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.
Quantstamp is a security-auditing protocol for smart contracts. As a apps platform, Ethereum has proven its security time and again. However, apps and smart contracts on top of Ethereum may still have bugs in which malicious players can cause havoc on the network. The two most notable examples of these being the $55 million DAO hack and the $30 million Parity wallet bug. These issues not only affect the people who’ve had their funds stolen, but they also diminish the credibility of the entire ecosystem. Quantstamp is making smart contracts more secure through automated software testing and a system of bug bounties. Although starting with Ethereum, the team is building the protocol to be available on any DApp platform in the long run.In an industry where security is a primary concern and bugs have caused the theft of millions of dollars, Quantstamp should help to legitimize blockchain projects and ensure that large-scale smart contract hacks are a thing of the past. Quantstamp held a successful ICO in November 2017 in which the team raised a little over $30 million dollars. They distributed 650 million (65%) QSP out of the 1 billion total supply to ICO participants at a price of $0.072 per token. After the usual post-ICO volatility, the QSP price stabilized at around $0.10 (~0.000005 BTC) through the end of November. The price followed the trend of the altcoin market and rose rapidly to an all-time high of $0.82 (~0.000051 BTC) before slowly falling to its current price of ~$0.286. The QSP price weathered the beginning of the year market downfall better than most other altcoins.