I bet you heard about XRP, the third cryptocurrency in capitalization amount, which is the part of the Ripple Network system.
Let’s talk a little about Ripple history. The company was created in 2004 by Ryan Fugge, and its original name was RipplePay. The idea of that company was to create a decentralized system that would allow users to create their own money and transfer them among the internet. Later the first idea led to the new concept - development of a digital currency system in which transactions were verified by consensus among members of the network, rather than by the mining process like it was in Bitcoin. In 2012 the OpenCoin Inc. was created, and the name was finally changed to Ripple Labs in 2013. The company continued to grow and released Ripple Transaction Protocol (RTXP), and make it available to transfer funds between two parties with low fees and with a remarkable fast transactions execution speed. To secure it they created a Ledger which is a network of independent validating servers that constantly compare their transaction records. In August 2013 the XRP was released on markets.
In 2014 Ripple Labs decided to focus on the banking sphere with the main aim - to revolutionize payment systems, and to solve some significant limitations of the current banking system, which is “slow, untransparent and expensive”.
XRP - is a semi-decentralized digital asset that settles payments in 3-4 seconds. The main difference between XRP and BTC is that XRP was issued in the amount of 100 billion and there are no block-mining processes.
XRP can handle more than 1.500 transactions per second with a fee =0.00001 XRP, which is notably less than Bitcoin and most of the altcoins provides. The fee is not collected by anyone, system destroys it as the transaction completed. This is needed to prevent ledger from spam-attacks and overloading of the around zero transactions.
Also, XRP can be used as a bridge currency to help to trade between rare cryptocurrency pairs. In this case, Ripple makes a bridge (XRP), which people can use to exchange their cryptocurrency. As an example, Alice wants to exchange her funds for the other currency, but there is no way to do it directly on exchanges. She can exchange her funds to XRP and then exchange XRP for the needed currency with low fees and fast transactions speed.
Among all the advantages of this coin, there are some weak points. The main is that this currency is not decentralized in the usual to the crypto market way. There is no mining community that would create new blocks and make transactions confirmations. Instead, XRP uses consensus among community users. Also, more than 50 bln XRP is on the escrow account, that means that Ripple can have a control over the prices of currency.
And also don't forget that you'll need to have at least 20 XRP to make transaction successful. It's due to the rules of that coin. When you send 20 XRP to your wallet, your address will be activated and then you will be able to send and exchange Ripple. You can't withdraw those 20 AWC neither you can exchange them on another assets. Have a nice time with crypto!