By Gaurav S. Iyer, IFC Published : February 15, 2018
What Is Ripple Coin?
“Ripple coin” is an unofficial reference to the native currency of “Ripple,” an open payments network that enables reliable cross-border currency transfers.
What Does “XRP” Stand For?
“XRP” is the official name of Ripple’s native currency. It is used on the “xRapid” software as a means of near-instant liquidity for cross-border payments. Three of the five biggest money transfer companies have launched pilot programs using XRP.
To read about why banks might eventually use XRP, go here.
How Much Is Ripple Worth?
As of February 15, 2018, the Ripple price was around $1.12, the circulating supply was around 39 billion coins, the total volume exchanged was around $1.63 billion, and the market cap was around $43.7 billion.
What Is the Ripple Payment Protocol?
The Ripple Payment Protocol, also called the Ripple Transaction Protocol (RTXP), is a remittance network, a real-time gross settlement system, and a currency exchange. The network is built upon a consensus ledger, a distributed open source Internet protocol, and the native cryptocurrency.
This protocol allows Ripple to settle cross-border transactions in a matter of seconds. Although the protocol is generalized around value—meaning that it can send currency, commodities, or even frequent-flier miles—the company has focused on applying the Ripple protocol to the problem of international wire transfers.
How Does Ripple Work?
Unlike Bitcoin (BTC), which works on a public blockchain, Ripple works with a network of participating banks and financial institutions called “nodes.” Ripple works like the ancient “hawala network,” which was used to send money from city to city.
Let’s say “A” in the U.S. wants to send money to “B” in India. A goes to the local bank and gets some USD and a password. A’s bank contacts B’s local bank in India and tells it to release funds on receipt of a password. B gives the password and receives the equivalent amount of USD in rupees. Either of the two banks can take commissions.
Is Ripple Open Source?
In 2013, Stefan Thomas, the CTO of Ripple Labs, announced that as of September 26 of that year, the source code for the peer-to-peer node behind the Ripple payment network was officially open source. The release of “Rippled,” a peer-to-peer “full node,” ensured that the Ripple community would have the entire suite of tools needed to maintain the network on its own. (Source: “Ripple is Officially Open Source,” Bitcoin Magazine, September 26, 2013.)
Will Ripple Replace SWIFT? How Is Ripple Different from SWIFT?
SWIFT’s current cross-border payments are slow, expensive, and opaque. The payments go through the 600-year-old correspondent banking system facilitated by SWIFT.
This system requires the involvement of six players: the payer, the payer’s bank, the payer’s bank’s correspondent, the beneficiary bank’s correspondent, the beneficiary bank, and the beneficiary.
Since the messages generally flow sequentially, the process takes some time. To make matters worse, banks got into the habit of doing nothing with the money for great lengths of time, calling it a float. Even worse, the banks also help themselves to arbitrary deductions, simply changing the name to throw people off.
Ripple disrupted the current model of cross-border payments via its sub-second cross-border payments and very transparent automated best pricing via its own network. Regulators should prefer Ripple because near-instant transfers vastly reduce both credit risks and liquidity.
Although it only takes seconds, the Ripple process assures users of the best price, since it includes an information-rich exchange and implements an automated instant auction for FX and liquidity provision.
Given these advantages, it’s just a matter of time before Ripple displaces SWIFT. However, SWIFT has launched its Global Payments Innovation Initiative (GPII) to counter the growing threat from Ripple.
GPII improves upon the current SWIFT messaging and correspondent banking with payment tracking and other data that enforce banks to remain on their best behavior when it comes to cross-border payments.
|Speed||Seconds||Hours or days|
|FX||Best possible||Determined by bank board rate|
|Data||Full delivery||(Planned for version 2)|
|Technology||Ripple and ILP||SWIFT + new messages|
|Number of Banks||45||80|
|Difficulty||Roughly equal||Roughly equal|
Ripple Mining: Is It Possible to Mine Ripple?
Many popular cryptocurrencies rely on mining to add to the monetary base. However, there is no Ripple mining as the maximum supply of 100 billion Ripple already exists.
Of the 100 billion Ripple, the founders of Ripple Labs have kept 20 billion and contributed the other 80 billion to the business. There are currently 39 billion Ripple in circulation (as of February 15) and Ripple has placed 55 billion in an escrow account.
At the current average distribution of about 300 million Ripple per month over the past 18 months, Ripple believes it would take 14 to 18 years to go through all 55 billion Ripple in escrow.
How Can I Invest in Ripple?
All you need to do to invest in Ripple is follow four simple steps, which you can find here.
Is Ripple Available on Coinbase?
Ripple is not yet available on Coinbase, at least for investors looking to buy XRP straight from USD. Only Bitcoin, Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) are available directly from Coinbase.
What Is the Best Ripple Exchange?
