What Is XRP?
To begin with, it’s important to understand the difference between XRP, Ripple and RippleNet. XRP is the currency that runs on a digital payment platform called RippleNet, which is on top of a distributed ledger database called XRP Ledger. While RippleNet is run by a company called Ripple, the XRP Ledger is open-source and is not based on blockchain, but rather the previously mentioned distributed ledger database.
The RippleNet payment platform is a real-time gross settlement (RTGS) system that aims to enable instant monetary transactions globally. While XRP is the cryptocurrency native to the XRP Ledger, you can actually use any currency to transact on the platform.
While the idea behind the Ripple payment platform was first voiced in 2004 by Ryan Fugger, it wasn’t until Jed McCaleb and Chris Larson took over the project in 2012 that Ripple began to be built (at the time, it was also called OpenCoin).
How Does XRP Work?
XRP was created by Ripple to be a speedy, less costly and more scalable alternative to both other digital assets and existing monetary payment platforms like SWIFT.
RippleNet’s ledger is maintained by the global XRP Community, with Ripple the company as an active member. The XRP Ledger processes transactions roughly every 3-5 seconds, or whenever independent validator nodes come to a consensus on both the order and validity of XRP transactions — as opposed to proof-of-work mining like Bitcoin (BTC). Anyone can be a Ripple validator, and the list is currently made up of Ripple along with universities, financial institutions and others.
How do I buy cryptocurrency?
While some cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin, are available for purchase with U.S. dollars, others require that you pay with bitcoin or another cryptocurrency.
To buy cryptocurrencies, you’ll need a “wallet,” an online app that can hold your currency. Generally, you create an account on an exchange, and then you can transfer real money to buy cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin or ethereum.
Coinbase is one popular cryptocurrency trading exchange where you can create both a wallet and buy and sell bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
How Do You Store XRP?
You can either store your XRP on an exchange, where the exchange is responsible for the safety of your asset, or store your XRP in a cold or hot wallet.