Bitcoin vs. Ripple: A side-by-side comparison | finder.com
ripple-bitcoin

Bitcoin vs. Ripple

We value our editorial independence, basing our comparison results, content and reviews on objective analysis without bias. But we may receive compensation when you click links on our site. Learn more about how we make money from our partners.

Should you buy Ripple or bitcoin?

Ripple is the name of the company, and XRP is the name of its coin. Ripple was specifically created to improve upon a now-outdated system of international transactions.

In the information age, when photos, videos and other data can be sent anywhere in the world almost instantly, there’s no reason a transfer of value should be so expensive or inefficient.

Disclaimer: This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of cryptocurrency or any specific provider, service or offering. It is not a recommendation to trade. Cryptocurrencies are speculative, complex and involve significant risks – they are highly volatile and sensitive to secondary activity. Performance is unpredictable and past performance is no guarantee of future performance. Consider your own circumstances, and obtain your own advice, before relying on this information. You should also verify the nature of any product or service (including its legal status and relevant regulatory requirements) and consult the relevant Regulators' websites before making any decision. Finder, or the author, may have holdings in the cryptocurrencies discussed.

Learn more Where to buy

Ripple vs. bitcoin: head to head

Fiat currency*Bitcoin (BTC)**Ripple (XRP)***
OwnershipGovernments and banksPublicPrivate company
DevelopersVariesA small group of core developersA large group of Ripple developers
Transaction time3-5 daysAbout 1 hour, depending on the fee chosenAbout 3 seconds
Average transaction cost$30-$40$40$0.004
Transactions per secondNo set limitAbout 101,500
Energy cost per transactionVaries, usually negligibleAbout 250kWhNegligible
Processing algorithmn/aProof of workConsensus
Inflationn/aCoin supply increasing to 21 million cap by 2140Static/deflationary, as an almost indiscernible amount of XRP is destroyed in each transaction.
Coin supply limitn/a21 million100 billion***

*With international bank transfers
**As of December 22, 2017
***55 billion XRP are held in an escrow smart contract

Prices: Bitcoin vs. Ripple

Bitcoin

1
0
Updated: 26 Sep 2018 11:16:06 UTC

Ripple

1
0
Updated: 26 Sep 2018 11:16:07 UTC

Ripple in escrow

To quell fears that Ripple would flood the market with XRP at a later date, 55 billion XRP tokens were put into escrow for gradual release. A smart contract enforces the release of this XRP from escrow.

The XRP assets in escrow are set to be released to Ripple at a rate of 1 billion a month over the course of 55 months. Any unused portion of the XRP released that month will go back into escrow for another month at the end.

Assuming 50% of the newly released Ripple is used each month, it would take 15 years for 90% of the 55 billion to get released into the market.

