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.
Kyber’s on-chain liquidity protocol allows decentralized token swaps to be integrated into any application, enabling value exchange to be performed seamlessly between all parties in the ecosystem. Tapping on the protocol, developers can build payment flows and financial apps, including instant token swap services, erc20 payments, and innovative financial dapps - helping to build a world where any token is usable anywhere. Kyber Network maintains liquidity through the dynamic reserve pool. The pool contains all of the Reserve Entities in the system. Having multiple entities in the pool prevents monopolization and keeps exchange rates competitive. When a user requests an exchange, the Kyber smart contract makes the exchange through the Reserve Entity with the best exchange rate for the user. By allowing external Reserve Entities, Kyber Network prevents centralization and opens the door to low-volume token listings. External reserves may be fine with taking on the risk of storing less popular tokens that the Kyber reserves don’t list. To prevent bad actors in the reserve pool, Kyber Network has few safeguards. The network will flag any exchange rate for special approval that’s greatly outside the norm. To protect funds in a public reserve, Kyber makes all exchanges using them available through a transparent fund management model. The Kyber team is impressive. Loi Luu, Yaron Velner, and Victor Tran are the founders behind the project. Luu previously created Oyente, the first open-source security analyzer for Ethereum contracts, and cofounded SmartPool, a decentralized mining pool project. Velner has been active in the Ethereum bug bounty program, and Tran is also a lead developer at SmartPool. The team has a well-rounded advisory board with the most notable member being Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum wunderkind. In August 2017, Kyber successfully launched their testnet beta. They plan on releasing their live product in Q1 this year in which you’ll be able to trade between Ethereum and ERC20 tokens. The project has an extensive list of partners including Request Network, Wax, and Storm. Because it’s an ERC20 token, you can store KNC in any wallet with ERC20 support. MyEtherWallet is the most popular online option. MetaMask works as well. Many investors choose to use a hardware wallet for additional security. You can’t go wrong with either the Trezor or Ledger wallet as both supports KNC.