made up of two primary components:
- Ripple: Ripple is a real-time gross settlement system (RTGS), currency exchange, and remittance network all rolled into one. RippleNet is used by the platform to facilitate instantaneous transactions between financial firms, which is supported by its blockchain payment system.
- RippleNet: RippleNet is a unique network of payment facilitators and worldwide banks that helps members send and receive payments easily using Ripple’s distributed platform.
RippleNet provides a framework and set of rules called the Ripple Transaction Protocol (RTXP) for all network participants to follow, similar to the standardized HTTPS, which is used as a common protocol for information transfer across the internet. This reduces transaction bottlenecks.
While anybody can join to the ledger, transactions are only approved by a few trusted validators, most of whom are well-known banks and financial institutions. The network could process up to 1,500 transactions per second with a charge of $0.0007 at the time of writing in March 2022. That’s faster than ether, Ethereum’s native cryptocurrency, which can handle roughly 10 transactions per second, and bitcoin, the Bitcoin network’s native cryptocurrency, which can handle four to five transactions per second.
External people or entities seeking to join the Ripple network can use gateways to do so. The gateway, which is usually in the form of a bank, functions as a trusted intermediary to assist two parties in completing a transaction. They use the Ripple network to provide a route for transferring fiat and cryptocurrency money.
Pros and Cons of Ripple
XRP is more centralized than Bitcoin or Ethereum in that no public institution or individual outside of Ripple can determine the issue of new currency, despite the fact that it exploits the open nature of blockchain to decentralize its bookkeeping and keep transactions transparent. That’s because XRP is ostensibly more of a mechanism for transferring value across borders via Ripple products than a speculative investment vehicle – though it has definitely served as an investment in the eyes of the SEC.
The SEC sued Ripple with fraudulently soliciting $1.38 billion from investors in what it called a “unregistered securities offering” in 2020, causing controversy.
The case was still proceeding in March 2022. In February 2022, XRP jumped 22% as news indicated that the company’s legal actions had taken a good turn.
|Payments that are quick, efficient, and transparent, with a liquidity tool to help streamline the settlement process.||In comparison to other public blockchains, RippleNet is not completely decentralized.|
|The settlement speed of XRP is faster than that of Bitcoin or Ethereum.||Although its passionate admirers, known as the XRP Army, pump the coin on Twitter, its products are intended for huge financial institutions, thus there is no practical value for retail consumers.|
|Scalability is always improving – the XRP network can now handle up to 1,500 transactions per second.||Because Ripple owns such a high percentage of XRP, the token’s price might be easily manipulated or influenced negatively by overwhelming the market with huge sales.|
|More than 100 financial organizations, including banks, have joined the cross-border currency payment system’s network.|