Ripple is both a digital-payment processing system and a cryptocurrency (XRP). Ripple’s blockchain system is very different to that of Bitcoin, and the currency is owned by the one company – Ripple – meanwhile bitcoin is actually mined.
It is a more popular cryptocurrency option for larger financial institutions because the technology behind Ripple is designed to make transactions quicker and more convenient for banks. Ripple (the company) in addition to offering a number of payment systems, also owns approximately 60 billion XRP and holds 55 billion of it in an escrow account.
The RippleNet which is Ripple’s blockchain system, offers businesses and financial institutions a number of programs that facilitates cross-border payments. This includes xCurrent (a payment processing system for banks), xRapid (allows financial institutions to minimize liquidity cost while using XRP as a bridge from one fiat currency to another), and xVia (allows businesses to send payments via RippleNet).
XRP the cryptocurrency under Ripple is said to be capable of settling a payment within 4 seconds and handling over 1,500 transactions per second.
Ripple though different from other cryptocurrencies in many ways, it still remains rather similar in one way which is the finite amount of XRP created. In the case of XRP only 100 billion exist.