What is Ripple?

Ripple (XRP) is an open payment network that uses the XRP unit as a digital currency. As both a platform and a cryptocurrency, Ripple was originally built for banks and payment providers. As such, Ripple offers a much needed ‘bridge’ between financial institutions and end-users. Established in 2012 by Ripple Labs, XRP offers almost instant and direct monetary transactions. These fast and direct transactions are the features that put Ripple on the map. Interested in buying or selling Ripple? Get started right now!

What is the cryptocurrency Ripple XRP

Table of Contents

  1. The History of Ripple
  2. The Technical Specifications of Ripple
  3. The Price of Ripple
  4. Unique Aspects of Ripple
  5. Why Use Ripple?
  6. Resources of Ripple

The History of Ripple

Ripple was created by a company called Ripple Labs, which is based in San Francisco, California. Originally called Opencoin, Ripple Labs quickly moved to create the prototype for the project in 2004. However, despite such an early development, Ripple didn’t come to life until 2012. Ripple Labs then took action to create the Ripple payment protocol and the XRP Ledger.

history of ripple

Ripple’s Initial Idea

The idea to form Ripple was initially conceived by Jed McCaleb. The ones who brought it to life were Arthur Britto and David Schwartz. Another important figure who is considered the founder of Ripple is Chris Larsen, an investor who is one of the richest persons in the world of cryptocurrency. Britto and Schwartz were the ones who approached Ryan Fugger, who was working on Opencoin at the time, to show him the secure payment structure they were working on. They released the first version of Opencoin in 2012.

Quick Success

One month after founding Opencoin, they decided to change the company’s name from Opencoin to Ripple (XRP). It was in 2013 when Ripple had its first big break. That’s when companies started using it as an alternative for international transactions. It could even be used as an alternative option for customers who want to transfer funds abroad. During the years that followed, multiple companies started using the Ripple network protocol. Ripple Labs has received multiple awards during their years of developing XRP.

Ripple Labs Prestigious Awards

In February 2014, Ripple Labs was announced one of the 50 smartest companies for their creation and development of the Ripple protocol and the Ripple payment/exchange network. This was stated in an article of the February edition of MIT Technology, which is an authority in the scientific community. During the same year, they were one of the finalists in the 2014 PYMNTS Innovator Award in two categories: Best New Technology and Most Disruptive Company.

Specifications of Ripple

Ticker Symbol XRP
Founder(s) Jed McCaleb, Arthur Britto and David Schwartz
Date of Release 2012
Consensus mechanism Consensus
Hashing Algorithm RPCA
Maximum supply
Average Block Time n/a
Mining reward n/a
Average blocksize n/a
Next Block Halving n/a
Smart Contracts No

The Price of Ripple

Do you want to know more about the current price of Ripple and how the XRP price is calculated? Then check out our ‘What is the price of Ripple’ page.

Unique Aspects of Ripple

Ripple strives for a network which enables secure, instant and nearly free, global transactions, which can be used by companies all over the world. A technology like this would close the gap between banks and their users. What makes Ripple unique is the fact that its philosophy is the total opposite of the philosophy of Bitcoin, which was invented to create a new way of exchanging, storing and transferring value without the use of a bank or government.

unique aspects of ripple

Ripple vs Swift

Currently, banks and companies all over the world use SWIFT as a messaging network to communicate international transactions with each other. If you’re not familiar with it, SWIFT is a messaging network which was developed in 1974 and is still being used today. Ripple strives to become the new improved SWIFT messaging network. One of Ripple’s aims is to get companies to use XRP for international transactions instead of SWIFT. With that said, Ripple Labs aims to combine the two assets, enabling people to communicate their message and send the payment to the recipient even quicker than SWIFT can.


Another feature that makes Ripple unique is RippleNet. Namely, the Ripple platform uses its own currency called XRP but also allows users to send and receive other currencies with the help of RippleNet. Therefore, RippleNet can be defined as a network of all payment providers (including bank and businesses) that use Ripple to make global money transactions possible. On top of that, the platform makes it possible to make payments in any currency.

Why Use Ripple?

Ripple is an official organization that gained the trust of many banks, which gives it an edge compared to decentralized networks. The company Ripple Labs has been around for multiple years and currently has over 200 employees on its payroll. Because they have such a huge team, they can rapidly keep developing improvements for the network.

use of ripple

Ripple’s Partnerships

Ripple has already partnered with multiple companies around the world such as American Express, Banco Santander, MoneyGram International and Deloitte. The mentioned companies have already been using the Ripple network for years.

The Transaction speed of Ripple

The Ripple network is one of the fastest cryptocurrency networks available. When you send an XRP transaction, it will be fully processed in a matter of seconds. Because of this, it has become possible for businesses to shift to cryptocurrency, as payments are near instant. This is what makes Ripple a convenient transfer of value system. Let’s not forget that Ripple’s average transaction time is only four seconds.

Multifunctionality of Ripple

Besides providing fast international transactions, Ripple can be used for other purposes as well. It serves as a payment ecosystem where users can issue their own currency and take advantage of cheap transactions. Ripple is also used as a low commission currency exchange. Some currencies cannot be directly converted to one another so banks have to use USD as the mediator. Ripple can act as a mediator instead of USD.


The fast and direct transactions are the features that put Ripple on the map. Besides speed, Ripple’s open protocol allows for cheap transactions, which makes this cryptocurrency and platform highly beneficial. After all, cheap and fast transactions are two very important benefits that cryptocurrency users find valuable.

Official Resources of Ripple