Ripple 101

Everything you need to know about Ripple currency

Ripple currency is the name that is synonymous with Ripple which is both a platform and a currency. Ripple is an open payment network that uses XRP as its native currency to move funds across borders. The platform is a distributed and open source payment system.

Its goal is to help people break free from the many restrictions that are imposed by financial institutions like banks, PayPal and credit card companies through charges for currency exchanges, processing delays and other types of fees.

The purpose of Ripple Currency

The sole purpose of Ripple currency is to ensure that money flows freely according to OpenCoin. In 2013, the company published a blog post titled ‘Ripple and the Purpose of Money’ where they gave a brief history of money and its transportability.

In the article, they point to the frustrations of having financial institutions impede the transfer of money with transaction fees and processing delays. So, the goal of the platform is to build on the decentralized virtual currency approach that was introduced by Bitcoin and in the process ‘do for money what other the internet did for other forms of information.’

So how similar is Ripple to the internet? According to David Schwartz the chief cryptographer at Ripple, payment systems are where the email was in the 1980s. Different providers built different systems for their customers. And since people were using different systems it was difficult to interact. So, the Ripple platform is built to connect different payment systems.

The chief cryptographer also foresees the possibility of large companies losing control over the flow of people’s money just like they did with control of their information.

How Ripple currency benefits other cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin

Ripple currency is beneficial to even other crypto coins like Bitcoin. For example, it offers Bitcoin another way to connect with those that are using other forms of money. It promises expedited transactions and increased stability. The Ripple platform as a distributed network doesn’t depend on a single company to manage and secure the transaction database.

As a result, there is no waiting on block confirmations which ensures transaction confirmations happen quickly on the network.

How much is Ripple currency worth

One Ripple coin is currently worth $0.37. It’s the second largest cryptocurrency after Bitcoin with a market cap of $15 billion. Its current value is a far cry from the $3.32 it traded for at the beginning of the year. Since then the coin’s value has sunk together with that of the other cryptocurrencies as the crypto market slumped.

However, as more financial institutions start using the Ripple currency to move funds its price is expected to appreciate.

The team behind the Ripple currency

OpenCoin is the team that built the Ripple protocol. Jed McCaleb and Chris Larsen founded it. McCaleb has an outstanding reputation in the cryptocurrency world. He is also the brain behind the Stellar protocol and the disgraced Mt. Gox crypto exchange which he sold to Mark Karpeles before it was hacked.

Larsen is an angel investor who has funded many startups in the past. He previously co-founded E-LOAN, an online financial company. He is currently a member of the board of directors.

Brad Garlinghouse is the current CEO. He is also a member of the Board of Directors at Ripple. Before working for the platform, Garlinghouse served as the CEO of Hightail, a file collaboration service. Before that, he was the president of consumer applications at AOL from 2009 to 2012. He has also held various executive positions at Yahoo where he served from 2003 to 2009.

David Schwartz is the current chief technology officer at Ripple. He is one of the original architects of the platform. Before joining Ripple, Schwartz was the chief technical officer at Webmaster Incorporated. During his time there he developed encrypted cloud storage and enterprise messaging systems for companies like CNN and NSA.

How many Ripple coins exist?

XRP is the native Ripple currency. It’s divisible by six decimal places, and the smallest unit is known as a drop. One million drops is equal to one XRP. During the launch of the Ripple network, there were 100 billion XRP created. According to the platform rules, there are no more coins that should ever be created. The system is created in a way that XRP is an asset with decreasing supply. It’s also not dependent on any third party.

The creators of the Ripple currency retained 20 billion coins out of the 100 billion that was created. The remaining 80 percent was given to Ripple labs and its intended “to incentivize market maker activity to increase XRP liquidity and strengthen the overall health of XRP markets.”

How does Ripple currency compare to Bitcoin?

Ripple currency and Bitcoin are similar in many ways. First of all, both are virtual currencies that are not governed by a single entity. They can be moved from one account to another in a peer-to-peer mode without the need for any intervening third party. They also offer digital security that guards against the creation of counterfeit coins.


Basil has three years of freelance experience writing on disruptive technologies. He focuses on breaking news and education pieces; helping to spread the gospel of Blockchain. He hopes to have his own blockchain company one day; helping the world through its innovative ledger technology.

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