Where to buy BTC and XRP

Name Product Deposit methods Fiat Currencies Supported Cryptocurrencies
Bank transfer
Credit card
Debit card
Bank transfer (SEPA)
USD, GBP, AUD, EUR, INR, ARS, BRL, CAD, CNY. NZD, DKK, HKD, ILS, JPY, KES, CHF, MXN, NOK, PHP, PLN, SGD, SEK, AED
BTC, LTC, ETH, BCH, BAT, DASH, BTG, XRP, VOX
Buy, send and convert more than 35 currencies at the touch of a button.
Cryptocurrency
BTC, XRP, USDT, ETH, NEB, XVG, TRX, NEBL, ETH, NEO, FUN, ETC, BCC, POE, DASH, ELF, ICX, BNB, ZRX, APPC & 80+ more
Trade an extensive range of reputable coins on this world-renowned exchange, popular for its high liquidity and multi-language support.
Cointree Cryptocurrency Exchange - Global
Cryptocurrency
-
BTC, ETH, BCH, EOS, ZRX, AE, AION, REP, DGD, ICX, IOST, OMG, PPT, SNT, TRX, VET, ZIL, ZEC, LSK, DCR, SC, STEEM, GNT, DGB, BAT, KMD, BTG, ADA, DASH, ETC, OIST, LTC, XMR, XEM, NEO, ONT, QTUM, XRP
Buy and trade 30+ cryptocurrencies with no deposit fees.
Credit card
Debit card
AUD, USD, EUR, GBP, CAD, CNY & 50+ more
BTC, BCH, ETH, LTC, ETC
Get US$10 in free bitcoin when you buy US$100 or more of any crypto. T&Cs apply.
Buy and sell 5 major cryptocurrencies on one of the world's most renowned cryptocurrency exchanges.
Cash
Credit card
Debit card
Bank transfer (SEPA)
USD, EUR
BTC, ETH, ETC, BCH, LTC, ADA, QTUM, XRP
Buy coins like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash with credit card.
Credit card
Debit card
OKPAY
PayPal
Skrill
SOFORT
EUR, USD, CHF, GBP
BTC
Buy bitcoin through PayPal on one of the oldest virtual currency exchanges in the business.
Credit card
Cryptocurrency
Debit card
Bank transfer (SEPA)
SWIFT
USD, EUR, RUB, GBP
BTC, DASH, ETH, XRP, ZEC, XLM
Use your USD, EUR or RUB to buy and sell cryptocurrency at competitive exchange rates and with high maximums for verified accounts.
Cashlib
Credit card
Debit card
Neosurf
USD, EUR, GBP, JPY, CNY, KRW, AUD, CAD, DKK, NOK, SEK, TRY, HKD, SGD
BTC, ETH, XRP, DASH, LTC, BCH, ETC, OMG, ZRX, CVC, BNT
Buy cryptocurrency with cash or credit card and get express delivery in as little as 10 minutes.
xCoins P2P Bitcoin Lending
Bank transfer
Credit card
Debit card
eCheck
PayPal
USD
BTC
Buy bitcoin instantly with credit card, PayPal or bank account on this peer-to-peer lending platform.
Bank transfer
Cryptocurrency
USD, CAD
BTC, BCH, BTG, ETH, LTC
Trade on Canada's largest cryptocurrency exchange, with same-day funding and withdrawals available.
Bank transfer
Cash
POLi
AUD, GBP, USD
BTC, BCH, ETH, LTC, XRP, NEO, VEO & 400+ more
HiveEx.com is a global over-the-counter (OTC) cryptocurrency brokerage specialising in high-volume trades of $50,000+.
HiveEx.com and finder.com.au are members of the Hive Empire group of companies.
Cryptocurrency
Credit card
USD
BTC, BCH, MIOTA, XVG, NEO, ADA, XRP, TRX, ONT, ZIL, GAS, LTC, ZRX, QTUM, ETH, ETC, VET, ICX & 300+ more
CoinSwitch allows you to compare and convert over 250 cryptocurrencies across all exchanges.
Cryptocurrency
MoneyGram
OKPAY
PayPal
Perfect Money
Western Union
USD, EUR, RUB
BTC, ETH, LTC
Buy and sell crypto and other digital currencies on this global fixed-rate exchange.
Blueshyft
BPAY
POLi
USD, EUR, GBP, AUD
BTC, ETH, LTC, XRP, ZEC
An all-in-one platform for buying, selling and managing bitcoin, this Australia-based platform supports users and currencies from various countries.
BPAY
Cryptocurrency
POLi
AUD
BTC, ETH, LTC, XRP, ZEC
Owned by the founders of the CoinJar platform, CoinJar Exchange is an advanced digital currency exchange suited for experienced traders.
Huobi.pro Cryptocurrency Exchange
Cryptocurrency
-
BTC, ETH, HT, LTC, PAI, BCH, XRP, DASH, IOST, EOS, TRX, ETC, OCN, ONT, ELF, ABT, CMT, ELA, ZEC, XZC, OMG & 75+ more
Huobi.pro is a digital currency exchange that allows its users to trade more than 190 cryptocurrency pairs.
Coinbase Pro
Bank transfer (ACH)
Bank transfer (SEPA)
Wire transfer
USD, EUR, GBP
BTC, BCH, ETH, LTC, ETC
