ripple-bitcoin

Bitcoin vs Ripple

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 Ripple was specifically created to facilitate a now-outdated system of international transactions.

The reasoning is that 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 daysApprox. 1 hour depending on fee chosenApprox. 3 seconds
Average transaction costUSD30-40USD40USD0.004
Transactions per secondNo set limitApprox. 101,500
Energy cost per transactionVaries. Usually negligibleApprox. 250kWhNegligible
Processing algorithmn/aProof of workConsensus
Inflationn/aCoin supply increasing to 21 million cap by 2140.Static/deflationary. An almost indiscernibly small amount of XRP is destroyed in each transaction.
Coin supply limitn/a21 million100 billion***

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

Prices: Bitcoin vs Ripple

Bitcoin

1
0
Updated: 22 Jul 2018 22:16:29 UTC

Ripple

1
0
Updated: 22 Jul 2018 22:16:30 UTC

Ripple in escrow

55 billion XRP was put into escrow for gradual release. This was done to quell fears that Ripple would flood the market with XRP at a later date. Release from escrow is enforced by a smart contract.

The XRP is 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, POLi
NZD
BTC, BCH, ADA, DASH, ENJ, EOS, ETC, ETH, ICX, IOTA, LTC, XMR, NANO, XEM, NEO, NCASH, OMG, POE, QTUM, REQ, XRP, XLM, TRX, VET, XVG, WABI, ZEC
Based in New Zealand, Easy Crypto enables users to simply pay in NZD through POLi or bank transfer to access a range of cryptocurrencies.
Cryptocurrency, POLI, Bank transfer
NZD
BTC, BCH, BTG, ETH, ETC, XLM, XRP, SC, WAX, CENNZ, ONT, NCASH, LIF, POLY, BAT, ZRX, NANO, RHOC, AE, ARDR & 35+ more
Based in New Zealand, BitPrime trades around 50 of the world’s top cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Litecoin and Ripple.
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.
Credit card, Debit card, Neteller, PayPal, Skrill, WebMoney, Yandex Money
USD
BTC, BCH, DASH, ETC, ETH, LTC, XRP
Losses can exceed deposits.
Copy the trades of leading cryptocurrency investors on this unique social investment platform.
Electronic Funds Transfer, SWIFT, Cryptocurrency
AUD, NZD, USD
BTC, BCH, ETH, LTC, XRP
Trade AUD and other fiat currencies against 5 different cryptos at competitive rates.
Bank transfer
NZD
BTC, ETH
On this New Zealand-based cryptocurrency savings service, users can deposit up to $2,000 NZD every few weeks.
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.
Credit card, Debit card, SWIFT, SEPA, Cryptocurrency
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.
Credit card, Debit card
USD, EUR, RUB
BTC, BTG, BURST, BYC, CANN, CFI, CLAM, CLOAK, CLUB, COVAL, CPC, CRB, CRW, CURE, CVC, DASH, DCR, DCT, DGB, DMD, DNT, DOGE, OMG & 140+ more
Use your credit or debit card to buy bitcoin and other cryptocurrency without having to verify your identity.
Bank transfer, Cryptocurrency
NZD
BTC, BCH, ETH, LTC, XRP, EOS
A New Zealand-based cryptocurrency exchange where you can pay in NZD to buy bitcoin and other popular cryptocurrencies.
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.
Cryptocurrency, Bank transfer
JPY, USD, SGD, AUD, EUR, CNY, PHP, HKD, INR
BTC, ETH, QASH, XRP, BCH, NEO, UBTC, RKT, QTUM, BCH, DASH
A global exchange which offers users both cryptocurrency and fiat currency deposit options.
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.
MoneyGram, Perfect Money, Western Union, Cryptocurrency, OKPAY
USD, EUR, RUB
BTC, ETH, LTC
Buy and sell crypto and other digital currencies on this global fixed-rate exchange.
Cryptocurrency
BTC, XBT, ADA, BCH, EOS, ETH, LTC, XRP
Losses can exceed deposits.
Trade cryptocurrency derivatives with high liquidity for bitcoin spot and futures, and up to 100% leverage on margin trading.
Huobi.pro Cryptocurrency Exchange
Cryptocurrency
-
BTC, ETH, HT, LTC, PAI, BCH, XRP, DASH, IOST, EOS, TRX, ETC, OCN, ONT, ELF, ABT, CMT, ELA, ZEC, OMG & 75+ more
Huobi.pro is a digital currency exchange that allows its users to trade more than 190 cryptocurrency pairs.
Cryptocurrency, Wire Transfer
New account holders must now deposit fiat/crypto equivalent to US$10,000 to trade.
USD, EUR
BTC, BCH, BTG, IQ, TRX, GNT, AVT, DASH, DATA, EDO, EOS, ETC, ETH, ETP, LTC, MIOTA, NEO, OMG, QTUM, SAN, USDT, XMR, XRP, ZEC, BAT, ZRX, FUN, MANA, SPANK, TNB, RLC, RCN, REP, ELF, AID, SNGLS, SNT, QASH, YOYO, MITH
