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Ripple (XRP) Cryptocurrency – Ultimate Guide
- Ripple is a open payment network within which the XRP token is transferred. The unique advantage Ripple has over many competing cryptocurrencies is that it seeks to work with the current financial system as opposed to separately from it.
- The Ripple network solves problems in the traditional banking system such as slow transaction times (it can take up to five days to process certain payments). Banks also spend $1.6 trillion per year in interbank transaction fees whereas Ripple can do this at a fraction of the cost.
- XRP is the most centralised cryptocurrency. It is not an investment for people who believe in decentralization. 6o% of the total token supply is held by Ripple themselves and this means Ripple has massive control over the price of XRP. Ripple’s control over their network means they also have the power to freeze transactions and user funds.
- Ripple has got an impressive list of partners, including names such as American Express, Santander, Standard Chartered, UBS and many more.
- Right now, none of Ripple’s partners have committed to using the XRP token. It remains to be seen if banks and credit card processors will actually use XRP.
- The total maximum supply of XRP is 100 billion. This means that the value of the token is exceptionally unlikely to ever reach that of Bitcoin. If the token was worth $10 and the entire supply of XRP was circulating, this would result in a one trillion dollar market cap for XRP.
What Is Ripple?
The Ripple token is also known as XRP and it is transferred within Ripple’s open payment network. Ripple ultimately aims to create a worldwide network of financial institutions to lower the cost of transactions and increase the speed with which money flows around the globe. The network is also intended to act as a pool of liquidity for banks.
In addition, Ripple aims to provide a solution to two main problems plaguing current financial networks:
- Prohibitively high transaction fees seen on financial networks such as credit cards, bank transfers and e-wallets.
- To improve transaction speeds. Currently, bank transactions can take up to five days whereas on the Ripple network these transactions take a maximum of 3 seconds.
Ripple is intended to be used by the likes of bank payment providers, corporates and exchanges to save them money. This is unlike cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, which were intended for use by the people.
Across the globe we are transacting over 155 trillion dollars per year and there is little doubt that the current payment infrastructure needs to be updated. Ripple is attempting to be the badly needed update of the global payment infrastructure.
Partnerships with Traditional Businesses
The Ripple network has huge potential to cut transaction costs for banks, credit card companies and e-wallet companies to save them $100’s of millions per year. Ripple offers an undeniably drastic improvement in transaction speeds of up to 3 seconds compared the 5 days it can currently take using traditional banking.
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XRP faces two main problems:
- Persuading huge companies like Santander and American Express to ditch fiat currency and embrace the XRP token. If XRP is never adopted, then it has no value.
- At TotalCrypto we have reached out to our contacts in the world’s largest financial institutions and the hitch is that financial behemoths are universally slow to embrace change. Large, multi-national corporations are not incentivised to upgrade systems. Why would a board member take on the massive risk of spearheading the adoption of new tech, particularly when the status quo lets them charge the big, fat fees that fund their bonuses? The long term benefits of technology adaptation for the customer seem to be being sacrificed for short term stability and profit margins for the corporations.
Can these huge corporations really be so outdated? The answer is yes. For example, have you ever wondered why when opening a bank account, you will be asked for the same details (like your address) multiple times? It is because banks do not have one centralised system to keep track of clients and accounts. Instead, once the current system is is found to have a deficiency, it is cheaper for these guys to just bolt on a fix even at the expense of having a more cumbersome system.
In our heavily centralised world, maybe Ripple’s heavy centralisation does make it more likely to be adopted by large financial companies. Much as we would like to see this technology embraced, at TC we suspect the adoption of XRP will take longer than many expect. Ultimately, there is too much money to be saved by financial institutions to ignore XRP indefinitely. Whether these institutions then pass on savings to the customer or simply increase their profits is another matter.
How Does Ripple Fit In The Financial System?
Ripple provides a massive opportunity to completely upgrade the global transaction infrastructure.
Unlike many other start-ups, Ripple is not just a great idea with no product backing up it’s valuation. They do have a working product and a roster of over 100 partners in the financial industry. Partners such as American Express are household names and have huge global footprints. Just one adoption from a partner of this size would likely result in additional partnerships for Ripple.
The Ripple transaction protocol (formerly known as RippleNet) makes it cheaper and faster for any company that moves large amounts of money across borders. Pretty much any company listed on the stock market could potentially benefit from adoption. This does illustrate the size of the market that Ripple is trying to get a slice of.