Formerly known as GDAX, Coinbase Pro is a US-based exchange which offers fiat currency payment options, including wire transfer, ACH bank transfer and SEPA.
Kraken Cryptocurrency Exchange
Electronic Funds Transfer
Bank transfer (SEPA)
Wire transfer
USD, EUR, GBP, JPY, CAD
BTC, BCH, ETH, ETC, XMR, DASH, LTC, XRP, XLM, REP, ICN, MLN, ZEC, USDT, GNO, EOS
Exchange multiple cryptocurrencies through a range of payment methods, including Electronic Funds Transfer, SEPA or Wire Transfer.
Bithumb Cryptocurrency Exchange
Cryptocurrency
Wire transfer
KRW
BTC, BTG, BCH, DASH, ETC, LTC, EOS, XRP, ETH, QTUM, TRX, ICX, VET, XMR, ZEC, MITH, WAVES, WTC, ITC, LINK
A global platform where users can make KRW and cryptocurrency deposits to purchase up to 15 popular cryptocurrencies.
Bitstamp Cryptocurrency Exchange
Debit card
Credit card
Cryptocurrency
Bank transfer (SEPA)
Wire transfer
AstroPay
USD, EUR
BTC, BCH, LTC, ETH, XRP
A global cryptocurrency exchange that facilitates crypto to fiat transactions, where you can use EUR or USD to buy bitcoin and popular altcoins.
Bittrex Digital Currency Exchange
Cryptocurrency
Wire transfer
USD
BTC, ETH, XVG, SC, XRP, DOGE, STRAT, XMR, ADA, OMG, ETC, BCC, XLM, DGB, UKG, QTUM, ZCL, RDD, LTC, NEO, XRP, TRX, ZEC & 120+ more
Buy from one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges with a selection of over 190+ cryptocurrencies and 3 USD pairings.
Gemini Cryptocurrency Exchange
Electronic Funds Transfer
Wire transfer
Cryptocurrency
USD
BTC, ETH
Trade bitcoin and Ethereum at a US-based exchange where payments can be made in USD.
Exmo Cryptocurrency Exchange
Credit card
Cryptocurrency
Debit card
Payeer
Perfect Money
Bank transfer (SEPA)
Wire transfer
USD, EUR, RUB, PLN, UAH
BTC, BCH, ETH, ETC, XRP, KICK, DASH, WAVES, ZEC, XMR, LTC, DOGE, USDT, ADA, INK
A UK-based cryptocurrency platform that provides buyers with a wide variety of payment options.
YoBit Cryptocurrency Exchange
AdvCash
Cryptocurrency
Payeer
Perfect Money
USD, RUB
BTC, BTG, DASH, ETH, LTC, DOGE, WAVES, LSK, BCC, TRX, ABYSS, PAC, ZEC, XVG, EOS, ETC, RDD, TOKC, B2X, TTC & 400+ more
Pay in USD, RUB or trade crypto to crypto at this Russian-based cryptocurrency exchange with hundreds of coins listed.
KuCoin Cryptocurrency Exchange
Cryptocurrency
-
BTC, BCH, DAG, ETH, XRP, EOS, LTC, ADA, TRX, NEO, ONT, STEEM, BTM, BCD, ZINC, VET, OLT, NUSD, LOC, ZEN & 50+ more
Browse a variety of coin offerings in one of the largest multi-cryptocurrency exchanges and pay in cryptocurrency.
HADAX (Huobi Autonomous Digital Asset eXchange)
Cryptocurrency
-
BTC, ETH, 18T, BUT, LXT, CDC, UUU, AAC, CNN, UIP, UC, GSC, IIC, MEX, EGCC, SHE
Owned by the team behind Huobi.pro, HADAX lets users vote for cryptocurrencies it should list.
Cryptocurrency
-
OMG, TRX, ZRX, SAN, ATMI, AID, BAT, SNT, QSH, REP, DAT, TNB, RLC, EDO, AVT, ELF, FUN, GNT, RCN, YYW, SPK, MNA, SNG, IOST, DTA, HOT, NIO, DGX, BBN
With a focus on tokens linked to the Ethereum network, Ethfinex is an exchange listing several ERC-20 compatible tokens and is owned by the team behind Bitfinex.
Mercatox Cryptocurrency Exchange
Cryptocurrency
Payeer
Perfect Money
Yandex Money
USD, EUR, RUB
BTC, XRB, ETH, DCN, BCH, NIO, TRX, DASH, COB, DOGE, PRIX, DSR, XCPO, LTC, VERI, LOC, NUA, PKT, PPT, ICO & 80+ more
Supporting over 100 coins, you can exchange a variety of cryptocurrency pairs on this peer-to-peer platform.
CryptoBridge Cryptocurrency Exchange
Cryptocurrency
-
BTC, BCH, RVN, LTC, ALQO, LCC, ECA, SMART, POLIS, BCO, COLX, IC, XP, BWK, HTML, QBIC, ZNY, DOGE, VSX, DASH & over 40+ more
Offering over 80 cryptocurrency pairings, CryptoBridge is a decentralised exchange that supports the trading of popular altcoins.
Bleutrade Cryptocurrency Exchange
Cryptocurrency
-
BTC, BTG, DASH, ZET, XVP, XPM, WDC, VTC, VRC, UNO, TROLL, START, SLR, SLG, RDD, QTUM, PPC, POT, OK, NVC, NMC, NLG, NEOS & 25+ more
Trade an array of cryptocurrencies through this globally accessible exchange based in Brazil.
