Ripple is a real-time gross settlement system (RTGS), currency exchange and remittance network created by the Ripple company. It supports tokens representing fiat currency, cryptocurrency, commodity or any other unit of value such as frequent flier miles or mobile minutes.
Used by companies such as UniCredit, UBS and Santander, Ripple has been increasingly adopted by banks and payment networks as settlement infrastructure technology, with American Banker explaining that "from banks' perspective, distributed ledgers like the Ripple system have a number of advantages over cryptocurrencies like bitcoin."
The predecessor to the Ripple payment protocol, Ripplepay, was first developed in 2004 by Ryan Fugger, a web developer in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Ripple's website describes the open-source protocol as "basic infrastructure technology for interbank transactions – a neutral utility for financial institutions and systems." The protocol allows banks and non-bank financial services companies to incorporate the Ripple protocol into their own systems, and therefore allow their customers to use the service.
XRP is the native currency of the Ripple network. XRP are currently divisible to 6 decimal places, and the smallest unit is called a drop with 1 million drops equaling 1 XRP.
Of the 100 billion created, 20 billion XRP were retained by the creators, who were also the founders of Ripple Labs. The creators gave the remaining 80% of the total to Ripple Labs, with the XRP intended "to incentivize market maker activity to increase XRP liquidity and strengthen the overall health of XRP markets.
- Trusted web wallet where you can store or mine XRP