Ripple Labs created the Ripple network and the XRP token in 2012 with the purpose of making cheaper, faster cross-border payments. Ripple was thought of by Jed McCaleb (founder of the Stellar Foundation), Arthur Britto and David Schwartz, and developed from an earlier idea called OpenCoin.
Ripple’s specific purpose as a settlement system has seen it form multiple partnerships with banks, forming a network that has since been termed as “RippleNet”. Ripple’s extensive collaboration with banks - including cross-border pilot programs - has won favor with financial institutions in several continents, and executives from the company have been known to discuss the implementation of decentralized financial systems with high-level financial industry insiders, like the IMF’s Christine Lagarde.
Ripple also has close ties to SBI Financial Holdings, a Japanese financial giant that is keen on leveraging the token to improve financial services in Asia. President Yoshitaka Kitao has joined the Ripple Board of Directors. This, along with the extensive efforts to help banks test cross-border payments using Ripple’s technology, has emboldened investors, who believe that Ripple will act as something of a bridge between traditional banking systems and new technologically-empowered systems.
Ripple’s quicker settlement times compared to Bitcoin (transactions take a few seconds to get validated) and its lack of energy-intensive mining has led some people to say that it is a better means of exchange than Bitcoin itself. Having said this, Ripple is still primarily focused on becoming a new form of SWIFT, one that can assist existing banks and its customers speed up international payments.
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