The blockchain-based alternative to processing payments on an international scale.
XRP (XRP) Fact Sheet
- XRP is the digital asset built explicitly for facilitating digital payments and is the native cryptocurrency of the XRP Ledger (XRPL) developed by Ripple Labs.
- Ripple Labs, Inc. is an American technology company developing the Ripple payment protocol and exchange network. Originally named Opencoin and renamed in 2015, the company was founded in 2012 and is based in San Francisco, California.
- The XRP Ledger (XRPL) is a fast, energy-efficient, and reliable blockchain network that lets anyone connect through a peer-to-peer (P2P) network and contribute to its management.
- RippleNet is a platform created in 2012 to offer banks and financial institutions a real-time gross settlement system.
- Anyone can download and run the XRP Ledger to become a validator, and the total supply of XRP is capped at 100 billion coins, with the available supply decreasing over time.
- Ripple did not issue and does not oversee XRP; Ripple is simply a part of the broader ecosystem through which the XRP cryptocurrency is utilized, which means that the XRP Ledger can live on, even if Ripple as a company goes away.
BNB Historical Data Price Chart in the U.S. Dollars (USD)
XRP Historical Data Price Chart in the U.S. Dollars (USD). Source: TradingView
What is XRP (XRP)?
The XRP Ledger (XRPL) was initially created to enable low-cost transactions and provide developers with a robust and open-source foundation to achieve demanding projects without impacting the environment.
XRP was designed as a payment system to replace banks' pre-existing, traditional finance systems with the primary goal of disrupting that space and enabling people globally to use a payment network that does not charge them too much.
XRP is the native cryptocurrency on the XRP Ledger – an open-source, permissionless, and distributed ledger operated through a peer-to-peer (P2P) network.
The vision for the XRP cryptocurrency is to transform global payments through having improved utility over legacy channels for conducting payments.
Some of the most common use cases of the XRP Ledger:
- Micropayments - developers can use the XRP Ledger and create innovative gaming, content, and web monetization products.
- Cryptocurrency Wallets - anyone can utilize the ledger to build wallets through which they can store private and public passwords, through which they can interact with blockchains and receive digital assets, such as the XRP cryptocurrency.
- Exchanges - any developer can create their own cryptocurrency exchange where users can invest, trade, buy or sell cryptocurrencies, stocks, ETFs, and commodities.
- Stablecoins - financial institutions can issue stablecoins by utilizing the XRP Ledger.
- Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) - XRPL also enables the issuance of IOUs, which can represent a currency of just about any value and can be extended into the use-case surrounding non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
- Decentralized Finance (DeFi) - by tapping into DeFi, the XRP Ledger can give users access to financial products and services in a decentralized way by using smart contract protocols, which will replace financial institutions.
- Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) - the CBDC Private Ledger can provide Central Banks with a secure, controlled, and flexible solution for issuing and managing Central Bank Issued Digital Currencies.
How is XRP (XRP) Used?
First, let’s review the Ripple ecosystem to comprehend how the XRP cryptocurrency is used.
The XRP Ledger is maintained by a diverse set of software engineers, server operators, users, and businesses. XRPL utilizes a consensus protocol created to have designated servers known as validators to agree on the order and overall outcome of the XRP transactions every 3 to 5 seconds.
All servers within this network can process the transactions by following the same rules, and any transactions that follow the protocol can be confirmed immediately.
All transactions within the ledger are public and feature strong cryptography to guarantee the system's integrity.
Anyone can become a validator, and there are currently over 129 validators active on the ledger. Most validators will typically be operated by universities, exchanges, businesses, and even individuals.
The consensus protocol can even ensure that the blockchain can become a lot more decentralized throughout time as the validator pool ends up growing.
Additionally, compared to competing for blockchain networks, the XRP Ledger utilizes neither Proof-of-Work (PoW) nor Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus mechanism.
It uses the proprietary XRP Ledger Consensus Protocol, specifically created as a centralized and efficient solution to reduce transaction finality time and costs.
