Ripple XRP crypto coin review: Pros, cons, prospects

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WRITTEN BY Abel Stokes 84 views date-icon 2024-05-14 09:52:00

Cryptocurrencies have been in the public eye for years thanks to the news about Bitcoin, but Bitcoin is just one of many cryptocurrencies. There are countless other digital currencies that you can invest in for a variety of purposes, from supporting your favorite internet creators to paying your cell phone bill. For this reason, let's take a look at the Ripple XRP coin. It is one of the most complex cryptocurrencies. Since its inception in 2012, XRP has undergone many changes and gone through many misunderstandings and scandals, but it still holds not the least place in the list of top cryptocurrencies. 

Ripple

Ripple is not a cryptocurrency. Ripple is the company behind the XRP token. Ripple Labs describes itself as a "payment solutions company." It is currently focused on creating digital currencies that facilitate cross-border cryptocurrency payments and cryptocurrency liquidity that meet central bank security standards. Ripple also operates the RippleNet payment network. This network consists of several banks and payment service providers that have signed up to use Ripple's blockchain network for international payments. The company also operates XRP Ledger, a network that facilitates payments using the XRP digital currency.

What is XRP

XRP is a cryptocurrency designed for international payments and currency exchange. When Ripple first launched, XRP was used in a cross-border payments network. Since then, Ripple has updated its network to allow other currencies besides XRP to be used. XRP's biggest advantage has always been its speed. Unlike Bitcoin, which can take a long time to complete a transaction, XRP transactions take only a few seconds. This is because XRP does not use the proof-of-work algorithm used in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to validate payments. Instead of being completely decentralized like many other cryptocurrencies, XRP uses a network of validators to verify transactions.

To become an XRP payment validator, one must have enough trust to be listed as a unique Ripple node. There are currently over 150 XRP validators on the network, with 35 validators listed as unique nodes by default. Ripple operates six of them. This network of independent network operators (or nodes) validates all XRP transactions every 3-5 seconds. They then publish an updated version of the XRP ledger. Ripple calls this the consensus algorithm of the Ripple protocol.

From the beginning, Ripple has claimed the high speed of XRP transactions as a means of creating a more efficient international payment infrastructure. Traditional cross-border transactions sometimes take days and incur heavy penalties. According to Ripple, XRP requires many times less time, money and bureaucratic hassle.

What XRP is used for:

  •  Low fee currency conversion: In many cases, one currency cannot be converted directly into another, but must first be converted into an intermediate currency. This is usually dollars, and XRP acts as an intermediate currency, but with a lower transaction fee.
  •  International transactions: Ripple has long promoted the speed of transactions using the XRP cryptocurrency as an alternative to traditional wire transfers, which can take days and be expensive.

XRP and RippleNet

The relationship between XRP and RippleNet can be confusing. RippleNet is Ripple's cross-border payments network. RippleNet is a bank-centric blockchain that can be used not only for currency exchange, but also for money transfers and other transactions. Ripple's partners include major banks such as Bank of America (FDIC member). More than 55 countries have signed up to use RippleNet, which holds more than 120 pairs of fiat currencies. 

The only part of RippleNet that utilizes the digital currency XRP is an on-demand liquidity service that uses a pool of digital assets to provide liquidity for unfunded transactions. 

How XRP differs from Bitcoin

There are several key differences between XRP and Bitcoin. For example, Bitcoin's maximum reserve is limited to 21,000,000 Bitcoins, although new Bitcoins are mined all the time. On the other hand, XRP's maximum reserve is 100 billion, half of which is in circulation.

XRP was created at launch and will never be created again, Bitcoin's stockpile is much more limited, making it more scarce. This is one of the reasons why Bitcoin was worth $18,812.82 per coin as of Sept. 25, while XRP was worth $0.4937 per coin. While Bitcoin is a decentralized cryptocurrency, XRP is a centralized cryptocurrency. The centralization of the former means that transactions can be processed faster because it does not require proof of work. Instead, it relies on a small network of nodes to validate each transaction. While Ripple claims to have taken measures to ensure the security of its digital currency, this could pose significant risks.

Pros

Ripple has been in the cryptocurrency industry long enough to have earned the trust of several prominent financial institutions and governments. This trust makes it a safer investment compared to other cryptocurrencies. Ripple coins are distributed on a predetermined schedule. This means that there is no inflation. As more and more financial institutions buy Ripple coins and their products, the value of XRP could rise significantly.

Cons

Compared to other cryptocurrency platforms, Ripple's centralized system is more vulnerable to circumventing authority and verification. Since it is controlled by a small number of people, they can block transactions just like a regular bank. Ripple Labs has a monopoly on the XRP token, owning about 60% of the available transaction volume. The token code is open source, meaning it is free to use. This is good for developers, but can be dangerous if someone hacks it. The SEC's lawsuit against Ripple claims that XRP is a security, not a currency. The outcome of this lawsuit could greatly affect the value of XRP.

Currently, the XRP token is valued at $0.4937 dollars and has a market cap of $24.56 billion. XRP is not yet widespread; financial institutions utilizing the Ripple network are still in the testing phase. Ripple has potential for international payments, but it has not yet been fully tested by major banks.

Conclusion

XRP is an interesting cryptocurrency that is attracting the attention of the financial sector due to its ability to facilitate cross-border payments and currency exchange. It is faster than Bitcoin - it takes a few seconds per transaction rather than an hour or more - and could be the best way to make international payments. However, the future success of Ripple and XRP will depend on the ongoing legal fight with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

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