Ripple (Cryptocurrency)

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Definition of 'Ripple (Cryptocurrency)'

Ripple is a cryptocurrency that was created in 2012 by Chris Larsen and Jed McCaleb. It is the native digital asset of the Ripple payment network. Ripple is often referred to as a "third generation" cryptocurrency, as it differs from Bitcoin and other first-generation cryptocurrencies in a number of ways.

First, Ripple is not mined like Bitcoin. Instead, new Ripple is created by the company Ripple Labs, which distributes it to its partners and customers. This makes Ripple more centralized than Bitcoin, as it is not subject to the same level of volatility.

Second, Ripple uses a different consensus mechanism than Bitcoin. Bitcoin uses a proof-of-work algorithm, which requires miners to solve complex mathematical problems in order to add new blocks to the blockchain. Ripple, on the other hand, uses a consensus algorithm called "Ripple Consensus Protocol" (RCP). RCP is based on a voting system, where each node on the network votes on which transactions to add to the blockchain.

Third, Ripple has a faster transaction speed than Bitcoin. Bitcoin transactions can take several minutes to confirm, while Ripple transactions can be confirmed in seconds. This makes Ripple more suitable for use in real-time payments.

Ripple is currently the third-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, after Bitcoin and Ethereum. It is used by a number of financial institutions, including Bank of America, Santander, and UBS.

Ripple has been criticized for its centralization and for its lack of transparency. However, it has also been praised for its speed, scalability, and potential for use in cross-border payments.

Overall, Ripple is a complex and controversial cryptocurrency. It is still in its early stages of development, and it remains to be seen whether it will be able to achieve its full potential.

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