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.
Huobi, the third-largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world, recently announced and launched a new currency. The Huobi Token (HT) rewards exchange users for their loyalty with lowered transaction fees while also carrying its own value in tradable pairs against popular currencies. The hope was to bring greater value to Huobi’s millions of users, mostly located in Asian countries. The launch of the Huobi Token follows in the footsteps of other loyalty-building tokens that other exchanges have launched. The first and most successful of these tokens has been Binance Coin (BNB). The creation of BNB secured Binance’s place as the world’s leading exchange. It offered discounted trading fees in exchange for customer loyalty, primarily functioning as a loyalty rewards system. Huobi officially announced its intentions to launch a new token on January 22, 2018. Over the course of 15 days, Huobi would distribute 300 million HT (60% of the total supply) to its pro users who purchased a discounted service package. Each morning, a new batch of HT would become available on a first come, first served basis. Huobi declared this token distribution scheme, “not an ICO,” due to the nature of the offering. Users are buying a specific service package, part of which includes HT that give a discount toward trading fees. The exchange launched the Huobi Token as part of an overall strategy to recover its user base after tightening regulations in China severely restricted cryptocurrency trading. In an interview with CoinDesk, Leon Li, Huobi’s founder, revealed that Chinese rule changes had decimated the trading volume on Huobi by 95% between September 15 and November 1, 2017. The HT token distribution began on January 24 and wrapped up on February 7, 2018. Each day of the distribution, millions of tokens sold out in mere minutes after going on sale. At that point, 300 million HT had been distributed to Huobi Pro members who bought packages. That’s 60% of the total supply currently in public circulation. Another 200 million HT, 40% of the total supply, was set aside. 20% goes toward user rewards and platform operation. The other 20% is vested for four years and constitutes the team reward. Huobi isn’t the first exchange to issue its own token. Binance (BNB), Bibox (BIX), KuCoin (KCS) and Coss (COSS) have all issued their own tokens as well.