Ripple: A Complete Guide Including History, Uses, Comparisons, And More
You might be familiar with the standard cross-border/international payment avenues like SWIFT or RTGS.
Despite having a myriad of shortcomings, these gateways are still used by major financial institutions throughout the world.
They rely on moving money through an array of internal book transfers, which leaves them vulnerable to battling exchange rate margins, slow transaction speeds, and high fees for processing.
Cross-border payments could really use a modern upgrade, and Ripple claims to do just that!
Let’s look at how Ripple aims to provide the liquidity and speed that banks require, and how it can lay the foundation for a better financial ecosystem.
What Is Ripple?
Ripple is a California-based company that focuses on giving a platform to financial institutions (banks, payment processors, etc.) in order to facilitate real-time payment and cheaper currency exchange services.
Originally known as Opencoin, Ripple labs now use a digital currency called XRP which acts as a mediator between currencies.
Their main goal is to eliminate the need for conventional systems like SWIFT and bring in a faster method in its place.
What Is Ripple Used For?
Ripple has a network of payment providers spread across the globe who use Ripple products for asset exchange, currency trades at a lower cost, and remittance systems.
Payment latency, exorbitant transaction costs, and the increased risk of losses due to holding foreign currency are some of the problems that Ripple has tackled.
It is also used by many banks to hold domestic currency, thus reducing exposure to liquidity expenses and international inflation risk. More than 100 companies have now partnered with Ripple software to offer frictional transactions to consumers. Thanks to this robust financial sector adoption, Ripple’s cryptocurrency, XRP, is one of the largest crypto assets boasting a market cap of $55Bn+ as of August 2021.
Who Uses Ripple and Why?
Banks and payment providers are now implementing Ripple and utilizing their Ripple Network Payment System. To indicate transfer of payments, they use XRP tokens. It is crucial to note that this currency is not created for consumer use, but only to provide a greater degree of liquidity to banks during transactions. Ripple also uses fiat currencies like euros, pounds, yen, and dollars.
Why It’s Used: For a technology to become sustainable, it must solve its problems. The problem that Ripple aims to eradicate is to reduce the processing fee and time in global transactions. Trillions of dollars go down the drain every year due to poor coordination and slow fund settlement by banks. The absence of a streamlined international network results in this problem.
For instance, say you want to transfer some money from your account in Canada to a bank in the United States. To do this, your banks try to create a pathway of internal links. These intermediary banks then establish a path to transfer your money. Needless to say, each bank takes a processing fee along the line which results in high cost and time.
On the contrary, payments with XRP can be settled in less than 4 seconds. The transaction cost is also significantly lower (0.00001 XRP). Their network is currently capable of handling 1400+ transactions in a single second. They offer three products to banks which are as follows:
|This software allows settlement of cross-border payments with end-to-end tracking. This also gives users a messaging option so that they can confirm the transactions in real time.||This is the feature that banks use when they want liquid assets. It uses XRP for financial payments.||This is the feature that banks use when they want liquid assets. It uses XRP for financial payments.|
Is Ripple A Good Investment?
More than $150 trillion is sent globally every year, and Ripple’s current ledger from this amount is less than 2%. If this company emerges as the standard cross-border payment platform, then the potential value could increase exponentially.
As risky as investing in a new technology is, if you believe in the future potential of Ripple, it could give you good returns in the long run.
This situation is similar to the tech boost of the 1990s, where only a few companies emerged victorious but gave huge returns. For instance, the share price of Amazon was around $1 in the early 2000s. This has now skyrocketed to over $3,300. Of course, lots of early 2000s Silicon Valley companies also went bust.
Here are some pros and cons of investing in Ripple that might make the decision easier for you:
|This cryptocurrency is really affordable when compared to others, making it ideal if you are just starting out. Its mainstream appeal and low price make it a low-risk option.||The limited number of coins available in the market means that the demand could outgrow the supply, leading to increased prices.|
|Ripple is not just a simple cryptocurrency, but also has a company backing it which promotes its growth. It is not a part of blockchain, but a distributed ledger instead.||It is not decentralized and goes against the principles of economic autonomy. Moreover, Ripple owns a massive chunk of XRP (nearly ⅓) which might lead to over-inflation of the prices.|
|If Ripple wins the case against SEC, which seems probable, then its value will increase steadily.||It has to compete with SWIFT, which has been a prominent name in the banking sector for decades.|
To sum up, the risk vs. reward factor of Ripple is definitely high due to the support of some major financial institutions and low price.
With that said, please always remember that these blog posts are not financial or investment advice, and investing in any cryptocurrency is extremely risky!
Ripple vs. Other Cryptocurrencies
The main goal of Ripple is not to compete with the existing cryptocurrencies, but to rival the likes of prevailing remittance systems. However, if you are an investor looking to diversify your horizon, then this information may be of good use to you:
How Is Ripple Different From Bitcoin?
Aside from the price, both of these coins have different methods of performing a transaction. Unlike BTC, Ripple uses a consensus mechanism which employs various nodes to verify the authenticity of a transaction.
XRP is also significantly faster as compared to the likes of Bitcoin and Ethereum. Another difference between these coins is that Bitcoin can be mined, whereas Ripple is already pre-distributed in the market. The supply for BTC is capped at 21 million.
Bonus: Here are some resources that might help you get started with mining.
What Makes Ripple Better?
Faster transactions and lower processing fees are what mainly drive the interest of investors to Ripple, whereas other coins focus more on censorship and centralization.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Big Is Ripple Compared To Other Coins?
XRP has a total market cap of $54.38 billion USD currently. Other coins that run on the ledger system include Ether, IOTA, and Litecoin. In comparison to its primary competitor Stellar, Ripple has the head start. In order to gain authority, it will have to maintain the lead and keep improving.
Who Founded Ripple and When?
Ripple was founded in 2012 with the help of Chris Larsen and Jed McCaleb.
Are Ripple and XRP Different?
XRP is a cryptocurrency managed by Ripple Inc. It started in 2012 at a price of $0.014. Many people often confuse both terms, but it is worth noting that Ripple is not a cryptocurrency.
How Much Is Ripple Worth Today In CAD?
As of 28 August, 2021, Ripple is available for 1.4523 CAD and is mostly in the range of 1.411-15.118 in 2021.
How Can I Buy Ripple In Canada?