The 21st century has brought us some of the most advanced and innovative technology imaginable. It seems that almost every area of our lives has been impacted by digital innovations. In most cases, these advancements make our lives easier, safer, and faster.
One of the most interesting digital creations is the emergence of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. Cryptocurrency is a digital asset that is secured through cryptography that functions on a decentralized ledger system based on blockchain technology. Unlike international currencies that are produced and distributed by centralized authorities, cryptocurrencies cannot be interfered with or manipulated by government agencies. However, like international currencies, there are several different options of cryptocurrencies to choose from.
Bitcoins and Altcoins
It seems like a new cryptocurrency pops up every day, but there are a few big players that have taken over the mainstream media conversations. The one that usually comes to mind is Bitcoin (BTC). But Bitcoin is not the only cryptocurrency available. According to Investopedia, there are over 4,000 cryptocurrencies or altcoins available as of January 2021. Whether you are looking to understand which cryptocurrencies to invest in or ones to hold and exchange, you need to understand how they operate and where they are accepted.
While comparing a list of every altcoin available would be exhaustive, Laing Media specializes in working with clients interested in understanding cryptocurrencies, blockchain, and Bitcoin alternatives. One cryptocurrency that is on our radar is Ripple (XRP). To understand how Ripple differs from Bitcoin, it is important to understand where Bitcoin came from and the purpose it aims to serve.
What is Bitcoin?
Bitcoin is a digital currency created in 2009 as a peer-to-peer electronic cash system. The identity of the creator of Bitcoin is ultimately still a mystery, but a whitepaper was published with the outline of the idea behind Bitcoin under the name Satoshi Nakamoto. Right now, Bitcoin is the world’s largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization. The value of the coin has been a bit of a rollercoaster and has experienced several periods going between “boom” and “bust.” However, those that invested early on in the game have reaped many benefits. Today, Bitcoin’s value has exceeded $40,000 USD.
Bitcoin made its mark as the first digital currency to use peer-to-peer technology. The system is designed as a collection of computers, also referred to as “nodes.” The collection of computers all run the unique bitcoin code and store its blockchain (or collection of blocks). No one can cheat the system since the information transferred on the blockchain is transparent and shared between all of the computers running the blockchain. Bitcoin tokens are kept with public keys (similar to a bank account number) and private keys (similar to an ATM pin).
What is XRP?
Now we can look at one of the newer altcoins that is making waves in the cryptocurrency space – Ripple or XRP. According to a recent Forbes article, Ripple is a money transfer network that was designed to serve the needs of the financial industry. Most notably, it was designed to replace SWIFT, a leading money transfer system that facilitates settlements between financial institutions. XRP is the cryptocurrency designed to work on the Ripple network and runs on the XRP ledger, designed and engineered by Jed McCaleb, Arthur Britto, and David Schwartz.
The XRP blockchain functions differently than other crypto blockchains. While Bitcoin transactions can take several minutes up to hours to complete with high transaction costs, XRP transactions are almost instantaneous at a much lower cost. XRP coins can be used to finance transactions on the Ripple network, purchased as an investment, or used to purchase other cryptocurrencies or fiat currencies.
XRP has consistently been ranked in the top 5 cryptocurrencies, despite ongoing legal battles with the SEC. Ripple and XRP have already been adopted by larger financial institutions, proving it’s legitimacy and effectiveness.
Learn More About Crypto with Laing Media
Cryptocurrency is the way of the future. As futurists dedicated to bringing our clients to the forefront of their respective industries, Laing Media has a team of cryptocurrency consultants that constantly monitor the market of emerging cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin and XRP. Whether clients are looking to cryptocurrency as investments or potential exchanges for their businesses, our team can help educate and guide them to platforms and best practices for various coins.
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