Spot trade all of the major cryptos on this full-featured exchange and margin trading platform.
Kraken Cryptocurrency Exchange
Electronic Funds Transfer, SEPA, Wire Transfer *payment methods vary per country
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.
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 & 120+ more
Buy from one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges with a selection of over 190+ cryptocurrencies and 3 USD pairings.
Exmo Cryptocurrency Exchange
Credit card, Debit card, Cryptocurrency, Perfect Money, SEPA, Wire Transfer, Payza, CryptoCapital, Money Polo, Payeer, Giropay, Yandex Money & more
USD, EUR, RUB, PLN, UAH
BTC, BCH, ETH, ETC, XRP, KICK, DASH, WAVES, ZEC, XMR, LTC, DOGE, USDT
A UK-based cryptocurrency platform that provides buyers with a wide variety of payment options.
YoBit Cryptocurrency Exchange
Cryptocurrency, Payeer, AdvCash, Perfect Money, Capitalist, QIWI* Only available for RUB deposits
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 & 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.
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.
Qryptos Cryptocurrency Exchange
Cryptocurrency
-
BTC, BCH, DRG, UKG, LIKE, ENJ, TRX, LDC, MGO, AMLT, EZT, LALA, IPSX, FLIXX, STU, 1WO, TPAY, ETH, WIN, LTC, SPHTX, RKT, UBTC, ETN, ECH, QASH, NEO, HAV, XRP, ETC, STAC, FLUZ, VZT, XEM, XLM, VET, BMC, ONG, FDX, XMR, DENT, MCO, IND, GAT, ZEC, CAN, STX, QTUM, OAX, IXT, STORJ, MTN, REP, FCT, DASH
Owned by the team behind QUOINEX, QRYPTOS is a global crypto-to-crypto platform which supports over 50 cryptocurrencies and offers negative trading maker fees to generate liquidity.
BitBay Cryptocurrency Exchange
Wire Transfer, Cryptocurrency, Express Polish Post Office 24/7, Express ?abka 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.
Cryptopia Cryptocurrency Exchange
Cryptocurrency
-
BTC, BCH, ETH, LTC, DOGE, NEO, XMR, POWR, DASH, PIVX, XEM, OMG, GNT & 500+ more
Buy and sell hundreds of cryptocurrencies with minimal verification on this all-in-one, New Zealand-based exchange.
Mercatox Cryptocurrency Exchange
OKPay, PerfectMoney, Yandex Money, Payeer, QIWI, Cryptocurrency
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.
CoinMate Bitcoin Exchange
Cryptocurrency, SEPA, SOFORT, MoneyPolo, Bank Wire* Domestic wire for CZK and PLN, SEPA only for EUR
EUR, PLN, CZK
BTC, BCH, LTC
Trade fiat currencies and cryptocurrency at this European-based exchange with options to pay through domestic bank wire, SEPA and SOFORT.
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.
Bitstamp Cryptocurrency Exchange
Debit card, Credit card, Cryptocurrency, 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.
CoinCorner Bitcoin Exchange
Credit card, Debit card, Bank Transfer *GBP bank transfers halted
GBP, EUR
BTC
Buy and sell bitcoin in GBP or EUR with credit card, debit card and bank transfer payment options.
Cash, Credit card, Debit card
USD, EUR
BTC, ETH, ETC, BCH, LTC, ADA, QTUM
Buy coins like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash with credit card.
Credit card, Debit card, Neosurf, Cashlib, Trustpay, ePay
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 account, 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.
Cryptocurrency, Bank transfers
AUD, NZD
BTC, ETH, LTC, XRP, POWR
A cryptocurrency exchange that supports Australian and New Zealand customers, where users can pay in NZD and transactions in AUD have no withdrawal or deposit fees.
Cryptonit Cryptocurrency Exchange
PayPal, Moneygram, OKPAY, Perfect Money, SEPA, WebMoney, Western Union, Wire Transfer, Paxum, QIWI, Payeer
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 Bitcoin 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.
XBrick Cryptocurrency Exchange
Cryptocurrency
-
BTC, USDT, ETH, EOS, AE, BTO, BTS, CAN, HLC, SEER, XAS
Recently launched in Australia in late 2017, XBrick now offers its services globally and users can download its mobile trading platform to buy and sell cryptocurrencies.
Cubits Bitcoin Exchange
Credit card, Debit card, SEPA, SOFORT, SWIFT, Skrill, Dotpay, Unionpay
AUD, USD, EUR, SEK, HUF, JPY, GBP, NOK, HRK, CAD, CNY, CHF, CZK, RSD, TRY, BRL, DKK, PLN, RUB, ARS
BTC
Offering payment options such as credit card, SEPA and SWIFT, you can purchase bitcoin from this European-based exchange with an array of fiat currencies.
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.