Credit card
Debit card
USD, EUR
BTC, BCH, ETH, XMR, ZEC, DASH, XRP, ETC, LTC, DOGE, XLM,1ST, ADX, AMP, ANT, BAT, BCN, BNT, BTG, CFI, CVC & 70+ more
Access competitive crypto-to-crypto exchange rates for more than 35 cryptocurrencies on this global exchange.
Bank transfer
Cryptocurrency
POLi
NZD
BTC, BCH, ETH, LTC, XRP, EOS, ZRX, REP, STORJ, TUSD
A New Zealand-based cryptocurrency exchange that allows you to buy and trade between NZD and major cryptos on a full-featured trading platform.
Cancoin P2P Crypto Exchange
Cash
PayPal
Western Union
SWIFT
Flexepin
Gift Cards & more
CAD, USD
BTC, ETH
Buy and sell bitcoin with privacy on this multi-signature, peer-to-peer exchange that supports a wide range of payment options.
BitQuick P2P Bitcoin Marketplace
Bank transfer
USD
BTC
Buy and sell bitcoin fast through a cash deposit at your local bank branch or credit union, or via a money transfer service.
Cryptonit Cryptocurrency Exchange
Wire transfer
OKPAY Bank transfer (SEPA)
Advance Cash
EUR, USD
BTC, ETH, ETC, ZEC
Cryptonit is a secure platform for trading fiat currency for bitcoin, Litecoin, Peercoin and other cryptocurrencies which can be delivered to your digital wallet of choice.
Paxful Cryptocurrency Marketplace
Cash
Credit card
Cryptocurrency
Debit card
Flexepin
Neosurf
Neteller
M-PESA
PayPal
Perfect Money
WebMoney
Western Union
iDEAL
SEPA
Skrill
SWIFT
AUD, USD, EUR, GBP, CAD, CNY & 50+ more
BTC
Connect with bitcoin buyers and sellers through this peer-to-peer marketplace that accepts cash, credit and more than 300 other payment methods.
Livecoin Cryptocurrency Exchange
Cryptocurrency
Payeer
Perfect Money
Qiwi
USD, EUR, RUB
BTC, BCH, ETH, LSK, LTC, XMR, XEM, DASH, BCC, DBIX, CLOAK, EMC, NEO, TIME, SHIFT, STRAT, DOGE, DTR, DGB, VOX, ESC, MONA & 140+ more
Trade at an exchange that has an extensive offering over 160 coins and numerous fiat and altcoin currency pairs.
Cryptopia Cryptocurrency Exchange
Cryptocurrency
-
BTC, BCH, ETH, LTC, DOGE, NEO, XMR, POWR, DASH, PIVX, XEM, OMG, GNT, ZEN, NRG & 500+ more
Buy and sell hundreds of cryptocurrencies with minimal verification on this all-in-one, New Zealand-based exchange.
Altcoin.io Decentralised Exchange
Cryptocurrency
-
*Note that while the platform is under development, it is expected to support BTC, ETH, REP, ANT, BAT, EOS, SALT, CVC, DNT, SNT & 20+ more
Launching in 2018, Altcoin.io is a decentralised peer-to-peer cryptocurrency exchange powered by atomic swaps. Sign up now for early access.
ShapeShift Cryptocurrency Exchange
Cryptocurrency
-
BTC, BCH, BTG, ETH, ETC, FUN, 1ST, ANT, BAT, BNT, BLK, CVC, CLAM, DASH, DCR, DGB, DNT, DOGE, EDG, EOS, FCT, GAME & 25+ more
A global exchange where no account is needed to begin trading cryptocurrency to cryptocurrency.
BigONE Cryptocurrency Exchange
Cryptocurrency
-
BTC, ETH, EOS, OMG, USDT, ADX, AE, AIT, ATN, ATT, BAT, BCDN, BIG, BTM, BTO, CANDY, CDT, CHAT, AT, CPS & over 60+ more
A crypto-to-crypto exchange listing over 100 pairings and low trading fees.
PayPal
Credit card
Debit card
TBA
AUD, USD
BTC, BCH, ETH & more TBA
To be launched in August 2018, Nauticus is an Australia-based exchange registered with AUSTRAC which aims to cater to a global market.
Poloniex Digital Asset Exchange
Cryptocurrency
-
BTC, ETH, XRP, DOGE, XLM, ETC, STRAT, LTC, SC, DGB, BCH, LSK, XMR, LOOM, BAT & 50 more
Trade various coins through a global crypto to crypto exchange based in the US.
Bank transfer
Credit card
Cryptocurrency
Wire transfer
USD, EUR, JPY
BTC
With options to buy bitcoin and popular altcoins through credit card, wire transfer and more, BitfFyer offers users the choice of paying with cryptocurrency or USD, EUR and JPY.
Stellarport Exchange
Cryptocurrency
-
XLM, BTC, BCH, USDT, OMG, ZRX, KIN, MOBI & more
Stellarport taps into the Stellar Decentralised Exchange to provide buyers and sellers with access to XLM and various other cryptocurrencies.

