What is the Ripple Cryptocurrency All About? Origins.
Ripple (XRP) is a fairly older cryptocurrency on the market, though it has not hit the spotlight until recently. Shortly after its release, it was traded at one thousand coins per $1 USD. Compare that price ($0.001) to the price as of writing ($1.30) and you can see how its early adopters have flourished!
It’s not the only Bitcoin alternative out there, you can read about other coins in this blog post.
The company behind this coin is OpenCoin, founded by one of the members of the original Mt. Gox before, well, all that bad stuff happened. This same founder, Chris Larsen, pioneered the success of an online company specializing in finance, E-Loan. Therefore, Ripple is captained by a very knowledgeable team
Stance versus Bitcoin
Ripple is very similar to Bitcoin (BTC) in that it can be transferred person to person (peer to peer) without a central government/organization. It was built with security and anonymity in mind.
XRP is not a competitor to Bitcoin. Rather, it’s a supplementary coin. Its creators anticipated a future in which both XRP and BTC flourish and evolve.
In the chaos of Bitcoin’s ever-increasing transaction fees, Ripple aims to soften the blow of mass transfer by offering a very minimal transaction. One source claims that these fees (as of writing) are about a thousandth of a cent. This is a safeguard to prevent network ‘clogging’ by individuals or organizations who seek out to inhibit the network due to ‘transfer spam.’
Ripple’s early protocol was based on technology older than Bitcoin itself, with roots established as early as 2004. This initial version of the payment protocol was called “Ripplepay”.
Early Investor Interest From Unexpected Sources
Its initial surge of investor interest resulted from a mention that the money transfer giant, Western Union, was entertaining the idea of using its technology in a digital network of wealth transferring. This says a lot about a coin if its entrepreneurs include starchy monopolies who are unlikely to adopt emerging technology! Western Union likely approached Ripple’s protocol as a result of Bitcoin’s firm stance in the cryptocurrency world.
There will only be about 100 Billion. This is 1/4620 of Bitcoin’s max supply. That means for every 1 Bitcoin, there are 4,600+ XRP coins on the market. As of writing, a little over a third of XRP have been released to the public (compared to Bitcoin’s 80%).
Public Investor Interest – Price Over Time
Ripple was released for public trading on exchanges in summer of 2013. At that time it had a run-up to $0.01 each before it settled down to a fraction of a penny. Another run-up in 2015 brought it back up to its peak value, and then it settled down again until its most recent spike in mid-2017.
A large portion of the recent interest is from everyday investors who are now jumping aboard the cryptocurrency train. It’s hard to gauge a coin’s potential success based on price spikes when those spikes can be explained by the general interest in cryptocurrency. However, there is a correlation to these recent price spikes, and that is the leaked rumor that XRP will be released on one of the most popular (and beginner friendly) exchanges: CoinBase. If and when Ripple is adopted by CoinBase (and it will most likely be by the time you are reading this) then it will likely cause the price to jump more as millions of people gain the newfound ability to invest.
Ripple is certainly a coin to keep on your radar. You might consider buying 10-100 Ripple a worthwhile investment when taking into account the success of other altcoins. If anything, to feel a bit more comforted knowing that, if Ripple hits it big in the near future, you’ve already have your ticket to ride.