Ripple is a privately held company that wants to build an international network where banks and financial institutions use the Ripple software to cut their costs for international transactions. Ripple created the XRP ledger (and XRP token), an open-source ledger that allows banks to access liquidity on demand in real time and payment providers to lower the cost to their customers, expand to new markets and lower their foreign exchange costs.
Presently, sending money to your family and loved ones across border requires high transaction fees and a lot of time. The financial institutions could use technology to lower the transaction fees and time, but they are taking their time to upgrade to better systems because the ones they use make earns them a lot of profit.
Most cryptocurrency enthusiasts chose to view banks as their competition or enemy, but Ripple has decided to work with the current established financial institutions.
Ripple, which was launched in 2012, already has over 100 financial institutions on its blockchain network. These clients include big names like Satander, UniCredit, Standard Chartered and UBS.
The Ripple Transaction Protocol (RTXP) is a global ledger built on private blockchains. Those gateways allow the financial institutions, governments and companies to join the Ripple network. Entities on the network can transact with each other at a fraction of the cost of regular transactions. It is also possible for the users of the Ripple ecosystem to receive payments in any currency or cryptocurrency.
Although Ripple is great for large corporations and governments to transfer large amounts of money across borders, it has not real advantage for individuals or peer-to-peer transactions.
Compared to other cryptocurrencies, Ripple network allows for fast transactions. As a comparison, Bitcoin transactions take about 1 hour to process, Ethereum transactions take about 2 minutes to process, while Ripple processes transactions in 4 seconds. All of these transaction times are still extremely fast compared to traditional financial systems which take 2-4 days on average for international transactions.
All the XRP tokens in existence have been created, there are 100 billion tokens in existence. 38.6 Billions of them are in circulation while 61.4 Billions are owned by Ripple Labs.
This makes Ripple a partially centralized currency, because most of the tokens in existence are owned by one single organization.
XRP tokens are available for exchange on Binance.