Compare up to 4 providers

Name Product Deposit methods Fiat Currencies Supported Cryptocurrencies
Bank transfer
Credit card
Debit card
Bank transfer (SEPA)
USD, GBP, AUD, EUR, INR, ARS, BRL, CAD, CNY. NZD, DKK, HKD, ILS, JPY, KES, CHF, MXN, NOK, PHP, PLN, SGD, SEK, AED
BTC, LTC, ETH, BCH, BAT, DASH, BTG, XRP, VOX
Buy, send and convert more than 35 currencies at the touch of a button.
Cryptocurrency
BTC, XRP, USDT, ETH, NEB, XVG, TRX, NEBL, ETH, NEO, FUN, ETC, BCC, POE, DASH, ELF, ICX, BNB, ZRX, APPC & 80+ more
Trade an extensive range of reputable coins on this world-renowned exchange, popular for its high liquidity and multi-language support.
Cointree Cryptocurrency Exchange - Global
Cryptocurrency
-
BTC, ETH, BCH, EOS, ZRX, AE, AION, REP, DGD, ICX, IOST, OMG, PPT, SNT, TRX, VET, ZIL, ZEC, LSK, DCR, SC, STEEM, GNT, DGB, BAT, KMD, BTG, ADA, DASH, ETC, OIST, LTC, XMR, XEM, NEO, ONT, QTUM, XRP
Buy and trade 30+ cryptocurrencies with no deposit fees.
Credit card
Cryptocurrency
Debit card
Bank transfer (SEPA)
SWIFT
USD, EUR, RUB, GBP
BTC, DASH, ETH, XRP, ZEC, XLM
Use your USD, EUR or RUB to buy and sell cryptocurrency at competitive exchange rates and with high maximums for verified accounts.
Cryptocurrency
Credit card
USD
BTC, BCH, MIOTA, XVG, NEO, ADA, XRP, TRX, ONT, ZIL, GAS, LTC, ZRX, QTUM, ETH, ETC, VET, ICX & 300+ more
CoinSwitch allows you to compare and convert over 250 cryptocurrencies across all exchanges.
Cashlib
Credit card
Debit card
Neosurf
USD, EUR, GBP, JPY, CNY, KRW, AUD, CAD, DKK, NOK, SEK, TRY, HKD, SGD
BTC, ETH, XRP, DASH, LTC, BCH, ETC, OMG, ZRX, CVC, BNT
Buy cryptocurrency with cash or credit card and get express delivery in as little as 10 minutes.
Blueshyft
BPAY
POLi
USD, EUR, GBP, AUD
BTC, ETH, LTC, XRP, ZEC
An all-in-one platform for buying, selling and managing bitcoin, this Australia-based platform supports users and currencies from various countries.
Huobi.pro Cryptocurrency Exchange
Cryptocurrency
-
BTC, ETH, HT, LTC, PAI, BCH, XRP, DASH, IOST, EOS, TRX, ETC, OCN, ONT, ELF, ABT, CMT, ELA, ZEC, XZC, OMG & 75+ more
Huobi.pro is a digital currency exchange that allows its users to trade more than 190 cryptocurrency pairs.
Kraken Cryptocurrency Exchange
Electronic Funds Transfer
Bank transfer (SEPA)
Wire transfer
USD, EUR, GBP, JPY, CAD
BTC, BCH, ETH, ETC, XMR, DASH, LTC, XRP, XLM, REP, ICN, MLN, ZEC, USDT, GNO, EOS
Exchange multiple cryptocurrencies through a range of payment methods, including Electronic Funds Transfer, SEPA or Wire Transfer.
Bithumb Cryptocurrency Exchange
Cryptocurrency
Wire transfer
KRW
BTC, BTG, BCH, DASH, ETC, LTC, EOS, XRP, ETH, QTUM, TRX, ICX, VET, XMR, ZEC, MITH, WAVES, WTC, ITC, LINK
