Disclosure: Your support helps keep Commodity.com running! We earn a referral fee for some brokers & services we list on this page. Learn more...

Ripple: Fast Facts About the Altcoin That Got Banks’ Attention

What is Ripple (XRP) & How Does It Work?
Last Updated:

On this page, we discuss some interesting facts about Ripple, why it’s a useful cryptocurrency, and what experts think of it.

We also explore how Ripple is mined and how it compares to Bitcoin as an in-use cryptocurrency.

Looking to buy or trade Ripple? If you want to get started trading Ripple, here are brokers and exchanges available in :

Disclaimer: Availability subject to regulations.
Between 74-89% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs.

Ripple and the Ripple network have the potential to completely change the way that we approach currency transfers.

Big banks and small-time traders have all begun to take notice and Ripple is one of the most successful Altcoins.

What is Ripple & How Does It Work?

Ripple is the name for both the digital currency XRP and the open payment network within which the currency is transferred.

Ripple was founded in 2012. It was designed to complement rather than compete with cryptocurrencies and fiat currencies.

Interested in trading Ripple? Head over to our Ripple Trading Guide to find out where you can buy or trade it.

The cryptocurrency’s goal is to enable secure, instant, and cheap global financial transactions.

It is used by many banks as the basis of their own settlement infrastructure. The currency itself, XRP, has consistently been one of the five largest cryptocurrencies by market cap.

How Is Ripple Designed?

Ripple is designed to work with the Ripple Network (RTXP).

The Ripple network allows real-world assets to be transferred between two parties using a process called an issuance.

For example, a bank may want to transfer a real-world asset, like gold or silver, to another institution. To do this the bank adds the gold to the Ripple network and then transfers the asset to a “trusted party” who can reclaim the goods.

This allows the trade to happen without any transaction fees.

How Are Ripple Transactions Processed?

A small amount of XRP is taken during each transaction. This isn’t to compensate traders. Instead, the Ripples are irrevocably destroyed. This prevents users from spamming the network with requests.

Put simply, Bitcoin and Ethereum are more like bank accounts. Users can trade them in exchange for goods and services.

Ripples are designed to be a passageway for transactions to take place and as a bridge between other currencies. It was never really intended to be a stand-alone currency like Bitcoin and Ethereum.

If Ripple Isn’t Mined, How Was It Made?

Unlike the majority of other cryptocurrencies, XRP is not “mined” or made.

Instead, all Ripples were generated during the genesis event. XRP is not designed to be traded in the same way as Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies.

Instead, Ripple acts as a way to protect the system from incentive-based, non-functional spam, and to help convert real-world assets into digital issuances.

Useful Ripple Facts You Might Not Know

Before you find out about what Ripple is and how it works, here are some notable facts about the coin’s history and adoption.

  1. The Bank of England conducted a proof of concept test with Ripple, integrating the company’s blockchain technology for simulated cross-border payment.
  2. Work on the Ripple payment protocol first started in 2004 (5 years before Bitcoin was released) under the project name “Ripplepay”.
  3. A Ripple transaction can involve non-Ripple assets, any currency, cryptocurrency, or other digital assets like airline miles.
  4.  American Express and Santander have partnered with Ripple for cross-border payments between the U.S. and the U.K. by using blockchain technology.
  5. Ripple Labs were involved in a lawsuit with rival platform developers R3.

Ripple vs Bitcoin: Similarities And Differences

How does Ripple compare to Bitcoin? What are the key differences?