Below are five of the best Ripple exchanges, based on user reviews and a host of other criteria, such as accessibility, fees, user-friendliness, and safety.
- Kraken: This exchange is good for more experienced traders. Today, it is the largest Bitcoin exchange in euro volume and liquidity. For more experienced users, Kraken offers margin trading and many other trading features.
- Poloniex: Founded in 2014, Poloniex has established itself very well and is now among the world’s leading cryptocurrency exchanges, with the highest trading volumes. One of the unique tools on Poloniex is the chat box, which is continuously filled with user help.
- Bitstamp: Founded in 2011, this European Union (EU)-based Bitcoin exchange has built up quite a reputation in the cryptocurrency community as a trusted and secure exchange.
- Changelly: Changelly is a cryptocurrency exchange web site founded in 2013. Soon after its launch, it introduced an option that allows people to buy Ripple coin or any other cryptocurrency by paying with credit or debit cards.
- Coinbase: Although you can’t buy XRP directly on Coinbase, I added it to the list because it is arguably one of the most popular cryptocurrency exchanges in the world. It is backed by trusted investors and used by millions of customers across the globe, making it a safe option. The normally low fees on Coinbase would be heightened by having to pass through Bitcoin, but that might be a trade-off you’re willing to make. It’s a matter of cost versus credibility.
XRP Exchange Comparison Chart
|Name of Exchange||Country Spread||Payment Options||24/7 Support||Easy Interface?||Fees|
For the pros and cons of each of the above exchanges, go here.
How Can I Buy Ripple with PayPal?
It is not possible to directly buy Ripple with “PayPal.” Your only option is to first buy Bitcoin with PayPal. Once you have BTC, you can use an exchange like Binance to convert BTC to Ripple.
How Can I Buy Ripple with a Credit Card?
Changelly is one of the few places where investors can buy Ripple using a credit card. At most other exchanges, you will first have to buy ETH or BTC with your credit card. Once you have the BTC or ETH, you can convert it into Ripple in about 10 minutes on an exchange like Binance. However, many credit cards are discontinuing their relationships with exchanges, meaning that it may become impossible to process these transactions at all.
Best Ripple Wallet: Which Wallet Should I Use for XRP?
Since most investors are likely to stick to a single wallet address rather than have multiple XRP wallet addresses, it’s a good idea to understand your long-term requirements first and select the best Ripple wallet for your requirements from the following wallets.
“Gatehub” is the official online wallet of Ripple. The wallet has a great user interface. Another feature is that Gatehub.net allows you to check real-time stats and market trends before any XRP transaction.
Poloniex is a great exchange on which to trade cryptocurrencies. Not only can you buy XRP by exchanging your BTC or ETH (or other currencies), you can store XRP on Poloniex.
CoinPayments is more than just a wallet. It offers an easy payment gateway for merchants to accept payments in cryptocurrencies. The merchants also have access to a very safe and secure wallet where they can easily store their XRP for a small period.
Among the available desktop wallets, “Rippex” is the most trusted and easy way to store your XRP. The Rippex app can easily be downloaded on “Windows,” “Linux,” or “Mac.”
Ledger Nano S
The “Ledger Nano S” is the finest hardware wallet your dollar can buy. It offers top-notch security to store your coins for long periods without hassle. The Ledger Nano S hardware wallet has recently added support for Ripple.
How Many Businesses Have Adopted Ripple?
Ripple has signed up many financial institutions to its blockchain network, bringing its clientele to more than 100. Moreover, its distributed ledger network, “RippleNet,” has been joined by United Arab Emirates (UAE) lender RAKBANK and U.K. currency exchange firm IFX. It has also signed up with South American online payment provider dLocal.
Cuallix, one of Ripple’s new corporate customers, will be the first institution to trial Ripple’s cryptocurrency. By using Ripple’s virtual currency, Cuallix hopes to lower the cost of payments from the U.S. to Mexico.
And now big-name clients including Banco Santander, S.A. (BME:SAN), UniCredit SpA (BIT:UCG), UBS Group AG (NYSE:UBS), Standard Chartered PLC (LON:STAN), and Japan’s Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc (TYO:8306) are also keen to join hands with Ripple.
Is Ripple Secure?
The simple answer to the question “Is Ripple secure” is “Yes.” That’s because Ripple’s strategy is different from other players in the cryptocurrency market. Think of Ripple as the tortoise in the story “The Tortoise and the Hare.” Ripple knows its goal. And once it gets there, it could dominate the online payment market.
With major banks and financial institutions buying into the idea of RippleNet and embracing XRP, 2017 proved to be a big year for Ripple. This augurs well for XRP’s potential value.
If Ripple can continue to expedite the process of adoption and make XRP acceptable at retail outlets, it would be a huge leap. And when it does happen, XRP’s potential value will be truly perceived.