Here's Why You Would Want Ripple: The A-Z Guide

Ripple (XRP) could see a doubling of its supply in the next four years; here's everything you should know

Leah Zitter
Read +
Follow Us

Just in the last month, investors thought they were on top of the world with Ripple. Its XRP currency beat $129 billion and was still climbing. Forbes tech contributor wrote how he bought on a hunch and became $3,000 richer. Tuning into various Ripple forums today, I see post after post of disgruntled investors who lament Ripple’s value in contrast to Bitcoin and Ethereum. That’s Ripple fluctuation: It delights one day and shocks the next, enough to tear your hair out.

There’s hope, however.

Why Ripple?

The best way to explain Ripple’s fame is to show why big banks, financial institutions, and payment providers fall for it and to compare XRP to BTC and ETH. Banks battle infrastructure costs of $1.6 trillion, according to the Federal Reserve, Institute of International Finance, and World Trade Organization. The remittance process is painfully slow - about three to five days, with a high-risk of failure along the way. About two billion people around the world are unbanked, meaning they live too far from banks to receive or send money.

Banks and payment providers use Ripple to reach into other markets, improve the speed of payment settlements, and reduce the cost of foreign exchanges.

Ripple is more stable than Bitcoin. It’s faster (only four seconds to settle in contrast to the two minutes of ETH or the more than one hour’s delay of BTC). There’s a steady supply of funds (Ripple releases up to one billion tokens a month). Ripple charges minimal cross-country fees (0.00001XRP equivalent to ~1/1000th of a cent). Its platform is highly scalable, handling 1,500 transactions every second (ETH only has 15 transactions per second and BTC only handles three to six). The decentralized peer-to-peer network allows XRP to reach every corner of the globe. Since 2012 - that's six years now - XRP has closed every single ledger without an issue and its dedicated band of engineers ensures this certainty will continue. Above all, banks can easily and cost-effectively integrate Ripple into other systems. For these and other reasons, big banks, payment gateways and financial institutions love XRP.

In 2017, more than 100 banks including American Express, Santander, and the Swiss UBS integrated Ripple in their systems, with 75 financial institutions following their examples. Names include RBC, Standard Chartered, Credit Agricole, Westpac, UBS, SEB, SBI Remit, UniCredit, and BMO. In fact, 2017 was a crest for Ripple where its XRP surged more than 35,000 percent, according to Coinmarketcap data, eclipsing Bitcoin's jump of over 1,300 percent. Ripple's market capitalization was over $129 billion on January 5, having risen from just under $90 billion at the start of the year. In the final week of 2017, XRP surpassed Ethereum in market cap to become the largest crypto asset, second only to Bitcoin with $275 billion.

More recently, XRP dropped only because Coinbase disappointed rumor and refused to accept new coins - including XRP - for the time being.

Ripple’s Downside

According to Stephen Powaga, head of research at investment firm Blockchain Momentum, XRP faces the possibility of inflation. Bitcoin seeks to curb inflation by mining to ensure scarcity of supply. Ripple’s XRP token, in contrast, is produced by its creators, who can release up to one billion tokens a month. As Powaga told Britain’s Sunday Express, he fears that "If [Ripple continues to] choose to release them as quickly as possible, within a little over four years, you'd see more than a doubling of supply of ripple.”

In the meantime, Ripple is going strong, and as Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse told Fortune Magazine in October 2017, the cryptocurrency market is big enough for various versions. Bitcoin is for popular currency, Ethereum is for smart contracts, and Ripple addresses payment problems. Seen this way, investors need not worry over which cryptocurrency wins. As long as Ripple accumulates banks and commercial organizations and forages forward - as it seems to do - there’s plenty of room for Bitcoin, Ethereum and ilk - and Ripple.

Ripple terms

Ripple network (RippleNet) - “RippleNet” or Ripple Payment protocol is the Ripple platform that connects payment providers, banks, corporations, and digital asset exchanges. It provides real-time transparent, peer-to-peer transference of funds (both fiat and Ripple (XRP) currency) across the world in an instant, cheap and frictionless manner. Ripple’s platform is built on innovative techniques and processes that give it more scalability and interoperability than does Bitcoin.

Ripple (XRP) - Ripple’s token is called “Ripple”. To avoid confusion, you can also call it XRP. According to Blockonomics, XRP is “the fastest as well as the most scalable digital asset used for payments in the world.” At the time of writing, XRP ranks third of cryptocurrencies, has a market cap of $29,679,888,806.00 USD, shows a circulating supply of 39,009,215,838 XRP, a reserve (or total) supply of 99,992,725,510 XRP and a volume of $884,051,000 USD.

Rippling - Rippling is a mechanism that allows users to exchange like currencies from different issuers. Currencies that are different, for example, USD and EUR, can only be exchanged via order books. Rippling increases the liquidity of payments made in a single currency.

How to use it and Useful Links:

  • Best Ripple Wallets - Gatehub helps if you want an online service to store, receive and send your XRP or other funds. Use a hardware wallet if you’re more tech savvy and want to control your funds (this route happens to be safer, too). Here’s a review of different types of devices.
  • Ripple Guides - Ripple’s How to Buy XRP - Instructions on how to buy XRP, including its availability on digital asset exchanges.
  • Blockonomi’s Beginner’s Guide to Ripple - A more complete guide that shows you how to buy and find Ripple on Coinbase and also describes RippleNet’s three channels: xCurrent (for payment processing), xRapid (for sourcing liquidity) and xVia (for sending payments).
  • Ripple: The Official Website
  • Coinmarketcap - Cryptocurrency market cap rankings, charts, and more.

Ripple’s updated analysis and news - Visit reddit.com/r/ripple or xrpchat.com.