We talked about XRP and other related concepts in our previous blog. This time we’ll talk about the entities in the XRPL ecosystem that are often mistakenly equated with XRP as a currency and the XRP Ledger as a decentralized network. There is no such thing as knowing too much about a topic.

Ripple

Ripple is a company based in San Francisco that was founded in 2012. Ripple Labs Inc. is a technology company developing decentralized financial solutions. The company gives businesses access to blockchain solutions on the XRP Ledger and its native asset XRP.

The company’s history is tightly connected to the history of the XRP Ledger which debuted in 2012. It’s origins can be traced back to 2004 and a man named Ryan Fugger. The protocol was built by David Schwartz, Jed McCaleb and Arthur Britto. Later Chris Larsen joined and the group started a company first called NewCoin, renamed to OpenCoin and finally renamed to Ripple.

A common misconception is that Ripple owns, operates and controls the XRP Ledger. This is not true although the company still holds a large portion of the existing XRP. In order to stabilize the network and improve trust, the company put most of their XRP into escrow (a native function of the XRPL) in 2017. The development of the XRP Ledger has been entrusted to the community and is now spearheaded by RippleX, xrpl.org, the XRPL Foundation and various individual developers. Anyone can propose an amendment to the network which needs to be approved by a supermajority of the network's validators, of which we talked about in a part 1 of this blog.

Ripple is a company that is working on providing business solutions on the XRPL to financial institutions. Their aim is to harness the power of blockchain, create a more inclusive financial system and push global finance into an era of the Internet of Value - a world where money moves like information does today.

Global Payment Solutions - Instant Processing | Ripple
Discover why hundreds of financial institutions choose Ripple to provide a better international payments experience for their customers in real-time.

RippleX

An open platform for money that enables building payments into applications through the XRP Ledger and other protocols like Interledger, PayString, WebMonetization, etc. The tools and information provided by RippleX are used to further the progress of the Internet of Value.

RippleX is an extension of Ripple and represents Ripple’s initiative to create an open developer platform for money. RippleX supports the core technologies that power Ripple’s solutions for businesses.

RippleX: the open platform for money
RippleX is the open platform for money, enabling developers and entrepreneurs to build payments into their application through the XRP Ledger.

RippleNet

RippleNet is Ripple’s business solution that offers connections to hundreds of financial institutions, such as banks and money services businesses around the world. It utilizes the XRPL and XRP to help move money around the globe. On-Demand Liquidity (ODL) is used to source liquidity during cross border transactions as an alternative to traditional systems.

XRP and its technology is being used by an increasing number of other companies and developers.

The ecosystem

The XRPL ecosystem is often conflated with Ripple but this is not the case. Many companies are using the XRP Ledger to build unique use cases. As you know, GateHub has been an XRPL gateway since 2015 and is offering on and off rails for various types of assets to the XRPL. Most global exchanges offer a way to interact with the XRPL and XRP remains one of the most secure, cheap and fast assets to transfer value from one place to another.

XRP is used in micropayments by Coil to monetize the web in a fair way. Sologenic is using the XRPL to tokenize assets on the chain. Flare will be using XRP in a variety of ways including initial distribution and DeFi. Finally xrplorer, Bithomp and xrpscan are all adding their share to the security and transparency of the network. You can also browse the network by using the GateHub XRPL explorer.

Did you know you can monetize your website and earn XRP from your traffic. Check out how Coil and GateHub make it possible here.


The XRPL uses consensus instead of a Proof-of-work or Proof-of-stake system. This makes it possible for the network to operate securely, quickly and with lower cost than many of its competitors. Participation in the network either as a validator, developer or user is relatively simple and there is a friendly and vibrant community willing to help any newcomer.

For anyone new to crypto it is hard to avoid some common misconceptions about Ripple, the XRPL and the connections between all of the entities mentioned here and in our previous blog. These two blogs along with an older but still relevant entry by Thomas Silkjaer help paint a picture of the XRP ecosystem.

In conclusion

Decentralization and disruption are common buzzwords in the crypto community. Ripple has been under fire for their approach to the problems outlined by Satoshi Nakamoto’s seminal Bitcoin whitepaper. There is a constant struggle between centralization and decentralization and it seems none will prevail in this struggle. By working with institutions and regulators to make products that utilize decentralized systems, Ripple is paving the way for crypto into the mainstream.