What is Ripple?
Ripple is a platform that supports a global system of electronic payments. Ripple Labs, Inc. created it in 2012 to provide a frictionless experience to send funds. The native currency used on this platform is also called Ripple, but it is traded as XRP. Ripple has its proprietary payment network called Ripple Network (RippleNet) that supports the payment system.
The network is built on top of Ripple’s consensus ledger, otherwise known as XRP Ledger. In other texts, the ledger is referred to by its initialism XRPL. The network is built on top of Ripple’s consensus ledger, otherwise known as XRP Ledger. In other texts, the ledger is referred to by its initialism XRPL. Like most other crypto ledgers, the XRP ledger operates on open-source technology. However, it is not exactly based on blockchain but rather a distributed consensus ledger with transaction validators scattered across the world.Hence, XRP is not the typical cryptocurrency. Fundamentally, Ripple was created as a solution to the challenges present in international payment transfers. This makes it different from Bitcoin (designed to serve as a virtual currency) and Ethereum (built to support smart contract and DeFi projects).
Most of the cryptocurrencies in the market were designed to smooth the path of P2P transactions. Ripple, on the other hand, was built to connect payment providers, digital asset exchanges, and banks. It offers three main benefits: high speed, security, and low transaction costs. Transactions on RippleNet usually cost around 0.00001 XRP.
XRP has the edge over other crypto networks due to its extensive real-world use. The network is used by over 300 companies, including MoneyGram, American Express, Interbank, and TransferGo. So, as you can probably tell, the Ripple network system is heavily geared towards financial institutions.
Bitcoin and Ether are generated through a continuous process called mining. Ripple, however, has no mining process. A total of 100 billion XRP coins were created all at once when Ripple started and Ripple Labs holds 60 billion (more than half) of it. This is unusual in the crypto space. And as a result, many users have, in the past, questioned the decentralized nature of XRP. It has also raised questions about Ripple’s status as a cryptocurrency.
The smallest unit of XRP is called a “drop” and is equal to 0.000001 XRP. This means that one XRP is made up of 1 million drops. And to make transactions or activate a new account, a Ripple address must contain a minimum of 20 XRP, which is the current minimum reserve requirement of the ledger.
As stated earlier, Ripple was created to overcome the barriers present when users want to trade currencies. It is, therefore, more of an intermediary than a substitute currency. Investors can also choose to trade XRP against other currencies.
Ryan Fugger, a decentralized systems developer, conceptualized the idea of Ripple in 2004. Prior to this, he had been working at an exchange trading system in Canada. He wanted to build a decentralized money system. Around May 2011, techpreneur Jed McCaleb started working on a digital currency system where transactions would be approved by consensus among the network users.
McCaleb brought Chris Larsen on board in August 2012. Around the same time, they presented their idea to Ryan Fugger, who agreed to hand over his project, RipplePay.com. The following month, McCaleb and Larsen established OpenCoin.
The company started working on the Ripple network and restructuring the ripple protocol. One year after its establishment, OpenCoin was rebranded to Ripple Labs. The company then developed Ripple as we know it today. Chris Larsen and Brad Garlinghouse currently head Ripple Labs. Jed McCaleb moved away from the company and co-founded Stellar, where he serves as the CTO.
Ripple price index
Ripple price index represents a listed average of Ripple’s price and capitalization info as obtained from the top crypto exchanges. It also shows the highest & lowest XRP prices within a time frame, XRP volume, and other details around Ripple. Here prices can be compared in different currencies such as EUR, GBP, JPY, and RUR.
Historical course development
Ripple was trading at 0.0068 EUR in September 2013. The network wasn’t popular at the time, but the XRP price managed to climb to 0.023 in December. The price, however, went down to 0.014 EUR in January 2014. It remained at this level for the first three months and then dipped to 0.004 EUR in April.
In June, the price fell further and remained at 0.003 EUR until October. It then started showing slight upward momentum. By November, XRP price had reached 0.01 EUR. It went on to hit 0.015 EUR in January 2015.
Ripple suffered a price crash in the next ten months and was trading at 0.004 EUR in November. It started recovering slowly around December and stayed until March when it reached 0.007 EUR. The price then fell to 0.005 EUR, where it remained for the larger part of that year before moving to 0.007 EUR in October.
Once again, the XRP price dipped to 0.006 EUR and stayed there until the last week of March 2017. In April, Ripple moved up to 0.028 EUR and then to 0.26 in June. It was during this period that Ripple finally got its breakthrough.
XRP started gaining quickly in the second half of the year, and on January 10, it posted an all-time high of 1.63 EUR. It lost momentum shortly afterward and fell to 0.4 EUR in April. A short-lived surge in May took its price to 0.58 EUR, but a second slump caused the price to fall even further to 0.25 EUR in August.
By September, XRP price had doubled to 0.5 EUR but nosedived again in the next months. At the start of 2019, Ripple was trading at 0.3 EUR. It stayed at this level for the first half of the year with occasional dips in March and May.
In June, Ripple started gaining, and at the end of that month, it was trading at 0.39 EUR. The price then dropped shortly before managing to recover in October. However, the recovery was brief, and Ripple’s price continued declining for the rest of the year.
The trend didn’t change in the first half of 2020 as the market’s big push only happened in July when XRP surged almost 50% for the whole month. As August came to an end, the XRP price moved up to 0.238 EUR before dropping slightly to 0.21 EUR. In the last two months, Ripple’s price lingered between 0.21 and 0.22 EUR. Despite this, Ripple still occupies the third spot among the top 10 cryptocurrencies. Currently, it has a market cap of over 9.5 billion EUR.
Factors affecting the price of Ripple
Investors typically enter the market when Ripple prices are low and buy coins at this time. When the price starts soaring, they prepare to sell their crypto. By selling their crypto when the prices are high, they can profit off the price fluctuations.
As an investor, it is crucial to be able to identify these patterns. Ripple, like most cryptocurrencies, is volatile, and its price is driven by several market factors such as:
The general trend in the crypto market
Regulations in the crypto sector
These factors determine the direction XRP’s price takes at any time.
Relationship between Ripple and other cryptocurrencies
Ripple has the highest transaction processing time. It can handle about 1,500 transactions per second compared to Ethereum’s 15 and Bitcoin’s 2.5 on average.
Ripple also has the lowest transaction fees, with each transaction on the network costing 0.00001 XRP (approx. 0.0000002 EUR). Bitcoin’s transaction fee varies between $0.50 and $1.00 per transaction, whereas transaction fees on Ethereum can range between $2 and $12.
Bitcoin and Ripple total coin supplies are capped at 21 million and 100 billion, respectively. Ether, on the other hand, has no maximum total supply.
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Ripple XRP FAQ
Is Ripple a good investment?
Ripple performed poorly since January 2018 for almost 3 full years through to the end of 2020 when price momentum begin to shift upwards. Overall (according to popular traders), Ripple is a good investment as it has an increasing amount of institutional backing to support its growth.