Compare up to 4 providers

Name Product Deposit Methods Fiat Currencies Supported Cryptocurrencies
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.
Cryptocurrency, POLI, Bank transfer
NZD
BTC, BCH, BTG, ETH, ETC, XLM, XRP, SC, WAX, CENNZ, ONT, NCASH, LIF, POLY, BAT, ZRX, NANO, RHOC, AE, ARDR & 35+ more
Based in New Zealand, BitPrime trades around 50 of the world’s top cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Litecoin and Ripple.
Credit card, Debit card, Neteller, PayPal, Skrill, WebMoney, Yandex Money
USD
BTC, BCH, DASH, ETC, ETH, LTC, XRP
Losses can exceed deposits.
Copy the trades of leading cryptocurrency investors on this unique social investment platform.
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.
Credit card, Debit card, SWIFT, SEPA, Cryptocurrency
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.
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.
Cryptocurrency, Bank transfer
JPY, USD, SGD, AUD, EUR, CNY, PHP, HKD, INR
BTC, ETH, QASH, XRP, BCH, NEO, UBTC, RKT, QTUM, BCH, DASH
A global exchange which offers users both cryptocurrency and fiat currency deposit options.
Cryptocurrency, Wire Transfer
New account holders must now deposit fiat/crypto equivalent to US$10,000 to trade.
USD, EUR
BTC, BCH, BTG, IQ, TRX, GNT, AVT, DASH, DATA, EDO, EOS, ETC, ETH, ETP, LTC, MIOTA, NEO, OMG, QTUM, SAN, USDT, XMR, XRP, ZEC, BAT, ZRX, FUN, MANA, SPANK, TNB, RLC, RCN, REP, ELF, AID, SNGLS, SNT, QASH, YOYO, MITH
Spot trade all of the major cryptos on this full-featured exchange and margin trading platform.
Electronic Funds Transfer, SWIFT, Cryptocurrency
AUD, NZD, USD
BTC, BCH, ETH, LTC, XRP
Trade AUD and other fiat currencies against 5 different cryptos at competitive rates.
Kraken Cryptocurrency Exchange
Electronic Funds Transfer, SEPA, Wire Transfer *payment methods vary per country
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.
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 & 120+ more
Buy from one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges with a selection of over 190+ cryptocurrencies and 3 USD pairings.
Exmo Cryptocurrency Exchange
Credit card, Debit card, Cryptocurrency, Perfect Money, SEPA, Wire Transfer, Payza, CryptoCapital, Money Polo, Payeer, Giropay, Yandex Money & more
USD, EUR, RUB, PLN, UAH
BTC, BCH, ETH, ETC, XRP, KICK, DASH, WAVES, ZEC, XMR, LTC, DOGE, USDT
A UK-based cryptocurrency platform that provides buyers with a wide variety of payment options.
Qryptos Cryptocurrency Exchange
Cryptocurrency
-
BTC, BCH, DRG, UKG, LIKE, ENJ, TRX, LDC, MGO, AMLT, EZT, LALA, IPSX, FLIXX, STU, 1WO, TPAY, ETH, WIN, LTC, SPHTX, RKT, UBTC, ETN, ECH, QASH, NEO, HAV, XRP, ETC, STAC, FLUZ, VZT, XEM, XLM, VET, BMC, ONG, FDX, XMR, DENT, MCO, IND, GAT, ZEC, CAN, STX, QTUM, OAX, IXT, STORJ, MTN, REP, FCT, DASH
Owned by the team behind QUOINEX, QRYPTOS is a global crypto-to-crypto platform which supports over 50 cryptocurrencies and offers negative trading maker fees to generate liquidity.
BitBay Cryptocurrency Exchange
Wire Transfer, Cryptocurrency, Express Polish Post Office 24/7, Express ?abka 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.
Bitstamp Cryptocurrency Exchange
Debit card, Credit card, Cryptocurrency, 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.
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.

Compare up to 4 providers

How Ripple works vs how bitcoin works

Each BTC is a straightforward store of value. It can be transferred on the bitcoin blockchain, and converted into fiat currency (such as New Zealand dollars) by selling it on an exchange. It is worth a certain amount, and can be transferred.

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 USA takes 3-5 days to settle, has an average cost of USD42 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 transferrable, decentralised and transparent. Current bitcoin developments are mostly oriented around solving the problems of its slow transactions and high fees.

By contrast, the Ripple network has developed to incorporate additional features. The main ones include:

  • Escrow – An automated escrow service that can safely hold funds until a certain time, or 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.

  • Centralisation
  • Competition

Centralisation

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 decentralised currency which 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 which operates just as reliably, or more, than 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 mean Ripple’s ability to facilitate international fiat currency transfers is 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 for newer cryptocurrencies. For example, some cryptocurrencies, such as Verge, are aiming to offer completely free and 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 centralisation. Potential buyers should carefully weigh the differences between bitcoin and Ripple.

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