XRP is a digital asset built for payments. It is the native digital asset on the Ledger—an open-source, permissionless and decentralized blockchain technology that can settle transactions in 3-5 seconds. It can be sent directly without needing a central intermediary, making it a convenient instrument in bridging two different currencies quickly and efficiently.
What Is XRP?
To begin with, it’s important to understand the difference between XRP, Ripple and RippleNet. It’s the currency that runs on a digital payment platform called RippleNet, which is on top of a distributed ledger database called XRP Ledger. While RippleNet is run by a company called Ripple, the Ledger is open-source and is not based on blockchain, but rather the previously mentioned distributed ledger database.
The RippleNet payment platform is a real-time gross settlement (RTGS) system that aims to enable instant monetary transactions globally. While XRP is the cryptocurrency native to the XRP Ledger, you can actually use any currency to transact on the platform.
While the idea behind the Ripple payment platform was first voiced in 2004 by Ryan Fugger, it wasn’t until Jed McCaleb and Chris Larson took over the project in 2012 that Ripple began to be built (at the time, it was also called OpenCoin).
How Does it Work?
XRP was created by Ripple to be a speedy, less costly and more scalable alternative to both other digital assets and existing monetary payment platforms like SWIFT.
RippleNet’s ledger is maintained by the global Community, with Ripple the company as an active member. The XRP Ledger processes transactions roughly every 3-5 seconds, or whenever independent validator nodes come to a consensus on both the order and validity of transactions — as opposed to proof-of-work mining like Bitcoin. Anyone can be a Ripple validator, and the list is currently made up of Ripple along with universities, financial institutions and others.
How can you buy it?
You can buy XRP on any exchange that offers the digital currency. For the latest list of exchanges and trading pairs for this cryptocurrency, click on our market pairs tab. Remember to do your own research before choosing an exchange!
How Do You Store it?
You can either store your XRP on an exchange, where the exchange is responsible for the safety of your asset, or store it in a cold or hot wallet.
What is RippleX
RippleX is Ripple’s open developer platform for money. Through RippleX projects, developers leverage XRP and its underlying technology in use cases from micropayments, to e-commerce to exchanges and peer-to-peer services.
How Does the XRP Ledger Work?
The ledger is maintained by independent participants of a global “XRP Community,” of which Ripple is an active member. Independent validator nodes come to an agreement on the order and validity of transactions. This agreement, called consensus, serves as final and irreversible settlement. The ledger reaches consensus on all outstanding transactions every 3-5 seconds, at which point a new ledger is issued. Anyone can be a validator, and active validators on the ledger today include universities, exchanges and financial institutions. There are currently 36 validators, and Ripple runs 6 of them—16%.