In 2017, the prices of most cryptocurrencies have grown exponentially, as more of us discover this relatively new way to make money through online trading. Most people these days have heard of Bitcoin and the majority of traders are familiar with Ethereum, but the cryptocurrency universe is home to more than 1,300 other altcoins, including the rising star known as Ripple (XRP).
Ripple is the “world’s only enterprise blockchain solution for global payments”
Ripple was launched back in 2012 with the aim of improving the worldwide payment structure by offering faster and more secure global payment configurations. Ripple (XRP) is also the name of the system’s digital currency which enables real-time payments with lower foreign exchange costs and other fees, plus faster execution times.
For instance, XRP payments are settled in only 4 seconds, compared to about 2 minutes for Ether transactions and about 1 hour for Bitcoin, whereas traditional financial systems usually require 3 to 5 days to settle payments. The Ripple blockchain is also able to deal with a huge number of transactions per second – about 1,500 – while Ethereum can only handle about 15, and Bitcoin can deal with only 3 to 6.
There are currently more than 38 billion Ripple tokens in circulation out of the 100 billion already created. The other coins are held by Ripple Labs. For this reason, it is often said that Ripple is a centralised digital currency – more so than the other leading cryptocurrencies. However, the company is now working on a decentralisation strategy to diversify the number of “validator nodes” on the Ripple ledger.
Ripple is the third most important digital currency by market capitalisation
Ripple is now recognised as the third most significant cryptocurrency in terms of market capitalisation after Bitcoin and Ethereum. Patrick Griffin, Senior Vice President of Business Development at Ripple, described it as “the fastest, most scalable digital asset for global payments that can also provide liquidity to financial institutions”, which will help XRP to become more widely available around the world.
Currently, Ripple has more than 100 corporate clients, including Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, Santander, Standard Chartered, Westpac, UBS, Crédit Agricole, American Express, Unicredit, and BBVA.
Scalability, reliability, and speed are among the most important factors for Ripple’s future growth
Investors have taken note of Ripple’s reliability and speed – as of December 21st, it was available on 50 exchanges. The digital currencies trading sector has heated up rapidly in 2017 – Ripple could be traded on just 6 exchanges at the beginning of the year. Cryptocurrencies trading broker  UFX  offers an advanced, professional trading platform and cutting-edge tools that allow any trader to take advantage of the continuing rise of the digital currency asset class.
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