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.
Namecoin is a domain name registry service and was the first coin to fork Bitcoin. Similar to registering a .com or .io domain name, you register a .bit domain on the network. This domain is censorship-resistant and impervious to activity tracking. Governments and large corporations control traditional domain name services (DNS) servers. This control is how the Chinese government, for instance, can block websites that go against their beliefs. To prevent this level of censorship, Namecoin uses blockchain technology to distribute its DNS amongst the users on the network. A pseudo-anonymous founder by the name of “Vince” created Namecoin in 2011. Since then, Vince has disappeared, but a core development team has kept the project alive. The project has several developers listed on the official website and benefits from the contributions of numerous anonymous developers as well. Namecoin has been fully functional for a few years, now, and the development team posts updates several times a month. Namecoin was the first cryptocurrency to use Auxiliary Proof of Work (AuxPoW) for its consensus. By using AuxPow, Namecoin and Bitcoin can be mined simultaneously. In this consensus, the child blockchain depends on the proof-of-work of parent blockchain, which means If a new block is created on Bitcoin blockchain, it will also be added to the Namecoin blockchain. NameID is another technology brought by Namecoin. It serves as an open service for securely registering human-readable names in a decentralized way. NameID is a combination between Namecoin and OpenId, where users can easily convert their Namecoin Identities into OpenIDs. This makes NameID a solution to Zooko's triangle, which states that there are three desirable properties (Human-meaningful, Decentralized, and Secure) for name participants in a network protocol and any participant can only inherit two properties at a given time. Namecoin is among some earliest cryptocurrencies. During its existence in the market, it has seen a high volatility on some occasions, which can be attributed to many reasons. Namecoin has been around in the cryptocurrency market much longer than most cryptocurrencies today; however, despite this, it has not gotten much attention until recently. In 2014, it was among the top ten cryptocurrencies by market capitalisation, which is now changed due to the introduction of hundreds of new cryptocurrencies. Namecoin was abandoned by its creator which can be seen as a red flag by many. The project is currently being developed with the support from its community. The current team has been actively taking the project forward and also provides regular updates on social media channels.