It is likely that you are already familiar with Bitcoin, the number one cryptocurrency in full expansion in 2016 and 2017, but it should be noted that there are several other virtual currencies whose main characteristics are not to have a tangible form, and especially not to respond to a single body but rather to a borderless control protocol, in theory accessible from any computer.
Among the most frequently cited are Ether (ETH) and Ripple (abbreviation: XRP). While the former is also an electronic currency distributed under a free licence, the latter, in addition to serving as a currency of exchange, also boasts of accelerating international transactions by working in parallel with the traditional banking system, a system that appears to be cheaper, faster and without risk.
California-based start-up Ripple, founded in 2004, uses a transaction protocol called blockchain, based on its own cryptographic currency that allows it to offer services such as currency or raw material exchange and real-time funds transfer. Compared to Bitcoin, which focuses more exclusively on the currency aspect by encouraging minors to provide more and more computer power to the network, Ripple is first and foremost a transactional network that uses its cryptocurrency to accelerate exchanges (a few seconds for a transaction between Spain and Mexico, compared to four days for traditional banking institutions and a few hours for Bitcoin).
And banks and governments are scrambling to take advantage of the system. The National Bank of Abu Dhabi, for example, uses Ripple to provide its clients with fast and cost-effective cross-border transactions. This will arouse the curiosity of online traders who don’t want to miss the boat: after all, if Bitcoin, Ripple’s ancestor and competitor, continues its rapid rise on the markets, the additional advantages offered by the second can only stimulate reliable and rapid growth.
So, since there are no minors, how do we trade Ripple? According to rules established by Ripple, one billion XRPs are traded each month and if the value of the currency fluctuates, the future could be bright for those who have thought about investing their dollars or euros in a few XRPs.
There has long been doubt about the cryptographic currencies that were appearing on the markets, and the slightest decline in value is accompanied by a slight panic effect among investors, a reaction that is understandable since the technologies used by these networks are so new and high-tech that it is difficult to predict their future movements.
Yet Ripple’s recent alliance with MoneyGram and the deployment of the system by 11 of the world’s 100 largest banks can only contribute to a promising future for XRP, and it will take more than occasional market doubts to stop it.
Can the Ripple dethrone Bitcoin? Forbes France, 2018.
Ripple’s XRP is the biggest loser of the cryptocurrency bloodbath Business Insiders, 2017.