While there are no central authorities that control Ripple’s price and behavior in the market, the right answer to the question seems to be no: the platform is not entirely decentralized. That doesn’t mean it isn’t successful, as worldly famous financial institutions such as Santander, Bank of America, UBS, American Express, RBC, and Westpac, just to name a few, use it for operations.
The blockchain technology doesn’t allow any party or the network itself to control anything regarding transactions, whereas these banks and institutions, using the Ripple’s distributed ledger, can charge their specified transaction fees.
People can’t pre-mine XRPs, unlike the cases of Ethereum and Bitcoin. They are fully decentralized platforms backed by millions of miners all around the planet. No person or entity can have control over them. Ripple, administrated by the Ripple company, sees its nodes handled and managed by the mentioned financial institutions.
There is a maximum number of Ripple tokens to be hand in the world, set at the moment of its inception to the market. The said number can’t go higher, which means that there aren’t any new XRPs being created.
Meet Ripple, the world’s most practical financial network
What are we, as a society, if we aren’t able to build robust relationships based on trust? That, and honor should be in front of every social interaction involving human beings, including financial transactions.
As the world shifts towards a more digital, cryptography-protected way of doing business, traditional banking platforms are being slowly phased out the financial scope. Only those willing to adjust and including more efficient payment system, which is both faster and safer, will be able to maintain in the business and survive.
Ripple Price Today
The Ripple platform represents one of those innovative systems. While it has been around since 2012, it is still solidly backing up banking and financial institutions in their quest to provide more efficient and faster transactions that can be built around customers’ trust in each other and the network.
Ripple is a project based on small free software that pursues the development of a credit system based on the end-to-end paradigm. Each Ripple node functions as a local exchange system, in such a way that the entire network forms a decentralized mutual bank.
In other words, the Ripple platform is a distributed social service based on the honor and trust of existing people in real-world social networks. In this way, financial capital is based on social capital. A reduced version of the Ripple network would consist of an extension of the existing hierarchical banking system.
Ripple: an exciting, feature-rich network
To understand Ripple’s place in the crypto universe, we have to value its contributions to the industry. In addition to being one of the most renowned digital tokens out there – even competing for the second spot in market share, behind Bitcoin, with options such as Dash, Litecoin, and Ethereum – it is also one of the most efficient payment networks for financial transactions in the planet.
The Ripple technology is, in fact, more widely known for its digital payment protocol than for being a cryptocurrency. Since being co-founded by Chris Larsen and Jed McCaleb in 2012, it has flourished, reaching worldwide recognition and market success via the digital coin, the XRP.
Ripple functions in a decentralized platform that fosters money transfers in any form. It is open source and peer to peer, and can work with several exchanges and currencies, physical or crypto, such as US dollars, Yen, Litecoin, and Bitcoin.
To work correctly, Ripple implements the Gateway medium, which serves as the link in the trust chain between two parties wanting to make a transaction. Gateway is the credit intermediary, the one in charge of receiving the funds to public addresses managed within the Ripple platform. In Ripple, anyone can sign up and open a gateway that authorizes that person to be the middleman for exchanging currencies.
The XRP (Ripple) is the associated cryptocurrency of the platform. It performs the part of a bridge currency to other tokens without discriminating between fiat and crypto, facilitating exchanges between different coins.
According to Ripple’s chief cryptographer, David Schwartz, the payment systems of today are where the email was in the early ’80s. Every provider built their system for their customers, and if people used different ones, they couldn’t easily interact with each other. The purpose of Ripple is enabling the connection of different payment systems together.
2012: Ripple is born
Ripple’s original and intellectual authors are Arthur Britto, David Schwartz, and Ryan Fugger. They formed the Ripple Company in 2012 and came up with the initial release. The latest version or release was on February 20th, 2018.
The project is written in C++ code, under the operating systems GNU/Linux (RHEL, CentOS, Ubuntu), Windows, and OS X. We can consider Ripple to be a real-time gross settlement, currency exchange, and remittance network.
Ripple’s first significant period ranged from 2012 to 2013, involving OpenCoin and Ripple Labs. OpenCoin started the development phase of a new payment protocol, named Ripple Transaction Protocol (RTXP), with Fugger’s ideas, primarily instant money transfer between two parties. By that time, the company had already created its digital currency, the XRP, in the same mold as Bitcoin.
Later, between 2014 and 2017, Ripple began to focus on the banking market, with Ripple Labs taking part in related projects. They experimented with an App for iPhone that enabled users to send and receive transfer between them. Since 2013, the Ripple protocol has been adopted by numerous financial institutions to offer an alternative remittance option to people.
German bank Fidor was the first to use the Ripple network to allow cross-border payments, in the first part of 2014. American institutions Cross River Bank and CBW Bank quickly followed, and later on, Ripple began working with Earthport.
From that point on, success followed, and more prominent banking institutions, such as HSBC and Bank of America, utilize the Ripple protocol to perform operations in astonishingly quick times.
Ripple’s bread and butter: the consensus protocol
Bitcoin, along with other renowned cryptocurrencies in the market, performs its operations with the proof-of-work system. Others, such as Nxt, use proof-of-stake; but Ripple implements the consensus protocol.
The consensus protocol validates account balances and transactions in the network, improving overall integrity by avoiding double spending. The system will automatically delete malicious advances from morally shady people looking to send one deal to multiple gateways.
In short, the protocol consists of distributed nodes deciding by consensus the transaction’s pecking order through a majority vote. One would think that they take a lot of time to complete. Well, five seconds isn’t a whole lot, is it? Ripple is a decentralized platform because it doesn’t involve any governance or central authorities in any part of the process.