With the utilization of the XRP Ledger, the transactions can get completed within a few seconds, which is much quicker when compared to the block time in Bitcoin (BTC), for example, around 10 minutes.
Use-Cases of XRP (XRP)
RippleNet is a platform created explicitly to offer banks and financial institutions access to a gross settlement system that can handle enormous amounts of transactions in real-time – securely, instantaneously, and globally.
Ripple and RippleNet let their customers utilize and take advantage of the XRP cryptocurrency in sourcing liquidity across the cross-border transactions they facilitate.
However, Ripple is an entirely independent and separate company from XRP and the XRP Ledger. XRP is just a digital asset that is purpose-built to facilitate payments, and XRP cryptocurrency exists independently from Ripple.
That means anyone can download and run the XRP ledger so that the XRP cryptocurrency can exist, even if Ripple as a company goes away at any time.
Another important distinction is that Ripple did not issue and does not oversee XRP, but XRP is a part of Ripple’s ecosystem as its clients utilize it.
However, when we dive a bit deeper into the utility and use-cases for XRP, the cryptocurrency is mainly used as a payment method due to its speed, where the transactions are settled globally every 3 to 5 seconds, and its scalability. The XRP Ledger has the technical capability of theoretically handling over 1,500 transactions per second (TPS), which leads to a high level of throughput.
There are over 129 validators distributed on a global scale. Because the XRPL is not built to run through the utilization of the power-hungry consensus mechanism known as Proof-of-Work (PoW), it is a lot friendlier to the environment.
Another key reason why the XRP cryptocurrency has seen a high level of usage is because all of the statistics get updated transparently. Anyone can view them and validate them at any point in time, which includes data surrounding the settlement speed, the network transaction fees which have incurred as well as the number of transactions per second.
XRP as a cryptocurrency can also be utilized for the censorship-resistant processing of transactions.
Within XRPL, users can select a Unique Node List (UNL), a list of validators that the user trusts to order the transactions. They can utilize a specified validator for their own UNL or rely on the recommended ones.
At any point in time, users can change their URLs and the validators they entrust to facilitate the processes above.
Here’s an example of the businesses and projects that run on the XRP Ledger:
- BitGo - a service that provides institutional custodial and non-custodial asset storage for digital assets, including XRP.
- BitPay - a payment provider solution that builds tools for enterprises to accept and transfer cryptocurrencies such as XRP.
- Coil - a web monetization platform that aims to be an alternative to paid advertising.
- Forte - a service that provides tools and services for game developers to integrate blockchain technology in gaming.
- GateHub - a platform built on the XRP Ledger that allows anyone to send, receive, trade, and manage cryptocurrencies.
- Exodus - a robust cryptocurrency wallet and application intended for securing, managing, and exchanging cryptocurrencies.
Usability & Primary Features of XRP (XRP)
Throughout its time within the crypto space, XRP has seen a lot of volatility. However, it has also seen a high level of utility from different types of industries.
There are numerous reasons why this is the case, and we will start by going over its protocol.
The XRP Ledger Consensus Protocol powers the XRP Ledger alongside the Federated Byzantine Agreement. The ledger then features updated balances every 3 to 5 seconds, creating absolute settlement finality.
The primary way through which the XRPL Consensus Protocol differentiates itself from competing options is because it does not rely on providing incentives to anyone involved.
Within it, every validator can take all of the valid transactions not already included within the previous block and broadcast them as a candidate set. Furthermore, all validators can then examine these candidate sets from the other validators and vote for the transactions to include within the next ledger.
Any transactions that get more "yes" votes than the minimum percentage required can pass. The transactions not voted for are discarded or included as candidates for the next block.
At a point in time when a minimum of 80% of all validators agree on a specific transaction, it can get added to the consensus set – a list of the transactions to include in the ledger. All of the transactions are then applied to the ledger in a deterministic order, and the result of their application produces the next ledger.
