Whether you are new to the cryptocurrency space or have been here since 2009, there’s a good chance you have come across Ripple and the cryptocurrency XRP. While at first, it’s easy to mistake Ripple and XRP as the same thing, this isn’t the case by any means. In fact, many are surprised to learn that the terms XRP and Ripple are not interchangeable.
What is Ripple?
Simply put, Ripple is the company that created the Ripple Consensus Ledger. In this way, Ripple functions as both a platform and a currency. Ripple developers utilize an open-source protocol to provide users with a host of benefits. These benefits include secure, fast, and inexpensive transactions.
However, Ripple is not meant to function purely as currency such as with Bitcoin. Whereas Bitcoin was meant as a means to circumvent the traditional financial system, Ripple fulfilled a totally different market niche. The platform was designed to bridge the gap between traditional financial institutions and the blockchain sector.
Importantly, Ripple (XRP) is different than many other popular cryptocurrencies for some key reasons. Primarily, it differs from the competition because it was created by a private, for-profit company. Today, Ripple has offices in San Francisco, New York, London, Sydney, Luxembourg, Singapore, and Mumbai. The firm serves more than 300 financial institutions across over 40 countries.
The history of Ripple begins back in 2013 when a group of intuitive developers decided to join forces to create something unique within the market. At that time, Jed McCaleb, best known as the creator of the EDonkey network, invited a team of advantageous investors to participate in a project known as Ripple Labs. Importantly, McCaleb is also a major figure in the sector. He was pivotal in the creation of numerous crypto-based startups including Ripple, Stellar, and Overnet.
Ripple Labs is the official name of the tech firm that developed the Ripple payment protocol. Notably, this San Francisco-based firm was founded officially in 2012. Originally, Ripple Labs entered the market under the name Opencoin. However, in 2015, the firm rebranded into its current name.
Ripple Labs was founded by a well-known angel investor and privacy activist, Chris Larsen. Larsen is a charismatic figure who is best known for co-founding online mortgage lender E-loan back in 1996. He was joined by the programmer and entrepreneur, Jed McCaleb.
Notably, McCaleb is best known as was one of the co-founders of the infamous Mt.Gox exchange. Mt.Gox was one of the first Bitcoin exchanges in the world and for a long time, it was the largest Bitcoin exchange in the world. At one point, the exchange handled 70% of all Bitcoin trading volume. Importantly, he sold his shares and was not affiliated with the exchange during the June 2011 hack that sent Bitcoin prices plummeting for months.
RippleNet is the community of banks, financial institutions, and…