Even though we are called Bitcoin Australia, Bitcoin is not the only cryptocurrency that we trade. We’ve also traded Ether for a while now, and have added some other cryptocurrencies to the roadmap. That includes Ripple (XRP).
So, what is Ripple? And, how does it compare to other cryptocurrencies?
What is Ripple?
Ripple was founded in 2012 as a way to quickly make international payments. The “Ripple Network” is primarily a group of over 200 banks and money services businesses using the platform to transfer payments to each other.
This crypto is unlike many other cryptocurrencies in that it’s not decentralised at all. Bitcoin is a prime example of a decentralised currency. Its whitepaper was published anonymously and its software is maintained by a revolving door of independent volunteers. Ripple is very different.
It has offices, it has a board of directors, and it doesn’t have “adopters” – it has partners and clients.
So, while cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are working on financing the unbanked, Ripple is financing banks that bank with other banks.
Bitcoin zealots will argue that this means that Ripple is basically just another bank. In many ways, it does promote this view. For fans of Ripple, this makes the cryptocurrency more credible and more accountable.
It’s kind of like how you can use money without being banked but you’re still subject to monetary policy. You can use XRP without being on RippleNet but you’re still playing by their rules.
Ripple in the Markets
The fact that Ripple is largely used by banks doesn’t mean that it isn’t used by individuals. In fact, XRP is the third most popular cryptocurrency in terms of market capitalization.
For the first few years, Ripple and Bitcoin had completely independent values. However, for whatever reason, the market trends started to sync up in December of 2012. Still, XRP is a much more stable currency. The value has been within a US dollar for about two years. Where Bitcoin can fluctuate hundreds of dollars overnight, Ripple stays within cents.
It’s currently trading at US$0.26 with a record high of $2.45. It’s had its ups and downs, though the current down-trend has lasted a month-and-a-half. Not that that means it won’t come back up.
XRP in Your Portfolio
Those into cryptocurrencies as speculative investments may not be impressed by this low-risk low-reward coin. However, those looking to get into markets will find XRP to be very approachable. There’s a low buy-in and it’s a relatively stable store of value.
As far as Ripple as a currency, it’s not as commonly accepted as Bitcoin and Ethereum. If you plan on making purchases, you might be better off with another coin.
Jon Jaehnig is an American freelance writer specializing in Technology and Health. Jon has degrees in Scientific and Technical Communication and Journalism from Michigan Technological University and lives in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula with his wife and cat. For more from Jon, you can follow him on LinkedIn and Twitter.