What is Ripple?

What is Ripple?

in Cryptocurrency, Know-it-all, Altcoins

At this point, Ripple is focused entirely on working with banks, offering them a more efficient and cost-effective way to send real-time payments around the world. Consider this hypothetical example.  Directly transferring currency inexpensively from Japan to Nicaragua, JPY/NIO isn’t generally feasible.  Instead, an individual or bank will usually trade JPY to USD and then USD to NIO. At each step, the fees add up, making an expensive way to send money internationally.  By using Ripple, one can trade JPYRipple is a global settlement network, making it easy to transfer nearly any currency to anyone in the world in just seconds.  The Ripple platform has rendered the archaic system of sending money through SWIFT or the Western Union obsolete.   At each step, the fees add up, making an expensive way to send money internationally.  By using Ripple, one can trade JPY to XRP (Ripple’s currency) relatively inexpensively, send XRP to the recipient, either an individual who has a Ripple wallet or a bank in Nicaragua and from there, trade XRP into NIO.   In other words, XRP is the grease that allows any currency to be easily exchanged for any other currency on the Ripple platform. While banks, in general, have been slow to adopt Ripple, there is no doubt that real-time worldwide payments are the future.  The Ripple platform gives banks a huge advantage both over their competition and financially.  Ripple is focused on the “Internet of Value”, meaning that money transfers should move as quickly as information does in the technological age.  With Ripple, there is no reason to pay a fortune and wait days when transferring money globally.   

Why Are Banks Using Ripple?

A few banks have embraced the Ripple platform including, Santander, Axis Bank, Yes Bank, Westpac, Union Credit, NBAD, and UBS, among others.  According to Ripple, banks can save an average of $3.76 per payment by using their protocol.  Considering that banks perform thousands or perhaps millions of transactions every year, this represents a significant saving. If there is one thing that captures the attention of banks, it is how to make more money, while saving more money.  This is why Ripple, or a real-time, inexpensive, global settlement network similar to it, has a bright future ahead of it, as they are offering a new way to conduct business that brings financial institutions up to speed in the Internet age.  Ripple is lead by Brad Garlinghouse, while the brains behind the scene are David Schwartz, the Chief Cryptographer.  Based out of San Francisco and branching out around the world, the Ripple team has been constantly improving the protocol, while connecting with banks internationally.  Ripple continues to hire top talent from around the world and aims to facilitate the greater majority of international payments worldwide.  As it currently stands, Ripple is one of the most exciting Fintech organizations with their innovative financial platform, as Forbes even includes Ripple in their Fintech 50.   

How Can I Invest In Ripple? 

While large-scale investors may be able to invest in Ripple directly, most other investors and speculators are limited to investing in XRP.  XRP, Ripple’s native currency, took off in value in 2017 when it went from under $0.01 to over $0.30 a coin.  This huge surge in value is due to both bank adoption and speculative interest.  As it currently stands, Ripple has the third highest market cap behind Bitcoin and Ethereum. XRP allows for seamless financial transactions from any given currency to any other currency with negligible fees.  In a sense, XRP is the reserve currency on the Ripple platform that enables users to trade nearly any currency of choice into XRP and send XRP globally to anyone.  The individual who receives XRP can then trade it for the currency of their choice. Every time any given currency is traded into XRP, liquidity increases, as does the value of XRP, due to greater demand.  In other words, Ripple is attempting to turn XRP into a global reserve currency of such even though it may not seem that way just yet.    However, transferring XRP is the easiest and least expensive way to send value over the Ripple protocol.  At some point, it may not make sense to move into any other currency, while instead, simply using XRP exclusively for global payments.  If people and banks from around the world turn their fiat into XRP and collectively decide not to move back into fiat, the price of XRP will no doubt skyrocket.


Using Ripple to transfer money

Transferring money with Ripple works like any other cryptocurrency:
  1. Have some XRP available in your wallet. XRP wallets are the same as, for example, bitcoin wallets. Buy XRP on an exchange and then transfer them to your wallet.
  2. Scan or enter the recipient’s address. Whether they provide you with the hashed wallet address or a QR code, just follow the simple instructions on your wallet of choice and you’ll be done in no time.
  3. Enter the amount and send. The transaction should be verified in a few seconds and you’re done.

How is Ripple different from bitcoin? 

The Ripple coin and the Ripple Network have various advantages over bitcoin as they have been built with slightly different purposes in mind. 
  • Fast and cheap
Ripple transaction processing only takes four seconds since it’s significantly less active compared to bitcoin. This has the added bonus of cheaper transaction fees, whereas the price for bitcoin transactions has been on the rise lately as more people adopt the platform.          
  • Mining-free
All the 100 billion XRP that it’s possible to use on the platform already exist. While they’re not all on the market – a few are released into the market every month to avoid flooding – there is no use mining as there is nothing of value to be added, unlike in more traditional cryptocurrencies.          

Where can I buy Ripple?

Buy Ripple (XRP) from an Exchange There are multiple exchanges that currently support buying Ripple. On their official site, Ripple lists down these following exchanges: Ripple can be bought using either Fiat currency, such as USD, GBP or KRW, or using other cryptocurrencies.  

How to Buy Ripple using other Cryptocurrencies

The most favoured way to purchase XRP is by first buying Bitcoin (XBT). Then XBT can be transferred to the different exchanges listed above and  traded for Ripple.
Once you have either XBT or ETH, you can use the convertors such Shapeshift or Changelly to convert them to Ripple.  

Transfer Ripple (XRP) to your Wallet

The manner in which you purchased or bought the crypto coins does not matter. Its always recommended transferring Ripple to your own wallet. While Gatehub is one defined wallet for XRP, you should also consider some other wallets. A slight difference from other cryptocurrency wallets is that a Ripple wallet needs to be initialized with 20 XRP, to begin with. Rippex is a desktop wallet that supports Mac, Windows, and Linux. If you are using some other operating system, you are out of luck. The Rippex wallet is open source. Another option is the Minimalist client that is also truly open-source. It is a browser-based client for interacting with the Ripple network and storing your XRP. As always, it is best to store your cryptocurrency in a hardware wallet. The Ledger Nano S, is my favorite hardware wallet and thankfully it supports XRP. You will need to install a separate Chrome app.  

Is Ripple Worth Investing In? 

  Ripple will probably appeal to larger banks throughout the next couple years, as they offer a global settlement network that enables real-time payments internationally while reducing transaction fees. Anyone who purchases the innate digital asset, XRP, has the potential to earn huge returns on their investment if Ripple keeps making headway throughout the banking sector.  While fleeting, the concept of XRP becoming an established global reserve currency is an ideal scenario for investors.               Do you invest in Ripple? Why? Why not? Let us know in the comments below.   

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