Ripple in a Nutshell
Ripple is not a traditional cryptocurrency per se, but a protocol for B2B transactions. Banks can install the Ripple ledger and send each other transactions in any currency, not just the XRP token which is native to the protocol. XRP is, therefore, the native cryptocurrency within the Ripple environment, but unlike Bitcoin and others which only store BTC transaction in their blockchain, XRP it is not mandatory in Ripple transactions.
There are 100 billion XRP minted and there will never be more than this amount, as per the protocol definition. XRP is not mineable and cannote be minted via other processes. The consensus process is distributed but not entirely decentralized. Several servers perform the verification of transactions, which would normally be done by miners, but these servers are either controlled by or their installation was assisted by Ripple Labs. Trusted banks and other institutions form the Ripple verification network.
Ripple does not publicize payment information in its public blockchain. While transactions can be seen by anyone, the payer and recipient are not seen in public.
Not Mineable / Fully Pre-Mined
Maximum circulating coins: 100 billion
The founders held 20% of these 100 billion coins at launch.
What Makes It Different?
Ripple is not fully decentralized and is based on trust among large institutions. This makes it unconventional in the cryptocurrency space. It also is centrally controlled by Ripple Labs, which ensures technical compliance by all participating entities. It uses a list of “trusted nodes” for verification, which is completely opposite to the idea behind Bitcoin (full decentralization and absence of trust among participants).
Who is Behind Ripple?
Ripple Labs is the organization which develops, promotes and deploys the Ripple protocol and distributed ledger.