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.
Bytecoin is the first cryptocurrency created with CryptoNote technology. Bytecoin allows users to make absolutely anonymous money transfers through the CryptoNote algorithm. CryptoNote uses CryptoNote ring signatures to provide anonymous transactions and allows you to sign a message on behalf of a group. The signature only proves the message was created by someone from the group, but all the possible signers are indistinguishable from each other. Even if outgoing transactions are untraceable, everyone may still be able to see the payments received and thus determine one's income. By using a variation of the Diffie-Hellman exchange protocol, a receiver has multiple unique one-time addresses derived from his single public key. After funds are sent to these addresses they can only be redeemed by the receiver; and it would be impossible to cross-link these payments. As a primarily peer-to-peer (p2p) payment system, Bytecoin has many of the same use-cases as Bitcoin. Created in 2012, Bytecoin is one of the earliest developed cryptocurrencies. Until recently, the team behind the coin has kept themselves anonymous. Now, though, they’ve opened up multiple communication channels, removed some layers of anonymity, and even built several local communities. Bitcoin’s PoW consensus algorithm heavily favors miners that use powerful GPU and ASIC machines over those trying to mine with CPUs. This causes the network to centralize around the more powerful miners. Bytecoin attempts to close the gap between these two classes of miners with a new algorithm, Egalitarian Proof-of-Work (PoW). Egalitarian PoW uses a version of skrypt, a proof of work function similar to the hashcash function used by Bitcoin. The difference between the two is that scrypt isn’t memory bound. Because of this, you can produce highly efficient CPU mining rigs. GPUs will always be about 10 times more effective, though. The Bytecoin project has been fairly fractured since its inception in July 2012. Previously, several isolated teams worked on the project without seemingly communicating with each other. This led to numerous forks and versions of the coin. In July 2017, the team decided to change their image and provide more transparency to the community. The team still remains pseudo-anonymous by only providing names and headshots on their webpage – no bios or social media links. But, it’s tough to expect more from a project that’s focused on privacy. The team has been busy at work refactoring their code and are planning to release a new public API on February 6, 2018. They’ll also be entering the Asian, Middle East, and African markets throughout 2018.