XRP is the base currency for the XRP Ledger, an open-source cryptographic ledger powered by a peer-to-peer network of nodes. XRP was built for speed and cost-effectiveness so that it may serve as a viable alternative to SWIFT, which currently manages the movement of approximately $5 trillion per day.
Ripple’s story begins with Ryan Fugger, who founded RipplePay, a FinTech company seeking to develop a peer-to-peer payments network in 2004. In 2011, outside of RipplePay, Jed McCaleb assembled a team to develop a new consensus network for digital payments that would eventually become the XRP Ledger.
A year later, Chris Larsen, Arthur Britto, and David Schwartz joined McCaleb’s team. After a meeting with McCaleb and Fugger’s respective teams, the projects were merged under the name Opencoin. The company was rebranded as Ripple Labs in 2013. Later on in 2013, Ripple officially launched XRP, the digital asset that would serve as the base currency of the XRP Ledger.
The launch of XRP created 100 billion tokens with 80% being held in reserve for Ripple Labs and the remaining 20% were divided amongst the founders. Throughout 2013, the company would go on to raise more than $7.5 million from venture capital firms located in the United States. Once XRP began to circulate, the company began focusing on persuading financial institutions to adopt XRP for customer and internal remittances. Currently, XRP is used by institutions and private individuals seeking on-demand liquidity through Ripple’s xRapid product.