Ripple is a real-time gross settlement system, exchange office and transfer network released in 2012. It is a product of technology company Ripple Labs Inc. located the States. Ripple is based on a distributed open source protocol and supports tokens that represent fiat currency, cryptocurrency, commodities or other units of value, such as frequent kite miles or mobile minutes. Ripple ensures “secure, direct and almost free global financial transactions of any size without recouping”.
The ledger uses the decentralized native cryptocurrency known as XRP, which was the second-largest currency from September 2018 according to Merket Cap. Banks and payment networks adopted Ripple as settlement infrastructure technology. Ripple depends on a common shared ledger, a distributed database with information about all Ripple accounts. The network is “managed by a network of independent validating servers that constantly compare their transaction records”. Servers can be from anyone, including banks or market makers. Ripple immediately validates accounts and balances before sending payments and delivers a payment notification with very little latency (within a few seconds). Payments are irreversible and there are no chargebacks.
For the creation and development of the Ripple protocol (RTXP) and the Ripple payment / exchange network, Ripple Labs was nominated in the 2014 edition of MIT Technology Review as one of the 50 smartest companies of 2014. A scientific study by two researchers from Stanford and the University of Stockholm, who studied money production from an energy and macroeconomic level, stated that running a server on Ripple was comparable to the energy needs of running an e-mail server.
Ripple was conceived by Jed McCaleb and built by Arthur Britto and David Schwartz. The latter in turn approached Ryan Fugger, who debuted in 2005 as a financial service to offer secure payment options to members of an online community through a global network. Fugger had developed the OpenCoin system that would transform to Ripple. The company also created its own form of digital currency called XRP in a way similar to bitcoin / This uses the currency to allow financial institutions to transfer money with negligible costs and waiting time.
Ripple Labs remained the main contributor of the code to the consensus verification system behind Ripple, which “can be integrated with existing banks’ networks”. Since 2013, the protocol has been adopted by an increasing number of financial institutions to “offer consumers an alternative transfer option”. In December 2014, Ripple Labs started the global payment service Earthport, combining the Ripple software with the Earthport payment service system. The collaboration marked the first network use of the Ripple protocol. On December 29, 2017, XRP briefly became the second largest cryptocurrency, with a market capitalization of US $ 73 billion.
In May 2018, a class-action lawsuit was filed against Ripple, alleging that it led to an arrangement to raise hundreds of millions of dollars through unregistered sales of its XRP tokens. It created billions of coins out of the blue and then benefited from selling them to the public in “what is essentially an infinite offer of funds”.
Repository on github.com/ripple/rippled. Written in C ++. Website: developers.ripple.com/xrp-ledger-overview.html