To date Ripple has established relationships with more than 100 major institutional clients (and the list seems to grow daily). Recently adding notable major brands JPMorgan and Bank of America. Most people consider Ripple to be a centralized open network, which makes crypto enthusiasts cringe, but maybe a needed function to support the technology so that banks can move large amounts of money at a rapid rate. I will look at What is Ripple?
Early Days of Ripple
Ripple was originally started in 2004. Years later, after advanced conceptual development, a corporation named OpenCoin was founded in 2012. OpenCoin developed the Ripple Transaction Protocol (also known as RTXP) and the Ripple payment & exchange network, all done in open source code. OpenCoin changed to Ripple Labs Inc. in 2013, shortly thereafter the company changed the name to Ripple in a rebranding attempt in 2015. Ripple is a privately funded company; noteworthy investors include Google Ventures, Seagate Technology, Accenture, Bitcoin Opportunity Corp & Standard Chartered.
xRapid (XRP) is for payment providers and other financial institutions who want to minimize liquidity costs while improving their customer experience.
Another thing that separates XRP from other cryptocurrencies is the fact that ALL XRP coins have already been created, and there will never be more created. The total supply of Ripple is 100 billion coins. As of the date of this article, there are about 40 Billion XRP coins in circulation, and the value of each coin is 28 cents. Ripple Labs holds the rest of the uncirculated supply.
There are a couple of advantages of Consensus over Proof of Work (PoW). The most obvious one is that there isn’t this massive need for computing power to mine transactions. Thus, the network is not costly to maintain. The other less obvious advantage is that there is no dictator that gets to choose what is in each block. Each block (or with Ripple, each Ledger), is determined by a consensus of participants so no single gets to determine the contents of each block. This functionality is what makes some of the other features of Ripple possible. Such things like the decentralized exchange and arbitrary assets, these things require a system that is built with inherent fairness rather than having people or a central authority decide the outcome.
Ripple is not centralized. To be clear, if Ripple disappeared today XRP would continue to function. To me, that’s the most important measure of whether something is decentralized.