Ripple is an enterprise payment solution based on blockchain technology. It connects with banks, payment providers and exchanges enabling them to transfer their assets throughout the Ripple network. The platform can work with digital currencies and digitized assets that represent fiat money, commodities or, virtually, any assets including airline miles or loyalty points.
Compared to traditional financial services, Ripple offers significantly lower fees for cross-border transactions along with fewer liquidity requirements. Therefore, it is popular with banks, payment providers, and exchanges. There are more 100 of traditional banks among Ripple’s customers, including 11 from TOP-100 banks in the world. Some of the big names to use the platform are Bank of America, Credit Agricole, Santander, and MUFG. Ripple as well offers its services to corporations enabling them to make their global payments to merchants, suppliers and employees cost-efficient.
XRP is a cryptocurrency token, a native asset of Ripple network. With the launch of the platform 100 billion XRP were issued, and their number is kept constant to this day (as of August 2018). It is not possible to mine Ripple tokens, unlike Bitcoin or Ethereum’s Ether. XRP serves two functions on the network. First, it serves as a bridge currency in cases when no direct market exists between two currencies that are being exchanged on the network. Secondly, it protects the Ripple platform from spam and DDoS: each account is required to have a reserve of 20 XRP, and every transaction on Ripple costs a small fee in its native currency.