Ripple (XRP): The Project That Brought Blockchain to the Enterprise World

In the stone age of blockchain history, before the arrival of Ethereum in 2015, Bitcoin (BTC) and a small handful of obscure blockchains, most of them forks/derivatives of Bitcoin, made up the scarce totality of the entire industry. Ripple (XRP), a privately owned blockchain capable of unprecedented speeds at the time, arrived on the uncrowded scene in 2012 and became the pioneer of blockchain adoption the enterprise world.

XRP remains one of the leading cryptos by market cap. It also regularly features among the most talked about coins on Social Media, as measured by our Social Media sentiment platform, PUMP.

What Is Ripple (XRP)?

Ripple (XRP), or XRP Ledger, is a decentralized, open-source, and open-access blockchain network created and owned by Ripple Labs, a company that is among the pioneers of blockchain development. Unlike Bitcoin, Ethereum, and most other public blockchains, Ripple is a privately owned platform.

Due to private ownership, many people consider it a centralized blockchain. However, XRP Ledger is centralized only with regard to its ownership mechanism. At the same time, the platform is decentralized in terms of its operation mode, i.e., a distributed network of independent nodes participate in the platform’s transaction validation process and maintain the on-chain consensus, similar to how it works on Bitcoin or Ethereum.

When XRP Ledger was launched in 2012, its transaction processing capability of up to 1,500 transactions per second (TPS) was unprecedented at the time. Bitcoin could only handle about 7 TPS, and fast blockchains, such as Solana (SOL), Fantom (FTM), or EOS (EOS), did not exist.

The network’s great throughput capacity, as well as the efforts of Ripple Labs, helped XRP Ledger become the first blockchain platform that was seriously considered by the enterprise world.

XRP Ledger has become a leading platform used by banks, exchanges, and other financial entities for B2B payments and transaction settlement. Companies use XRP Ledger to trade and settle payments that involve cryptocurrencies or a mix of crypto and fiat currencies.

In the last few years, the proliferation of enterprise-oriented blockchain platforms, such as Hyperledger, Corda, and Quorum, has weakened Ripple’s position to some extent. However, the platform remains one of the most actively used blockchain networks in the enterprise environment, particularly for B2B payments.

Ripple’s Cryptocurrency

XRP is the native cryptocurrency used on the XRP Ledger blockchain. Its entire supply of 100 billion coins had been pre-minted by Ripple Labs before the coin’s launch. The rules of the platform specify that no more XRP will be minted in the future.

As of the time of writing, XRP is the 6th largest cryptocurrency in the world by market cap. XRP has maintained a spot among the largest cryptocurrencies for most of its history on the market. It remains the 2nd oldest crypto, after Bitcoin, in the top 10 list.

Ripple’s History and Team

Ripple Labs, the company that owns XRP Ledger, was formed in 2012 in San Francisco, California, US. The company’s founders were four technologists and entrepreneurs who were actively working on developing a digital B2B payment system – Chris Larsen, Arthur Britto, Ryan Fugger, and Jed McCaleb.

The XRP Ledger platform was launched the same year, very soon after the company’s formation. The XRP cryptocurrency was first minted and made part of the platform in 2013.

Between December 2017 and May 2020, XRP was the 3rd largest cryptocurrency in the world by market cap, behind Bitcoin and Ethereum.

Over the years, most of the co-founders left the company, with only Chris Larsen remaining at Ripple as of today. Larsen served as the company’s CEO for a number of years and is now the Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors.

Before the arrival of other enterprise-oriented blockchains, XRP Ledger was the leading blockchain in its niche. Financial institutions continue to use XRP extensively. Given the rich history and solid business fundamentals of the crypto, XRP might be a good choice for the portfolios of traders, long-term investors, and funds. In a way, one might think of XRP as a “blue chip” asset of the crypto world.