No discussion about XRP would be complete without mentioning Ripple; a payment network aiming to transform the state-of-the-art financial and banking money transfers by offering a single, integrated platform. Ripple's main mission is to bring innovation to an area where global payments are slow, expensive, and lack transparency. Ripple addresses the main problem in global money transfers which is the constant redirection of funds through different networks by introducing a single platform where real-time gross settlement (RTGS) takes place, different currencies could be exchanged for one another, and remittances are easily transferred.
To tackle the somewhat segregated existing payment network, Ripple offers a network consisting of banks and clients where all participants abide by the rules in the platform and can benefit from the various features such as real-time messaging and the sending or receiving of payments. Although not a Blockchain, Ripple is a decentralized network based upon an agreement between Network Members (banks and payment providers), and Network Users (platform businesses, corporate treasury, banks, and payment providers and consumers), offering, as a result, enhanced data management, fewer charges per transaction and faster payments.
While the traditional banking system is designed to perform high-value, low-volume transactions, Ripple outperforms all other networks by providing the means for making fast, cheap and transparent payments possible regardless of the value. Ripple is not a network for banks only, disintermediation services offered by the system allow for the inclusion of a larger group of users making sure no one is left behind.
The real-time messaging in the Ripple network also enhances data transfer regarding transaction information, therefore providing more transparent and traceable transactions. Using the information exchanging services on the Ripple platform, banks and payment providers could dramatically cut costs normally enforced in the SWIFT system.
Running on XRP Ledger, Ripple's native token is widely preferred by investors for exchanges including currencies of different types, transferring commodities on the Ripple network, or simply HODLing. The XRP Ledger, unlike many other blockchains, does not allow maximum participation in the process of confirming transactions; which has won it a Private Blockchain title. Unlike most other public blockchains where all nodes participate in the confirmation of transactions, XRP Ledger offers users a list consisting of 35 validator nodes, 6 of which are Ripple-Backed, to choose those nodes they consider most reliable for confirming their transactions.
Although XRP Ledger's control over the arrangement of the validating nodes in the list might seem to be limiting users' choices, there is the option to remove Ripple-backed nodes from the list and replace them with preferred ones. Besides granting users more authority over their transactions, the move also lessens XRP Ledger's dependability on Ripple, allowing it to function even if Ripple goes down.
By updating their ledgers every 3-5 seconds, XRP validators minimize the chances of inharmonious ledgers existing together on the network. If after the update, some ledgers seem to be at odds with each other, all validators would stop their work to find the source of the problem. As such, XRP transactions are much more precise and integrated than other blockchains.
Since its release in 2013, price fluctuations like that of BTC have never been observed in charts depicting XRP prices. XRP has reached its maximum price in august of 2017, with a price of slightly over two dollars, since then XRP's price has followed a downward trend, which has recently stopped at around 1 dollar. As an exchange currency, XRP will always be in demand, and increases in price, although not as dramatic as Bitcoin, would be likely to happen in the long term.