While bitcoin remains the clear leader among cryptocurrencies in terms of market capitalization and overall adoption rates, other contenders continue to surge ahead thanks to growing adaptability and varied applications. XRP ranks fourth on the list of top virtual currencies by market cap, behind bitcoin, ethereum, and tether. XRP is often referred to as “Ripple,” although technically Ripple is the name of the company and network behind the cryptocurrency, and XRP is the cryptocurrency.
Below, we’ll take a closer look at what distinguishes XRP from bitcoin and other top digital tokens.
Bitcoin vs. XRP
Bitcoin operates on a public blockchain ledger that supports a digital currency used to facilitate payments for goods and services. Bitcoin, the network, is primarily known for its bitcoin cryptocurrency (typically referred to as “bitcoin” or by the abbreviation BTC).
The bitcoin network is based on the blockchain concept, a public ledger of verified transactions and record-keeping. Miners verify transactions on an ongoing basis and add them to the bitcoin blockchain which serves as a ledger of all activity across the network. In exchange for their time and the computing power necessary to validate the ledger in this way, miners are rewarded with BTC upon successfully validating certain quantities of transactions.
XRP, on the other hand, is a technology that is mainly known for its digital payment network and protocol. Aside from the cryptocurrency XRP, Ripple is perhaps even better known as a payment settlement, asset exchange, and remittance system that works more like SWIFT, a service for international money and security transfers that is used by a network of banks and financial intermediaries.
Instead of using the blockchain mining concept, the Ripple network uses a unique distributed consensus mechanism through a network of servers to validate transactions. By conducting a poll, the servers or nodes on the network decide by consensus about the validity and authenticity of the transaction. This enables almost instant confirmations without any central authority, which helps to keep XRP decentralized and yet faster and more reliable than many of its competitors.