Price at Time of Writing – $0.15
Fiat: Bitstamp, GateHub
BTC: Poloniex, Bittrex, Kraken, Coincheck (JP), Bitso (MEX), Coinone
The third largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization is one that flies under
the radar of most investors and news sources. Launched in 2012 and acting as a
payment network and protocol, Ripple aims to enable “secure, near instant and
nearly free global financial transactions.” Ripple transactions currently process
in an average of just 4 seconds. The platform’s ultimate goal is to make outdated
payment platforms with slow transactions times and high fees like SWIFT or
Western Union obsolete.
Many global banking institutions already use Ripple’s payment infrastructure,
including giants like BBVA, Bank of America and UBS. For example, using
Ripple’s payment platform, banks could convert currencies seamlessly, even for
obscure countries and currencies such as a conversion of Albanian Lek to
Vietnamese Dong. This would also negate the need for intermediary currencies
such as US dollars or Euros. According to Ripple themselves, a switch to the
platform can save banks an average of $3.76.
With adoption in the global banking sector, Ripple is off to a strong start.
Especially if you look at it like you would a traditional startup.
Ripple also has the largest number of coin tokens (known as XRP) available out
of any coin at 100 billion (39 billion available to the public), in contrast Bitcoin
only has 16 million and Ethereum 94 million.
Unlike many open source cryptocurrencies, Ripple’s source code is privately
owned. The 100 billion coin supply was also “instamined”, and in theory the
owners could generate more at any given time, which would instantly devalue
anyone holding coins. The central ownership is also at a clash with those who
believe that cryptocurrency should be used as a force against one single owner.
Researchers at Purdue University also determined that the platform had “security
concerns”, although as of writing, there have been no major incidents with the