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Updated: May 6, 2021, 9:59pm
Ripple is a money transfer network designed to serve the needs of the financial services industry. XRP, a cryptocurrency tailored to work on the Ripple network, is consistently listed among the top five cryptocurrencies by market capitalization.
Despite its ambitions, Ripple is currently tied up in legal troubles with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), although that’s hardly prevented XRP from surging in value with other cryptos.
Ripple is a payments settlement system and currency exchange network that can process transactions around the world. The idea is that Ripple serves as a trusted agent in between two parties in a transaction as the network can quickly confirm that the exchange went through properly. Ripple can facilitate exchanges for a variety of fiat currencies, cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and even commodities like gold.
“Ripple was designed from the very beginning to essentially be a replacement for SWIFT [a leading money transfer network] or to otherwise replace the settlement layer between major financial institutions,” says Pat White, CEO of Bitwave.
Whenever users make a transaction using the network, the network deducts a small amount of XRP, a cryptocurrency, as a fee.
“The standard fee to conduct transactions on Ripple is set at 0.00001 XRP, which is minimal compared to the large fees charged by banks for conducting cross-border payments,” says El Lee, board member of Onchain Custodian. As of late April 2021, the XRP price was $1.38 per token, meaning the transaction fee works out to be just $0.0000138.
XRP is cryptocurrency that runs on the XRP Ledger, a blockchain engineered by Jed McCaleb, Arthur Britto and David Schwartz. McCaleb and Britto would go on to found Ripple and use XRP to facilitate transactions on the network. You can buy XRP as an investment, as a coin to exchange for other cryptocurrencies or as a way to finance transactions on the Ripple network.
Notably, XRP’s blockchain operates a little differently than most other cryptos’. Other cryptocurrencies open their transaction ledgers and verification processes to anyone who can solve complex equations quickly, but transactions are secure as the majority of ledger holders must agree with the verification for them to be added.
Instead, the XRP’s Ripple network somewhat centralizes things: While anyone can download its validation software, it maintains what it calls unique node lists that users can select to verify their transactions based on which participants they think are least likely to defraud them. Its default list currently contains 35 trusted validators. Ripple decides which validators to approve for this list and also makes up six of these validation nodes. However, users can opt out of this default list and hypothetically remove Ripple-backed validators from their transactions entirely, instead constructing their own lists of trusted validators. This would allow the network to continue to approve transactions even without Ripple the company remaining involved or even continuing to exist.
As new transactions come in, the validators update their ledgers every three to five seconds and make sure they match the other ledgers. If there’s a mismatch, they stop to figure out what went wrong. This allows Ripple to securely and efficiently validate transactions, which gives it an edge over other cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin.
“Bitcoin transaction confirmations may take many minutes or hours and are typically associated with high transaction costs,” says Lee. “XRP transactions are confirmed around four to five seconds at much lower cost.”
“Mining” is the distributed verification system used by most blockchain-based cryptocurrencies. It both facilitates transactions and provides the mechanism by which new currency is introduced into a cryptocurrency system—typically as a reward to verifiers for their work supporting the network. For example, Bitcoin has a total supply limit of 21 million tokens that are steadily released as more and more transactions are verified,
XRP, in contrast, was “pre-mined,” meaning the XRP Ledger created 100 billion tokens that are then periodically released publicly. Ripple owns about 6% of that as an incentive for it to help the cryptocurrency grow and be successful over time. Another approximately 48% are held in a reserve for regular release into the market through sales.
Understandably, this has led to concerns that a lot of XRP could be released at once, diluting the value of other XRP already in circulation because part of what gives any currency its value is its comparative scarcity.
“The company has tried to reduce the uncertainty by implementing several mechanisms (trust, predictable release, etc.),” says Tim Enneking, principal of Digital Capital Management. That mining vs. pre-mining distinction may also be a reason for its conflict with the SEC as the SEC may think of XRP as less a currency and more a security, like a stock, that is governed by different, stricter regulation.
You can use XRP like any other digital currency, either for transactions or as a potential investment. You could also use the Ripple network to process other types of transactions, like exchanging currencies.
For example, if you are looking to swap USD for euros, you could first exchange your USD for XRP on the Ripple network, and then use those to buy euros, rather than handling the currency exchange directly through a bank or money changing exchange. This can be a much faster and cheaper approach versus paying the high fees banks and money remittance organizations may charge.
While some might find the vision and benefits for XRP compelling, White is worried the SEC lawsuit could create trouble for those looking to buy into it. “They are positioning themselves as a settlement layer for regulated companies, but they’re also deep in a dispute with the SEC. None of the customers they would love to be onboarding can really start to use XRP until Ripple has gotten their legal woes figured out,” he says.
