What is ripple?

Ripple is the name for both a digital currency  and an open payment network within which that currency is transferred. It is a distributed, open-source payments system that’s still in beta. The goal of the ripple system, according to its website, is to enable people to break free of the “walled gardens” of financial networks – ie, credit cards, banks, PayPal and other institutions that restrict access with fees, charges for currency exchanges and processing delays.

Ripple is the name for both a digital currency  and an open payment network within which that currency is transferred. It is a distributed, open-source payments system that’s still in beta. The goal of the ripple system, according to its website, is to enable people to break free of the “walled gardens” of financial networks – ie, credit cards, banks, PayPal and other institutions that restrict access with fees, charges for currency exchanges and processing delays.

According to is OpenCoin, the company behind ripple, the currency addresses the want to maintain cash flowing freely. A corporation blog publish titled “Ripple and the Purpose of Money” gives a quick history of money and its transportability, and factors to the frustration of having banks and other institutions hinder the switch of money with transaction costs and processing delays. The purpose of Ripple, it says, is to build on the decentralized digital currency method set by using bitcoin and do “for cash what the net did for all other types of information.”networks – ie, credit cards, banks, PayPal and other institutions that restrict access with fees, charges for currency exchanges and processing delays.

“Payment systems today are where email was in the early ‘80s. Every provider built their own system for their customers and if people used different systems they couldn’t easily interact with each other. Ripple is designed to connect different payment systems together.”

Schwartz also anticipates the possibility of seeing “big companies lose their control over the flow of other people’s money just as they’ve lost control over the flow of information.

In many ways, yes. Like Bitcoin, Ripple’s XRP unit is a digital form of currency based on mathematical formulae and has a limited number of units that can ultimately be mined. Both forms of currency can be transferred from account to account (peer-to-peer, or P2P) without the need for any intervening third party. And both provide digital security to guard against the possibility of counterfeit coins

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