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.
MKR is a cryptocurrency depicted as a smart contract platform and works alongside the Dai coin and aims to act as a hedge currency that provides traders with a stable alternative to the majority of coins currently available on the market. Maker offers a transparent stablecoin system that is fully inspectable on the Ethereum blockchain. Founded almost three years ago, MakerDao is lead by Rune Christensen, its CEO and founder. Maker’s MKR coin is a recent entrant to the market and is not a well known project. However, after today it will be known by many more people after blowing up 40% and it is one of the coins to rise to prominence during the recent peaks and troughs. After being developed by the MakerDAO team, Maker Dai officially went live on December 18th, 2017. Dai is a price stable coin that is suitable for payments, savings, or collateral and provides cryptocurrency traders with increased options concerning opening and closing positions. Dai lives completely on the blockchain chain with its stability unmediated by the legal system or trusted counterparties and helps facilitate trading while staying entirely in the world of cryptocurrencies. The concept of a stablecoin is fairly straight forward – it’s a token that has its price or value pegged to a particular fiat currency. A stablecoin is a token (like Bitcoin and Ethereum) that exists on a blockchain, but unlike Bitcoin or Ethereum, Dai has no volatility. MKR is an ERC-20 token on the Ethereum blockchain and can not be mined. It’s instead created/destroyed in response to DAI price fluctuations in order to keep it hovering around $1 USD. MKR is used to pay transaction fees on the Maker system, and it collateralizes the system. Holding MKR comes with voting rights within Maker’s continuous approval voting system. Bad governance devalues MKR tokens, so MKR holders are incentivized to vote for the good of the entire system. It’s a fully decentralized and democratic structure, then, which is an underutilized USP of blockchain tech. Value volatility is a relative concept among both cryptos and fiat currencies. The US dollar, for example, was worth 110.748 yen on July 9, 2018. On July 4, 2011, $1 was worth 80.64 yen, and on March 18, 1985, $1 was worth 255.65 yen. These are major differences in exchange rates, and inflation within each country makes each currency worth different values even when compared to themselves. One USD in 1913 is worth the equivalent of $25.41 today, and even $1 in 1993 is worth the equivalent of $1.74 today. Stablecoins don’t negate these basic economic principles of value. Instead, both Tether and Dai have values pegged to the U.S. dollar. This is done to stabilize the price.