XRP is a digital currency which is issued and partly managed by Ripple Inc. a payment solutions company that also manages the RippleNet cross-border payment network.
Ripple began selling XRP in 2012, though the company has turned its attention away from the digital currency and toward its cross-border payment network in recent years.
How does Ripple work?
Unlike Bitcoin or Ethereum, Ripple does not refer to a blockchain network with a native cryptocurrency asset. In fact, Ripple, the company, has a history of reframing how XRP fits into its business model, first embracing it as the fuel that powers its cross-border payments technology, then setting it to the side as it focused on xCurrent, xRapid and xVia – still other payment networks for cheaper and faster international payments.
In late 2019, xCurrent, xRapid and xVia were rebranded to RippleNet, a payment network focussed on quick, cross-border transfers between financial institutions.
In addition to RippleNet, Ripple also oversees the XRP Ledger, a blockchain-like network that facilitates payments in XRP, the digital currency issued by Ripple. Like other cryptocurrencies, XRP can be sent to and from a digital wallet irrespective of international borders. When it was launched in 2012, Ripple marketed XRP as a faster, cheaper alternative to bitcoin because transactions settle in seconds; XRP’s network can achieve this speed because its infrastructure is centralized and it does not