On which platforms can I buy and sell Ripple (XRP)?
Ripple is actually the name of the company responsible for managing global payments and transfers made using XRP, although most people use the term to refer to the cryptocurrency itself. Ripple’s system aims to free people from the various issues that financial networks create with different fee structures, currency exchanges and processing times. Bitcoin also aims to do this with blockchain technology, but Ripple goes even further and uses completely different technologies. Thus, it stands out as a reliable competitor against the king of crypto-currencies.
Instead of working on a public blockchain, like Bitcoin, Ripple works with a network of nodes that are actually participating banks and financial institutions. In doing so, Ripple’s blockchain is not public; it operates on a completely internal register called “corporate blockchain”. An important difference to note because this attitude is much less centralized and less cyberpunk. This is part of what made Ripple so popular with investors and large corporations. The first investors were Pantera Capital, Google Ventures, IDG Capital Partners and Santander InnoVentures.
How it works: for what purposes can Ripple (XRP) be purchased?
So let’s start with the transaction network known as Ripple. So, the Ripple protocol is based on a technology similar to blockchain but not completely identical. It requires no “mining” and is based on a consensus network… instead of being consumer-oriented, unlike Bitcoin technology.
It’s not for people like you and me. Indeed, Ripple is exclusively used by large institutions such as banks. Ripple’s idea is to allow banks to transfer any type of asset, whether it is currency, USD, euros, gold or any other asset such as airline tickets. You can transfer this between other institutions, and instantly. Also, if you have already purchased Bitcoin with a bank transfer, you will know how long it is and how much friction it is full of. Indeed, you must contact your bank and send the transaction to a bank account, which can take up to two to three days and there are many transaction fees for both sender and recipient. Ripple will revolutionize this by providing near-instant and less than second (in terms of speed) transactions for institutions such as banks. It has already been adopted by a number of major banks and the company’s partnerships are quite prestigious.
So now that we’ve explained what the Ripple transaction protocol is, let’s move on to Ripple XRP. XRP is actually published by Ripple Labs and is a form of crypto-currency that can be exchanged and is not “mined” (unlike Bitcoin BTC or Ethereum ETH). So there is a finite number of tokens and that amount is actually issued by the company behind Ripple called Ripple Labs. Currently, XRP is freely negotiable on many exchanges (you will find the list below).
XRP itself has no underlying assets or related values, for example. It is not related to the USD or gold. On the contrary, it can be used to act as an intermediate currency in institutions. It has a huge advantage in that transaction costs are very, very low (unlike Bitcoin, which now reaches 1.5 usd in transaction costs).
Our review: should we buy Ripple (XRP)?
First of all, it should be noted that a significant number of financial institutions have already started working with XRP. “We have reached the point where a significant number of these banks are moving into commercial production,” said former Ripple CEO and current President Chris Larsen in Coindesk in a 2016 interview on the currency. “What is important here is that the use goes beyond experimentation and actually deploys on Ripple’s blockchain.”
Last November, it was announced that American Express and Santander would team up with Ripple Labs to experience much faster cross-border payments by routing transactions through Ripple’s platform. These two institutions represent only a fraction of the companies that have already (publicly) signed a partnership with Ripple. Deloitte, Mitsubishi Financial Group, UBS, Royal Bank of Canada, Western Union and Accenture have partnered with the platform over the past two years. These names most likely mean something to you. It is quite impressive to see that a crypto currency has succeeded in signing such prestigious partnerships.
While the validation of XRP by major banks definitely puts it at the top of the other currencies, it is also one of the reasons why people may hesitate to invest in XRP. The utopian roots of the creation of the first crypto currencies support decentralization and the abolition of an intermediary. An ideology that wants to put an end to the “Big Brother” and the domination of the banks. Many existing crypto investors are wary of Ripple’s attachment to these large institutions and the placement of the Ripple platform as XRP’s central bank.
Then there is the fact that researchers at Purdue University have discovered security holes in Ripple’s platform that could put 50,000 portfolios at risk. However, these system flaws have not prevented angel investors like Google from getting involved, so it is up to you to decide if you want to take the risk.