A global platform where users can make KRW and cryptocurrency deposits to purchase up to 15 popular cryptocurrencies.
Bitstamp Cryptocurrency Exchange
Debit card
Credit card
Cryptocurrency
Bank transfer (SEPA)
Wire transfer
AstroPay
USD, EUR
BTC, BCH, LTC, ETH, XRP
A global cryptocurrency exchange that facilitates crypto to fiat transactions, where you can use EUR or USD to buy bitcoin and popular altcoins.
Bittrex Digital Currency Exchange
Cryptocurrency
Wire transfer
USD
BTC, ETH, XVG, SC, XRP, DOGE, STRAT, XMR, ADA, OMG, ETC, BCC, XLM, DGB, UKG, QTUM, ZCL, RDD, LTC, NEO, XRP, TRX, ZEC & 120+ more
Buy from one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges with a selection of over 190+ cryptocurrencies and 3 USD pairings.
Poloniex Digital Asset Exchange
Cryptocurrency
-
BTC, ETH, XRP, DOGE, XLM, ETC, STRAT, LTC, SC, DGB, BCH, LSK, XMR, LOOM, BAT & 50 more
Trade various coins through a global crypto to crypto exchange based in the US.
Exmo Cryptocurrency Exchange
Credit card
Cryptocurrency
Debit card
Payeer
Perfect Money
Bank transfer (SEPA)
Wire transfer
USD, EUR, RUB, PLN, UAH
BTC, BCH, ETH, ETC, XRP, KICK, DASH, WAVES, ZEC, XMR, LTC, DOGE, USDT, ADA, INK
A UK-based cryptocurrency platform that provides buyers with a wide variety of payment options.
KuCoin Cryptocurrency Exchange
Cryptocurrency
-
BTC, BCH, DAG, ETH, XRP, EOS, LTC, ADA, TRX, NEO, ONT, STEEM, BTM, BCD, ZINC, VET, OLT, NUSD, LOC, ZEN & 50+ more
Browse a variety of coin offerings in one of the largest multi-cryptocurrency exchanges and pay in cryptocurrency.
Credit card
Debit card
USD, EUR
BTC, BCH, ETH, XMR, ZEC, DASH, XRP, ETC, LTC, DOGE, XLM,1ST, ADX, AMP, ANT, BAT, BCN, BNT, BTG, CFI, CVC & 70+ more
Access competitive crypto-to-crypto exchange rates for more than 35 cryptocurrencies on this global exchange.
ShapeShift Cryptocurrency Exchange
Cryptocurrency
-
BTC, BCH, BTG, ETH, ETC, FUN, 1ST, ANT, BAT, BNT, BLK, CVC, CLAM, DASH, DCR, DGB, DNT, DOGE, EDG, EOS, FCT, GAME & 25+ more
A global exchange where no account is needed to begin trading cryptocurrency to cryptocurrency.
Altcoin.io Decentralised Exchange
Cryptocurrency
-
*Note that while the platform is under development, it is expected to support BTC, ETH, REP, ANT, BAT, EOS, SALT, CVC, DNT, SNT & 20+ more
Launching in 2018, Altcoin.io is a decentralised peer-to-peer cryptocurrency exchange powered by atomic swaps. Sign up now for early access.
BitBay Cryptocurrency Exchange
Wire transfer
Cryptocurrency
Express Polish Post Office 24/7
Express Zabka Market
Express DotPay
USD, EUR, PLN
BTC, BCC, BTG, LTC, ETH, LSK, GAME, DASH, KZC, XRP, XIN,ZEC,XMR
This Polish-based exchange offers a variety of accessible payment methods, including Express Polish Post Office 24/7 service and Express DotPay.

