Arik Leivent, a Jerusalem-based financial and cryptocurrencies entrepreneur, first started investigating Ripple back in 2012, to prove to others that blockchain should move beyond bitcoin: “With the only other digital currency only capturing 1 percent of global trade volumes at the time (Bitcoin), I wanted to find out why there was such a discrepancy between the huge hype and actual adoption.
Ripple is an open source blockchain protocol which allows for real-time international payments. Because XRP tokens exist as debt on Ripple’s ledger, you can use them as settlement or escrow deposits with any issuer that accepts those digital assets; the latter makes them especially convenient for cross-border transactions.
While Stellar Lumens functions much like a centralized cryptocurrency, Ripple manages its individual nodes through a consensus algorithm called Proof of Stake. For many users around the world – especially banks – it has been a crucial step toward widespread mass adoption. The average cost per transaction is very low due to its use by banks and financial institutions, but this also means that higher fees are expected from individuals sending money abroad using XRP directly. In February 2018 alone, Ripple added three new customers: Standard Chartered Bank from London; Russia’s Sberbank from Moscow; and uCommBank from Ulanbaatar in Mongolia. According to , one billion people now have access to banking services through Ripple, which has significantly reduced AML/KYC compliance