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.
Sia is a decentralized cloud storage platform similar in concept to Dropbox and other centralized storage provider where instead of renting storage space from a centralized entity, clients rent storage space from other peers. The only difference is Sia uses blockchain to facilitate transactions Nodes provide storage to clients using the Sia blockchain as contracts. Before storing the data, the data is encrypted into many pieces and uploaded to different hosts. Siacoin is created by David Vorick and Luke Champine of Nebulous Inc. As the traditional storage platforms are higher in cost, more expensive and data is not well protected. Siacoin promises to offer secured storage transactions with smart contracts which is more affordable and reliable. Moreover, it is completely open source which means many individuals have contributed to Siacoin’s software hence there will be an active community building innovative applications on top if the Sia API. In 2018, Siacoin aims to introduce file sharing and be the go-to cloud storage platform for companies. Their goal is divided into 3 time frames which are short-term, medium-term and long-term development. Short-term development focuses on file sharing between Sia users. This allows Sia users to share files in the platform without having to take it off the cloud while increasing network utilization. Medium-term development’s goal is to enhance partnerships. This means reaching out to large companies like Netflix and Dropbox to hopefully be able to be their storage and distribution framework. Lastly, long-term development aims to expand its horizon to share files with non-Sia users and support mobile wallets.