With all this uncertainty, Enneking warns that XRP can be a gamble not for the faint hearted. Though it has since more than recovered, “the SEC announcement caused the price of XRP to plunge,” he notes, making this crypto a particularly volatile investment until things are sorted out with the SEC.
That said, if you believe that Ripple will emerge victorious against the SEC and continue taking over as a payment system, then it could be worth buying XRP. Just make sure it’s with money you can afford to lose.
David is a financial writer based out of Delaware. He specializes in making investing, insurance and retirement planning understandable. Before writing full-time, David worked as a financial advisor and passed the CFP exam.
John Schmidt is the Assistant Assigning Editor for investing and retirement. Before joining Forbes Advisor, John was a senior writer at Acorns and editor at market research group Corporate Insight. His work has appeared in CNBC + Acorns’s Grow, MarketWatch and The Financial Diet.
Crypto Airdrop: What's an Airdrop and Why Crypto Airdrops Are Issued – Coindesk
Foundry launches a BTC mining rig marketplace with over 40k units – Techstory
The Bitcoin mining industry is booming as the overall network hashrate continues to increase. This has been used as a good opportunity by Foundry to launch a BTC mining rig marketplace. The mining rig marketplace is called the Foundryx and has over 40,000 mining units for resale. They also have their own mining setups, which contribute 16.8% to the total BTC hash rate. This also makes them the largest miner as per hash rate, followed closely by AntPool.
The company has been making money by employing the mining rigs themselves and selling them as well. This makes it really profitable for them. In August 2020, the digital currency group invested $100 million in the company. Foundry was just a year old when this investment was made, and they have been working in the BTC mining industry ever since. Their new marketplace is also a step in the right direction as it offers much-needed rigs in the market,
The company is already the largest individual contributor of the BTC hash rate with 29.83 EH/s. And now, they are planning to use the company’s robust shipping and logistic units to reach customers who purchase from their new mining unit marketplace. I think their profits are going off the charts with this new business idea.
One very important thing to note here is that the BTC mining rig marketplace has units for resale. This means it doesn’t sell new devices. The mining rigs have been used before and hence will be available for cheaper rates. Additionally, the current supply chain issues and chip shortages have increased the demand for used rigs. Currently, there aren’t many used rigs resellers in the market that can be trusted properly, but with Foundryx, the trust factor is there. This is why they are planning to become a properly trusted secondary marketplace of BTC mining rigs. It is also important to note that Foundry has also been launching staking services on 20 different networks, which will be yet another important business for them.
What are your thoughts on Foundry USA launching a used BTC mining rig marketplace? And do you think it will take off due to the current shortage of chips and rigs supply? Let us know in the comments below. Also, if you found our content informative, do like and share it with your friends.
Also Read: Metaverse will be a multitrillion dollar market, says Cathie Wood.
I am a geek trying to make an audience for his awesome content. With laser eyes, I believe that Bitcoin is going to $100k very soon. HODL! Follow me on Twitter for more updates.
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Crypto Markets Rebound $130B: Bitcoin Recovers 5%, Shiba Inu Up 37% Since Yesterday’s Low – CryptoPotato
The crypto market has recovered more than $100 billion in a day with BTC standing at $36,000 and the alts with more impressive gains.
After the two consecutive days of price slides, bitcoin has reclaimed some ground and stands around $36,000. The altcoins have reacted even better with notable double-digit price gains from Terra, Avalanche, Shiba Inu, and many others.
The past few days didn’t go all that well for the primary cryptocurrency. It was just on Thursday when a sudden price pump drove the asset to a multi-day high at $43,500.
However, this is where it all went south. Bitcoin started to dump in value rapidly and slumped to $38,000 a day later. This became the lowest price point since early August.
While this was a steep correction of its own, the bears only tightened their grip on the market. As a result, BTC dropped by another $4,000 and dipped to around $34,000. This, on the other hand, became the lowest price point since late July.
Since then, though, BTC added around $2,000 and now stands at $36,000. Nevertheless, its market capitalization is still well below $700 billion.
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The altcoins suffered even more than BTC in the past few days with massive price drops. Now, though, most are well in the green on a daily scale.
Ethereum went down by roughly $1,000 in two days, bottoming at $2,300. Now, though, ETH has added more than $200 of value and sits above $2,500. More similar gains come from Ripple and Solana.
On the other hand, Binance Coin, Cardano, Polkadot, Dogecoin, and MATIC have recovered around 10% each. More gains come from Terra (20%), Avalanche (13%), and Shiba Inu (21%) on a daily scale. SHIB is up by approximately 40% since yesterday’s low, though.
Ultimately, the cryptocurrency market capitalization is up by $130 billion since yesterday’s low and is now at nearly $1.7 trillion.
Jordan got into crypto in 2016 by trading and investing. He began writing about blockchain technology in 2017. He has managed numerous crypto-related projects and is passionate about all things blockchain. Contact Jordan: LinkedIn
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