See below for our head-to-head comparison:

Ripple (XRP)Bitcoin (BTC)
PurposeCentralized enterprise blockchain solution for banks, payment providers and digital asset exchangesDecentralized digital currency
FounderRyan FuggerSatoshi Nakamoto (alias)
Market CapOver $20 billionOver $300 billion
All time High$1.35 (December 2017)$19,850 (November 2020)
All Time Low$0.0002 July 2014$0.06 (July 2010)
How long did it take to hit $100?Ripple has yet to reach $10051 months
Notable SupportersMajor financial institutions and corporationsJeff Currie (Goldman Sachs)
Peter Theil (Venture capitalist)
Christine Lagarde (IMF)
Marc Andreessen (Early internet Pioneer)
Supply Cap100,000,000,00021,000,000
Initial DistributionAll XRP was instaminedMining
Mining MethodRipple is not minedASIC
Consensus MethodProof-of-CorrectnessProof-of-Work
Network Hash RateN/aUp to 100 Qh/s
Difficulty increaseN/aEvery 2,016 Blocks

On some points, Ripple cannot be compared to Bitcoin, since it is not mined.

What Do Experts Say About Future Ripple Prices?

The value of Ripple-to-USD has been relatively stable compated to a more volatile XRP-BTC price over the years. This makes sense as Ripple is designed as a bridging currency.

Unlike Bitcoin, Ripple is less prone to huge speculation-driven price swings.

Institutional Partnerships Bring A Positive Outlook

The long-term outlook for Ripple is good. While experts fret about looming regulation it is unlikely Ripple will be adversely affected. The unique utility of RTXP means that it may find allies with traditional financial institutions.

Ripple will also do well as speculation begins to subside.

There are close to 8,000 listed cryptocurrencies on CoinMarketCap.com — many of these coins, primarily the non-functional ones may fade in time. Ripple doesn’t seem to be one of them.

Currencies with strong utility will become more valuable. Peter Smith, CEO of Blockchain, has argued that there will be a big need for “cross-border transactions”.

This is an area that Ripple already excels in. The future might be rocky for cryptocurrencies but Ripple is poised to do well.

What Does TechCrunch’s Founder Say About Ripple?

Techcrunch founder, Michael Arrington announced a crypto hedge fund in November that will be denominated in the Ripple (XRP).

TechCrunch Founder, Michael Arrington Source: Screenshot via YouTube

“We are launching a $100 million crypto hedge fund. The fund is denominated in XRP. It’s actually a pretty perfect platform for a hedge fund if you want to be denominated in a cryptocurrency I think XRP is perfect for that.”

Michael Arrington, TechCrunch Founder

What Does Ripple’s SEC Lawsuit Mean For The Future Of Ripple?

Just before Christmas in 2021, the departing SEC chairman Jay Clayton decided to sue Ripple over early sales of XRP as unregistered securities.

This attack on Ripple hit the cryptocurrency headlines strong, leaving many advocates question the future of Ripple. The coin’s price experienced a sharp drop to under $0.19 for the first time since April 2020.

That said, the future outlook for Ripple is not as daunting as worried sellers may make it seem.

The new SEC chairman Elad Roisman is known as ‘pro-cryptocurrency’, and following Elon Musks’ taunting of the SEC, Ripple has an opportunity to defend its ground with concise communication.

Where Can I Find Ripple?

See our full guide to buying and trading Ripple, or start your research with reviews of these crypto exchange and trading platforms available in .

Loading table...

Please Note: Availability subject to regulations. Cryptocurrency CFDs are not available to UK retail traders.

Further Reading

If you like to learn more about cryptocurrencies and prepare for trading them, you can:

  • Learn how to avoid crypto scams with our guide.
  • Learn about technical analysis indicators, concepts, and patterns applicable to crypto trading
  • Find out how and where to trade Ripple
  • See whether CFDs or options appeal to you as a way of speculating on cryptocurrency prices
  • See if Dash, a privacy-centered cryptocurrency is a better altcoin for you to consider trading

We also have guides on some other top cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin.

Plus500 is not available in the US

Legitimate CFD brokers, like Plus500, cannot accept US clients by law

US traders welcome at these brokers:


  • Trade 14+ major crypto coins
  • Includes Bitcoin, Ethereum & Ripple
  • Super simple setup

Accepts traders in the USA

Start Trading at eToro

Forex, Gold & Silver:

  • Trade gold and silver
  • Trade over 90+ currencies
  • Major US broker

Accepts traders in the USA

Start Trading at Forex

No thanks