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.
Blocknet (sometimes referred to as Block) is a decentralized, platform-as-a-service protocol that connects the nodes of different blockchains. As you probably know, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of blockchains that currently exist, and this number is showing no signs of slowing down its growth anytime soon. Many of these chains, though, are unable to communicate and interact with each other, creating small groups of siloed ecosystems. And, the inability of these groups to work together is holding back the entire blockchain industry. To solve this problem, Blocknet is working to make blockchains interoperable, mobile, and modular. This enables different chains to provide microservices to each other in a peer-to-peer fashion at higher security, faster speeds, and more efficient scalability than today’s current options. Blocknet is aiming to be the “Internet of Blockchains” through inter-blockchain connective services. Simply put, Blocknet enables you to develop on one blockchain, Ethereum for example, but access the functionality of other chains, like NEO. The team is building the infrastructure using three core components that work together to provide three primary services for these inter-chain decentralized applications (dapps). The XBridge, a blockchain router, is the backbone of the Blocknet platform. It’s the first peer-to-peer protocol to connect nodes on different blockchains, allowing them to communicate with one another. Using the XBridge, you’ll not only be able to perform cross-chain atomic swaps, but you’ll also be able to transfer additional data and execute smart contracts across chains. Blocknet uses a Proof-of-Stake consensus algorithm with three types of nodes to maintain the network. Service nodes collect and distribute trade fees on the platform as well as prevent spamming and DDoS attacks. To run a service node, you need to hold at least 5,000 BLOCK and keep your node computer running at all times. The Blocknet team recommends that, if you plan to run a service node, you should also run multiple full node wallets of whichever coins you want to support. This maximizes the trading fees you receive. Staking nodes confirm network transactions. When running a staking node, you’ll receive 9-14% annual returns from block rewards as well as a portion of the trading fees. There’s no minimum BLOCK amount you need to keep in your wallet to receive these, but you need to keep the wallet running at all times. There’s limited information available on the Blocknet team. Dan Metcalf and Arlyn Culwick founded Blocknet in 2014 as a fork of PIVX. According to his LinkedIn page, Metcalf was a Bitcoin developer for 5 years as well as a Senior DevOps Engineer at Philips. Outside of Blocknet, Culwick is also the PR and Media Liaison for XCurrency. Blocknet launched the service nodes on their main net in September 2017, and on March 1st, 2018, the team will release the beta version of the DEX. The project has also partnered with the 0x protocol to add ERC20 token support on the platform. Blocknet is connecting the isolated blockchain systems that currently exist to create one, cohesive ecosystem. Through the platform’s XBridge, the team is building a blockchain Internet in which you can build dapps that utilize features from several different chains. Starting with a DEX, the project has a lot on its roadmap including a service delivery system for blockchains to provide and receive payment for providing functionality to other chains. This is a complex project, but Blocknet already has the partnerships in place (0x, Poloniex) to see it through to the end. Blocknet consists of the following coins: XCurrency, Stealth, SonicScrewdriver, Fibre, Librexcoin, APEXcoin, BitSwift, XCash, UtilityCoin