Ripple (XRP) is a digital asset and a payment protocol that aims to enable fast, low-cost international money transfers. It was created in 2012 by a company of the same name, and it uses a consensus ledger to validate transactions and a digital currency called XRP to facilitate the transfer of value.
Unlike other decentralized cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ripple’s consensus ledger is managed by a network of validating servers, called the Ripple Network, that are run by independent participants. This allows for faster transaction processing times, with some transactions being confirmed in just a few seconds.
Ripple’s payment protocol is designed to be integrated with existing financial systems and to facilitate cross-border payments between banks and other financial institutions. The company has partnerships with several major financial institutions, including Santander and American Express, and its technology is being used in a number of pilot projects to test its ability to improve the speed and reduce the cost of cross-border payments.
XRP, the native digital currency of the Ripple network, is not mined, it’s issued by Ripple Labs, the company that created the protocol, with a total supply of 100 billion XRP. Ripple has been criticized for its centralized nature, but the company argues that it’s necessary to ensure the stability and scalability of the network.