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.
iExec is an open-source, decentralized cloud computing platform, running on Ethereum blockchain. iExec allows decentralized applications (dApps) an on-demand access to computing resources and technologies on iExec cloud. iExec has built a blockchain network where dApps can take advantage of cost effective and high-performance resources such as servers, databases, SaaS applications, web hosting and computer farms. iExec’s native cryptocurrency — The RLC token is the primary asset used to access services in iExec infrastructure. RLC is short for “Run on Lots of Computers.” iExec is headquartered at Lyon, France. It was founded by Gilles Fedak and Haiwu He, both are serving as Chief Executive Officer and Head of Asian-Pacific Region of iExec, respectively. Oleg Lodygensky is the Chief Technical Officer. Gilles Fedak received his PhD from the University of Paris Sud in 2003, and has been working as INRIA (Inventeurs du Monde Numerique) research scientist at ENS in Lyon, France. Similarly, Haiwu completed his M.Sc. and PhD from the University of Sciences and Technologies of Lille, France. On April 19, 2017, iExec launched its token sale and raised more than $12 million in exchange for 86,999,784 RLC. In order to support dApps, smart contracts, and their platforms, iExec takes processing-intensive computations off-chain so as to keep a blockchain’s on-chain functions running smoothly. To do this, iExec makes use of XtremWeb-HEP, an open-sourced Desktop Grid Software. Desktop Grid computing (also known as Volunteer Computing) pools unused computing resources to be used by applications and platforms, and according to iExec’s whitepaper, XtremWeb-HEP “implements all the needed features” to make this possible on a global scale, including “fault-tolerance, multi-applications, multi-users, hybrid public/private infrastructure, deployment of virtual images, data management, security and accountability, and many more.” Essentially, with this software, dApps can utilize any computing resource in the iExec framework to run their programs. In their whitepaper, the iExec team lays out the project’s competitive landscape and explains these competitors in relation to iExec. They’re quick to note that decentralized cloud storage providers like Filecoin, Storj, and Siacoin are not direct competitors, and it’s easy to see why. While iExec could theoretically take a step in this direction as it matures, it’s not a storage platform; it’s a computing platform. This does put it in competition with other decentralized computing protocols like Golem and SONM. Both of these, however, are taking aim at a different animal. Essentially, they’re both building a decentralized supercomputer on blockchain technology, while iExec is targeting dApp development and sustainability. Both look towards a future of a blockchain-powered, decentralized internet, but their functions, while sometimes similar, are more complementary than conflicting.