The Ripple network also acts as a currency exchange between all forms of fiat. For the exchange to work, there needs to be liquidity and this is the use case for the XRP token. The XRP token is used as the intermediary value that is transacted between financial institutions on the network. These tokens then can be converted back into whatever currency that institution wants. The XRP can be either held or used for other cross border payments e.g. paying a supplier.
Unfortunately, it is unlikely that the average Joe is going to see much upside from the adoption of Ripple. The infrastructure is geared towards large institutions and we somewhat doubt that you personally will be able to get fast and super low fee transactions. However, if the Ripple project is a success then it will completely disrupt how cross border payments are done.
Is Ripple Centralised?
What on earth does centralisation mean and why should you care?
Firstly, centralisation is defined as:
“the concentration of control of an activity or organization under a single authority.”
In the cryptocurrency community, centralisation is commonly seen as a bad thing. Why? Because with control comes power. As Lord Acton once put it “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely”. Can a person or institution holding power be trusted to be fair and not abuse a power to serve their own agenda?
There are 100 billion maximum XRP in the supply chain but only 39 billion are circulating. This means Ripple Labs are holding the remaining 61 billion XRP. It is safe to say that Ripple have significant control over the XRP token with their massive holdings. The main fear from crypto enthusiasts is the potential for Ripple to sell all 61 billion of its XRP tokens at the same time. It could certainly crash the market and hurt everyone invested in the token.
Saying that, Ripple Labs have taken steps to build trust in the community. They announced in May 2017 that 55 billion XRP would be placed in escrow. This means that “investors can now mathematically verify the maximum supply of XRP that can enter the market”. We see this increase in certainty as a very good thing for XRP investors.
Is XRP A Good Buy?
Only you can make the decision weather to invest in XRP or not. We can give you our thoughts though:
Pros: Unlike some other cryptocurrencies we think that XRP does tick the following boxes:
- Compelling use case that helps solve a real world problem.
- Working product.
- Multiple big partnerships.
- The company has real revenues.
- XRP is intended to work with the current players in the financial system. So it’s unlikely that many financial institutions have any real incentive to kill off Ripple.
Cons: However, there are concerns with XRP as an investment. Such as:
- If the XRP token will actually be widely adopted by financial institutions.
- The 61 billion XRP tokens that are still be be released into the circulating supply, doubling it.
- Ripple is still significantly more centralised than other cryptocurrencies. It all depends if you think this is a good thing for such a project and the objectives it has.
Ripple has some serious backers from the non crypto world such as: Google Ventures, Accenture, Santander InnoVentures, Andreessen Horowitz and more.
The backing of large companies like these will be critical to realising Ripple’s vision and, encouragingly, these backers are financially invested and motivated to see the Ripple project succeed. We really like this as an additional investment case.
How To Buy Ripple?
We’ve put together this comprehensive guide on how to buy XRP using a different number of methods and exchanges.
In the cryptocurrency space we think there are few viable projects that can actually challenge the old financial system. Ripple appears to be a legitimate competitor and has the potential to completely disrupt cross border transactions.
Ripple has created the technology for financial institutions to enjoy significant cost savings and efficiencies. This explains the 100+ partnerships they enjoy with the likes of American Express and the strategic investment from companies like Google Ventures. It remains to be seen if the XRP token will actually be used by the old financial guard. Only time will tell.
If you invest in XRP it really does not have a real use case for the everyday person. The intended function is geared towards large financial institutions. However, XRP does give cryptocurrency investors the opportunity to profit if XRP is adopted as the new global payment infrastructure. Whether this will or is likely to happen is up to you to decide.
Below we’ve listed some key resources relevant to XRP.
? Safest XRP Wallets
Hardware wallets are the safest crypto storage solutions available. These wallets store your private keys and do not expose them to the outside world, making your crypto as safe as possible. Maybe you should treat your crypto like the million dollars it could well be worth one day?
- Grab Yourself A Ledger – The most popular cryptocurrency hardware wallet.
? Best Free Wallets
- Toast wallet – Need help? Just check out our step by step guide.
- Gate Hub
- XRP Paper Wallet – Store your XRP in the most secure way possible.
? Best Apps To Track Your XRP Investment
Still, want to learn more about Ripple? Just read to Ripple white paper to find out more.