XRP is the native cryptocurrency of the open-source XRP Ledger. Anyone can connect to it, after which they have full permission to receive, hold, and sell XRP at any point in time to anyone. XRPL has a consensus mechanism built by the creating team, and the total supply of XRP is capped at 100 billion XRP. The deployed algorithms for cryptography are also integrated to be replaced or evolved as cryptography advances. XRPL has its own accounting system that tracks trading obligations and settling transactions.
The XRP Ledger does support smart contracts. Users can utilize cryptographic keys to approve transactions on the XRP ledger, use multi-signing for more significant security when sending transactions, and utilize escrow services.
Escrows can set aside XRP and deliver it at a later date when specific conditions are met. They can depend on particular time limits, cryptographic conditions, or both factors.
There are also payment channels that enable fast, asynchronous XRP payments that can be divided into small increments and settled later on. In any case, they offer a high level of functionality across the broader ecosystem.
Tokenomics & Supply Distribution
XRP cryptocurrency was formed with a finite supply of 100 billion coins; all created when the network initially launched in 2012. No new XRP tokens can ever be issued.
Every transaction on the XRP Ledger incurs a small fee to prevent transaction spam attacks. The minimum fee for each transaction on the XRP Ledger is 0.00001 XRP, also known as “ten drops.” However, specific movements could potentially incur higher fees, depending on what is required from the network.
Team & History
Ripple Labs, Inc. is a San Francisco startup company initially launched with the primary goal of creating software that banks can utilize to facilitate quick and global transactions.
The XRP Ledger was initially created in 2012 by three people, including:
- Jed McCaleb - aside from being the co-founder of the XRP Ledger, he was also the co-founder and the Chief Technology Officer of Ripple. He also created Mt.Gox and would later serve as the co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of Stellar (XLM).
- Arthur Britto - aside from the Ripple project, he is also the co-founder of PolySign.
- David Schwartz - before creating the XRP Ledger, he was the former Chief Technology Officer at WebMaster Incorporated. He is also responsible for developing encrypted cloud storage and enterprise messaging systems for CNN and the National Security Agency of the USA.
It is also important to note that the concept surrounding developing a decentralized system for conducting payments was initially conceptualized in 2004 by Ryan Fugger.
At the current time, the XRP Ledger and its surrounding community are maintained by participants of the global XRP community.
Activities & Community
XRP Ledger’s community is still one of the largest out there among crypto projects.
Development Activity and GitHub Repositories
On the official Ripple GitHub repository page for the XRP Ledger, there are over 12.6k commits as of June 2022. There are 96 contributors and 75 releases in total.
Contributions to developing, excluding merge commits and bot accounts on the XRP Ledger GitHub. Source: GitHub
According to XRP Ledger on-chain activity metrics, by June 2022, there were 548,413 transactions.
The number of transactions executed on XRP Ledger. Source: XRPScan
Furthermore, there have been 705 new accounts created.
The number of new accounts activated on XRP Ledger. Source: XRPScan
According to data from the XRP Ledger, we can see that there are a total of 721 nodes found on a global scale, out of which 168 are unmapped.
\n Total Nodes. Source: livenet.xrpl.org
Activities and Partners
There are numerous activities as well as partnerships established by XRP, including:
- Ripple - one of the largest companies that utilize XRP throughout their products as a means of sourcing liquidity. They essentially use XRP to bridge currencies within seconds and ensure that payments are quickly sent and received.
- XRPScan - the most popular blockchain explorer utilized for the XRP network, where users can track just about any type of data they require from the network.
- Flare - a Layer-1 blockchain that aims to enable secure, universal interoperability between chains.
- Anchorage Digital - a service that offers secure custody and services for XRP and enables customers to store XRP for various use-cases.
References & Reports
- XRP Ledger
- The Inherently Decentralized Nature of XRP Ledger
- Ripple (payment protocol) - Wikipedia
- Peer-to-peer - Wikipedia
- XRP Ledger Consensus Protocol
- Unique Node List (UNL)
- Federated Byzantine Agreement
- Cryptographic Key Types - Wikipedia
- Multisignature - Wikipedia
- Official Ripple Twitter
- XRP Ledger Foundation Twitter
- Ripple GitHub repository
- Anchorage Digital