XRP is a digital asset designed primarily for use in the Ripple network, which is a global payment settlement system that aims to be a faster and less costly alternative to payment platforms like SWIFT. Ripple basically serves as a trusted agent for different parties involved in a transaction that confirms when an exchange went through properly – whether this is an exchange of money or other cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. Ripple has already been used by major banks and institutions such as Santander to process international payments.
You can buy XRP as an investment or as a way to finance transactions on the Ripple network. XRP is often known as Ripple because the two are so closely aligned, but XRP is actually the native cryptocurrency of the XRP Ledger. XRP uses trusted validators to verify transactions, which is a little different to other cryptocurrencies operating in the payment space. Ripple decides which validators to approve for this list and also makes up six of these validation nodes. This enables faster transaction speeds, though critics have said it means it is more centralised and therefore less secure. Still, an XRP transaction confirmation takes an average of 3 – 5 seconds to complete – significantly faster than other cryptocurrencies or today’s traditional financial networks.