The Controversial Payment Network Token
Note: this is a short summary of Ripple. Our full review, which is about 20 minutes long and will be published on January 12th, 2018 titled “Ripple Coin Review” found here. The purpose of this summary is to introduce to the token, traction, criticisms, and how to buy it.
Ripple (XRP) just became the second largest Cryptocurrency by market cap at an astonishing $122 billion dollars. Making Ripple’s co-founder, Chris Larsen, the 8th wealthiest man on earth as he holds the equivalent of about $55B USD (as of January 4th, 2018 at 16:00 hrs EST). This token has divided the crypto community and faces a lot of criticism.
Ripple aims to be a solution to a lot of current cross-border banking issues that are currently plaguing the financial ecosystem on a global scale. Anyone who has sent a wire transfer through the banking system knows that cross-currency settlement can take many days and is often quite slow.
Ripple purports these settlement issues are caused by manual settlement done in order to translate one bank’s ledger system’s transactions into another bank’s ledger system. Ripple however introduces something called the interledger protocol which uses a new cryptocurrency (ripple [ XRP]) to settle accounts across two banks differing ledgers, allowing for much faster settlement times.
Even though the token has been out since 2014, the last 5 weeks represented an increase of over 1500% in price. And an astonishing increase of over 30,000% this year, from about 0.007 USD per token at the beginning of the year, to over $2 USD by the end of it. Market cap saw similar increases from $200M to $130B USD. There are over 38 billion tokens and the founders have kept most of them, so the valuation and market cap are currently deflated versus if there was a full circulation of the currency.
Part of the reason the token has become so popular recently is social media. As ICOs are becoming more popular and people are investing more, the price of cheap altcoins is attracting a lot of people to invest in it. Even though the massive volume of Ripple tokens is one of the main reasons that the token is so “cheap”, price is all relative when not accounted with total token volume. The other aspect is ripple adding major banking partners recently which has driven major interest to it.
Ripple’s team is heavily stacked and connected to both cryptocurrencies and Fintech, which is one of the reasons that has justified their valuation and quick rise so far. Ripple was co-founded by Angel Investor Chris Larsen, and Software Programmer Jed McCaleb.
Chris Larsen is a Silicon Valley venture capitalist, he helped co-found Ripple, as well as multiple FinTech related companies such as E-Loan, OpenCoin, and Prosper Marketplace.
Jed McCaleb, is well known for creating largest Bitcoin exchange ever by volume of BTC, the now defunct Mt Gox (hacked after McCaleb sold the company to Mark Karpeles). Jed is now worth $20B from his Ripple’s token and is on the top 40 richest people on the world.
Besides the co-founders, the team at Ripple has a large team of crypto veterans, as well as partnerships with six international banks.
How to Buy
Ripple can be bought on various exchanges through fiat (USD) or other cryptocurrencies. The biggest exchanges that support ripple are Bitstamp and Kraken in North America. Gatehub is also a way to acquire ripple and basically allows you to tap into ripple’s global consensus network in order to exchange fiat into ripple. Some of the most well-respected exchanges, such as Coinbase, do not currently have plans to buy or sell ripple, since there are still a lot of concerns regarding its price, volatility, and team practices. For a detailed breakdown here’s an article by CNBC on how to buy the token.
Note: Complete step-by-step of purchasing Ripple available on full review.
Ripple’s future is very promising, but comes with a lot of complication since it involves simplifying the current banking industry. In our full review we expose the many concerns about the implementation and use of technology (specifically the introduction of the ripple token as opposed to another token completely decoupled from ripple’s founders using the same protocols), as well as certain decisions made by the Ripple team with what we consider unsatisfactory explanations.
However, the ripple team’s decisions are calculated and well considered and if they do manage to fully implement their platform and onboard the global financial system, they will definitely contribute to a huge leap in international banking, making it as easy as intra-country banking is today.
We will be addressing the good, the bad, and the ugly of this cryptocurrency in detail through our full review scheduled January 12th, 2018.
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