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.
Gnosis is a prediction market platform built as a decentralized application (dapp) on the Ethereum network. The platform includes a multisig wallet as well as a Dutch Exchange, but we’re just going to focus on their flagship product, the prediction market, for this guide. More than just building a prediction market, though, Gnosis is creating an entire infrastructure layer that you can use to build your own prediction market app. A prediction market utilizes user predictions to aggregate information about future events. Users in the market trade tokens that represent the outcome of a certain event. Because some outcomes are more likely to occur than others, these tokens end up having different values in the open market.Olympia is Gnosis’s test version of their prediction market app. They host free tournaments in this product, so you get a chance to try it out without having to spend money. Every two days, the team allocates you a certain amount of Olympia (OLY) tokens that you use to bet on different prediction markets. If you do well in the market, you win Gnosis (GNO) tokens. You can sell GNO on the open market which gives them some monetary value. The next phase of Gnosis is its Management Interface. The team released a beta version in December 2017 but haven’t announced a date for the main net release. The Management Interface is basically your dashboard for Gnosis’s prediction markets. It’s here that you check your balance, participate in markets, and even create your own market. Gnosis includes two types of tokens: Gnosis (GNO) and OWL. GNO are the ERC20 tokens that the team sold during their ICO. They created 10 million GNO tokens and aren’t minting any additional ones. These are the tokens that you see being traded on the open market. By staking GNO, you receive OWL tokens. To do this, you must lock your GNO in a smart contract making them non-transferable. The amount of OWL you receive is dependent on the length of your lock period as well as the total supply of OWL tokens in the market. The team is aiming to have 20x more total OWL than the average amount of monthly OWL usage over the previous 3 months. The Gnosis team is led by Martin Köppelmann (CEO), Stefan George (CTO), and Dr. Friederike Ernst (COO). Köppelmann and George began working on the platform in January 2015 as one of the first ConsenSys partners. By August of that same year, they launched the alpha product as the first major dapp on Ethereum. In April 2017, the project held somewhat of a controversial Initial Coin Offering (ICO). Using a dutch auction style of raising funds, the team hit their $12.5 million hard cap in ten minutes while retaining 95% of the tokens. Amidst backlash, the team locked the tokens in a vault and have promised not to dump them on the market. They’ll give at least a three-month warning before selling any of the tokens. The team includes quite a list of reputable advisors including Joseph Lubin (Ethereum co-founder and ConsenSys founder) and Vitalik Buterin (Ethereum founder and chief scientist).