Ripple is the catchall name for the cryptocurrency platform, the transactional protocol for which is actually XRP, in the same fashion as Ethereum is the name for the platform that facilitates trades in Ether. Like other cryptocurrencies, Ripple is built atop the idea of a distributed ledger network which requires various parties to participate in validating transactions, rather than any singular centralized authority. That facilitates transactions all over the world, and transfer fees are far cheaper than the likes of bitcoin. Unlike other cryptocurrencies, XRP transfers are effectively immediate, requiring no typical confirmation time. Ripple was originally founded by a single company, Ripple Labs, and continues to be backed by it, rather than the larger network of developers that continue bitcoin’s development. It also doesn’t have a fluctuating amount of its currency in existence. Where bitcoin has a continually growing pool with an eventual maximum, and Ethereum theoretically has no limit, Ripple was created with all of its 100 billion XRP tokens right out of the gate. That number is maintained with no mining and most of the tokens are owned and held by Ripple Labs itself — around 60 billion at the latest count. Even at the recently reduced value of around half a dollar per XRP, that means Ripple Labs is currently sitting on around $20 billion worth of the cryptocurrency (note: Ripple’s price crashed hard recently, and may be worth far less than $60 billion by time you read this). It holds 55 billion XRP in an escrow account, which allows it to sell up to a billion per month if it so chooses in order to fund new projects and acquisitions. Selling such an amount would likely have a drastic effect on the cryptocurrency’s value, and isn’t something Ripple Labs plans to do anytime soon. In actuality, Ripple Labs is looking to leverage the technology behind XRP to allow for faster banking transactions around the world. While Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are built on the idea of separating financial transactions from the financial organizations of traditional currencies, Ripple is almost the opposite in every sense. XRP by Ripple price can be found on this page alongside the market capitalization and additional stats.
BitBay is a free, decentralized marketplace for buying and selling goods and services on the blockchain. You can connect directly with peers and transact without the need for a middleman like Amazon, eBay, or Craigslist. Transactions are secure and anonymous. They’re also guaranteed by escrow. The project aims to be the new standard for eCommerce, allowing individuals to trade one-to-one at scale. As a result, BitBay claims it will revolutionize global trade. It’s seemingly a great solution for other niche applications as well, where groups of people aren’t served by existing marketplaces. In the beginning, BitBay got off to a rocky start. In 2014, the original founders raised capital in bad faith and quickly abandoned the project after fundraising, leaving the lead developer holding the bag. It seemed like BitBay was finished, but the developer continued working on the project out of a sense of duty to the original investors, without access to the capital raised in the fundraising round. The BAY token is the transactional token in the marketplace. You use it to buy and sell, and it can also participate in freezes, escrow, bets, swaps, etc. The token itself operates like Bitcoin and is secured by the network. Although you can use BAY for transactions, you don’t have to. You do, however, have to use BAY if you’d like to take part in token staking. BAY’s price cratered after the original founders left and stayed low until March 2017 when it took off. It has been through several cycles of bull and bear runs, with a max price over 30 cents in January 2018 before retreating to its current value. BitBay supports all kinds of privacy and security measures. It’s easy to create a multisignature wallet for added security. There are integrations for Tor and other proxies that help anonymize your connection to the marketplace. An on-screen keyboard allows for password or key entry without using your keyboard and being susceptible to keylogging. Additionally, you can create images with your private key embedded, so that finding a stored key is more difficult for a hacker. The marketplace also has functionality for time locking contracts and swapping currencies. This enables all kinds of cross-chain transactions and financial implements. The time lock and other smart contract elements make it possible to create bets, escrow, futures and options trades, or any number of other financial transactions. The idea and implementation by BitBay, of a decentralized marketplace and trading platform is brilliant and shows further promise of expansion.The rocky beginning of the cryptocurrency and its subsequent comeback as a promising platform indicate that the developers are in it for the long haul and don’t plan on abandoning the platform after all these years.