Ripple (XRP) is a native currency of Ripple, a payment protocol, currency exchange and remittance network. Launched in 2012, Ripple’s mission is to enable secure, instant and nearly free global financial transactions. It is based around a shared, public database which uses a consensus process that allows for payments, exchanges and remittance in a distributed process. Despite being owned and operated by a company (based in the USA) and being the custodians of the majority of XRP tokens, the Ripple network is decentralised and it can operate even without the enterprise behind it. In the beginning, Ripple provided both web-based and desktop wallets clients for users to download; this was however discontinued in late 2016 in favour of an official Ripple gateway at GateHub.net. Unofficial Ripple desktop wallets are also available from third-party resources.
Ripple’s total market capitalisation is now valued at more than £105billion ($142billion), according to CoinMarketCap. This makes it the second biggest crypto on the market after bitcoin.