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.
What is Monero? Monero (XMR) is the top privacy-centric cryptocurrency based on the CryptoNote protocol, a secure, private and untraceable currency system. Monero uses a special kind of cryptography to ensure that all of its transactions are remain 100% unlinkable and untraceable. In an increasingly transparent world, you can see why something like Monero can become so desirable. Origins of Monero In July of 2012, Bytecoin, the first real life implementation of CryptoNote, was launched. While Bytecoin had promise, people noticed that 80% of the coins were already published. So, it was decided that the bytecoin blockchain will be forked and the new coins in the new chain will be called Bitmonero, which is was then renamed Monero, meaning “coin” in Esperanto language. In this new blockchain, a block will be mined and added every two minutes. Why Monero? #1: Unlinkability - Your identity is completely private You have complete control over your transactions. You are responsible for your money. Because your identity is private no one will be able to see what you are spending your money on. When you send funds to someone’s public address, what happens is that you actually send the funds to a randomly created brand new one-time destination address. This means that the public record does not contain any mention that funds were received to the recipient’s public address. In Monero, your public address will never appear in the public record of transactions. Instead, a 'stealth address' is recorded in a way that only you, the recipient, can recognize the incoming funds. #2: Fungibility Fungibility is interchangeability between one asset and another asset of the same type. Suppose you borrowed $50 from your friend, you can even return the money in the form of 1 $50 bill or 5 $10 bill, It is still fine. This shows that the dollar has fungible properties. However, if you were to borrow someone’s car for the weekend and come back and give them some other car in return, then that person will probably punch on the face. Cars, in this example, are a nonfungible asset. What is CryptoNote? CryptoNote is the application layer protocol that fuels various decentralized currencies. While it is similar to the application layer which runs bitcoin in many aspects, there a lot of areas where the two differ from each other. CryptoNote features an entirely new code base and is not a fork of Bitcoin. More info about CryptoNote can be found at their website. CryptoNote uses Ring Signatures to conceal sender identities via mixing and it also has unlinkable transactions that is achieved using 1-time keys for each individual payments. Ring signatures enable ‘transaction mixing’ to occur. Transaction mixing means that when funds are sent, the sender randomly chooses several other users’ funds to also appear in the transaction as a possible source of the funds being sent. The cryptographical nature of the ring signature means that no one can tell which of the funds were really the source of the transaction – not even the person that gave the funds to the sender in the first place. A system of ‘key images’ associated with each ring signature ensures that although no one can tell the true source of the funds, it can be easily detected if the sender attempts to anonymously send their funds twice.