Compare up to 4 providers

How Ripple works vs. how bitcoin works

Each bitcoin (BTC) is a straightforward store of value. You can transfer it on the bitcoin blockchain and convert it into fiat currency (such as US dollars) by selling it on an exchange. It is worth a certain amount and is transferable.

Ripple XRP is slightly more complicated in function and purpose.

The problem with international money transfers

International money transfers are slow, inefficient and expensive. A typical international payment from the US takes 3-5 days to settle, has an average cost of $42 and an error rate of at least 5%.

Ripple aims to make it happen instantly, at negligible cost and with a 0% error rate.

Other than the technical challenges, the main problem with international money transfers is liquidity. Unless the receiving bank has enough money on hand, in the correct currency, it cannot let the customer access the funds.

Ripple solves this by letting XRP serve as a pool of liquidity. Banks, international companies and anyone who needs to make international money transfers will be able to hold a pool of XRP to draw upon for instant liquidity anywhere in the world.

With this system, a money transfer can actually be as simple as sending data, instead of as complicated as sending actual money.

Ripple features vs. bitcoin features

Bitcoin itself doesn’t have any features other than being transferable, decentralized and transparent. Current bitcoin developments are mostly oriented around solving the problems of its slow transactions and high fees.

By contrast, the Ripple network was developed to incorporate additional features. The following are the main ones:

  • Escrow. An automated escrow service can safely hold funds until a certain time or until certain conditions are met. For example, setting up a fund that automatically releases a certain amount as a birthday present for someone every year.
  • Payment channels. This scalable feature allows for the possibility of tens of thousands of transactions per second.

The downsides of Ripple

Ripple has two main downsides.

  • Centralization
  • Competition

Centralization

A lot of people feel that Ripple (XRP) cannot be trusted as a currency because Ripple itself is a private company with close connections to the banking system.

By contrast, bitcoin is a decentralized currency that cannot officially partner with any company or entity.

However, this is more of an ideological distinction than a functional one. Ripple still operates through a transparent blockchain that runs just as reliably as the miner-dependent bitcoin blockchain.

The ideology is important, though, because it’s also a point of difference between Ripple and its competition.

Competition

As a pure store of value rather than a functional token, bitcoin is arguably in competition with any other coin that’s being bought as an investment or for transactional purposes.

Ripple has competition of its own. This might be one of the main challenges to its value in the future. Plus, there’s the possibility that a true global cryptocurrency could cause Ripple’s ability to facilitate international fiat currency transfers to be much less useful.

One of the main alternatives to Ripple is Stellar Lumens (XLM), which was also designed to facilitate international transactions.

The main difference is that Stellar is designed to let people do it themselves, peer to peer, while Ripple is integrating with banks and existing services.

It’s also worth noting that extremely low transaction fees, extremely fast transfers and high scalability aren’t particularly unique to newer cryptocurrencies. For example, some cryptocurrencies, such as Verge, are aiming to offer completely free near-instant transactions.

Bitcoin isn’t the baseline of what blockchain transactions should look like. It’s by far the slowest and most expensive cryptocurrency for transfers. In comparison, Ripple is quicker and less expensive but has challenges with competition and centralization. Potential buyers should carefully weigh the differences between bitcoin and Ripple.

Was this content helpful to you? No  Yes

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Privacy and Cookies Policy and Terms of Use.
Go to site