For many, it will be an unexpected fact that the history of Ripple goes back to the distant 2004 year. It was when Canadian programmer Ryan Fugger created the decentralized payment platform RipplePay. On its basis, anyone could create their own currency and make any payments.
Until 2011, the system was not in demand, so Fugger with other project founders decided to revise the concept. As a result, after 3 years created by Fugger, Ripple Labs started working with banking institutions, gradually promoting the Ripple`s token (XRP).
At the moment, company has 3 main products, which are actively promoted:
– xCurrent is a product that banks use to make cross-border payments. It is based on the Ripple blockchain-RippleNet. Compared to traditional markets, xCurrent is a kind of Visa or MasterCard.
– xVia is something similar to the previous product, but companies are also involved. That is, it is used not only by banks.
– xRapid is a tool based on XRP, which allows banks to increase liquidity while they are trading in emerging markets.
What is wrong with XRP?
There is a huge amount of news on the network, according to which banks are actively turning to Ripple, since this system for gross and inter-currency payments in real time allows making cross-border transfers in real time with lighting speed. Against the background of the news, XRP`s token is often growing. However, the problem is that banks use xCurrent software to make payments.
But, xCurrent doesn`t use XRP. Banks don`t need the volatility that prevails in the cryptocurrency market. Their first requirement is stability. XVia is not based on the use of the XRP token. This can be done, but it is not beneficial for anyone because of the same volatility.
In fact, banks and various companies, which are interested in using modern tools for making cross-border payments, actually use Ripple products, but not XRP.
«Ripple`s technology is in demand because it allows making payments through chains of currencies using an innovative consensus. However, there is one hitch- the internal currency of XRP is not necessary for the implementation of the goals set for the system» Pavel Kravchenko, co-founder of Distributed Lab, said.
What exactly is XRP?
XRP is not about financial freedom or a decentralized payment system. XRP is not a cryptocurrency. According to its characteristics, this product is more like an electronic payment system (EPS).
1) First, XRP cannot be mined, because the issuer of this tool, Ripple Labs, created 100 billion tokens at the beginning, 40% of which are traded on exchanges.
2) 40% because the rest 60% is controlled by the company by itself. This is the second item.
3) Thirdly, 20% of the unique nodes in the Ripple network have the right to censor transactions. Moreover, most of them belong to the developers themselves.
What is this all about? That XRP is a centralized product that developers can manage. They have the right to control the issue and cancel transactions. XRP is EPS.
«The combination of the protocol consensus and the current actual network topology makes Ripple a direct competitor to PayPal, rather than a Bitcoin or Ethereum (which is also partially centralized). Ripple is an even more centralized «cryptocurrency» than Ethereum» Andrew Sobol, blockchain-enthusiast and developer of Satoshi • Fund, noted.
In ideological terms, Ripple is the opposite of Bitcoin.
«If the blockchain is an evolutionary new level, not only in the financial world, then Ripple is a transport network. What do you think will happen if the rocket booster is screwed to the old steam locomotive? This is an optimization of transport, but not evolution. Ripple is the optimization of the current financial system, but not an evolution» Alex Petrov, CIO at Bitfury, says.
«Ripple`s transactions are really cheap and fast, especially if compared it to transfers on a Bitcoin network. But this is the only advantage that doesn`t allow it to go to the bottom. Recently, I heard a clear analogy: Ripple is an EPS with a blockchain tape wrapped with blue electrical tape» Andrew the Great, the leading partner of the iguards.net investment group, says.
Despite on such obvious facts that Ripple is not a cryptocurrency, at the moment it occupies the third place in terms of capitalization according to the Coinmarketcup. Moreover, at some time it even overtook the Ethereum and was in second position. What is the reason? Probably with the presence of a high speculative component in the cryptocurrency market. As we found out, banks don’t use XRP, companies are also more interested in xVia technology, which doesn`t use a token. Accordingly, the demand for a coin arises only among cryptocurrency traders.
If it is so high in capitalization, can it compete with Bitcoin and other truly decentralized currencies? In this case, it all depends on the preferences and desires of the community. As we found out, Ripple is not decentralized, its emissions and the network can be controlled by the developers. Bitcoin is completely decentralized. There are several proofs of this. For example, the Binance Exchange was recently hacked and then 7,000 BTC was stolen. CZ proposed to roll back the blockchain, but the miners didn`t share this fate. This is a prime example of decentralization, since even the largest cryptocurrency exchange platform currently has no way to influence the community decision.
However, if talking about fast and cheap payments, then Ripple has really few competitors. But what’s the point of using this pseudo-cryptocurrency, if there are traditional tools (Visa, MasterCard), which are much more convenient?