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.
Steem is a cryptocurrency that rewards users for community building by posting and upvoting valuable content for others. Steem was inspired from the success of Reddit where the community helped enrich the shareholders. Steem aims to help distribute the rewards to the community members who help create the community in the first place. Steem aims to provide various services to its members such as a source of curated news, Q&A, job boards etc. The founders of Steem came from BitShares with Dan Larimer involved as well. Steem’s main platform, called Steemit, is a social media network built on top of the Steem blockchain. Steemit is similar to popular content-driven social networks like Reddit and Medium, but it rewards users with cryptocurrency for their participation. Fundamentally, the more value a particular piece of content provides to a greater number of people, the more the individuals responsible for creating and curating that content can earn. Users cast votes, creating a hierarchy of content. The more upvotes a post gets, the more it will earn. The platform also allows for downvotes, giving participants more flexibility when it comes to rating content. Steemit is meritocratic, meaning users that hold more currency can cast votes with greater influence. The Steemit community even has another service to offer to its customers. D.tube, which is considered to be very similar to YouTube, is Blockchain based and the users can realize the difference between the traditional video publishing websites and D.tube, as the amount of money earned is also displayed beside the post apart from likes shares and comments. The Steemit community is accused of posting plagiarize contents on their publishing website. The irony seems to be reaching highest levels when the original content doesn’t receive much appreciation and income than the copied versions of it.'