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.
The Nectar token is not intended to raise funds for Ethfinex, and will not be sold through any form of crowdsale, ICO or fundraising mechanism. Instead, the Nectar token will act as a loyalty token. The NEC is designed to maintain liquidity and market efficiency through the incentivisation of platform loyalty. Users who choose to register for the scheme and take on the role of market maker on the Ethfinex platform, or using integrated decentralised exchange protocols, will automatically generate NEC’s, as a loyalty reward, and subsequently earn a stake in the future development, governance and success of the platform. NEC will adhere to the ERC20 Token Standard to ensure cross-compatibility with alternate exchange protocols interfacing with Ethfinex. This allows other protocols and exchanges to reward users for the liquidity they contribute. The fundamental purpose of the Nectar token is to reward market makers for the value they create, in turn encouraging them to maintain market thickness and minimised spreads on the platform trading pairs. Loyalty points entitle holders to loyalty rewards held in the Liquidity Token Smart Contract, which can be redeemed (in part or in whole) through the Redeem Mechanism upon request. Loyalty points can be traded on a secondary market amongst white listed Ethfinex users. If no tokens are redeemed at the end of a 28 day cycle, the total supply of NEC will grow. Ethfinex will hold an initial supply of NEC which will not grow over time — as a result, the percentage ownership will gradually decrease as new tokens are issued and redeemed. The exact governance mechanism will be particularly important in ensuring the details and implementation of the token can be refined in time for the Ethfinex launch. Defining the perfect liquidity incentive mechanism will be impossible without continuous testing and feedback in real markets, and the governance will complete the loop in allowing improvements to take place. Following community feedback, we have decided against the internal redesign of the chosen governance mechanism; instead, we will look to adopt the industry best practise. There are a number of fantastic projects in the space who are currently working on this, such as Aragon and District0x, some of whom we are in contact with, and we are eager to refine our governance model in accordance with them. Ethfinex has come out with a smart solution and is not organizing a direct ICO but I see it as an indirect one with a long-term range into the future where decentralized exchanges will be the future or crypto-economy. Ethfinex’s and Nectar’s token development will bring all the ERC20 tokens under one platform dedicated to Ethereum token economy which in itself will be a huge thing. The total initial supply of NEC is 1 billion tokens out which the current circulating supply is 500,000,000 NEC. This supply will be distributed to the team and early adopters as loyalty points and this will also keep growing every 30 days, with new tokens being created based on market maker programme.