The Ripple website has recently removed all mentions of its previous products, xRapid, xCurrent, as well as xVia. After years of promising value stemming from the usage of those systems, Ripple pivotes to a new approach.
Ripple Unifies Products
Ripple now offers a single solution, RippleNet, that unites the features of all previous Ripple products. This move potentially widens the usage of the XRP digital asset, as one form of sending funds. All banks that have used the xCurrent product automatically join RippleNet.
In the past, Ripple has attempted to explain the need for the XRP coin within its payment system. The xCurrent interbank payment network can function as a distributed ledger without the need for XRP. The xRapid system was meant to usher in XRP adoption.
XRP, previously also known as Ripple, was either sold or airdropped to users for years. Despite the promises the asset would be useful to banks, the actual need for XRP was questioned. For that reason, Ripple, Inc. decided on a rebranding, to differentiate itself from the digital coin.
XRP Struggles to Find Use Case
XRP continued to exist, reaching record prices above $3. But the extremely high supply and the lack of actual real-world usage depressed the price to $0.25. Early adopters may still be quite happy, as XRP started its climb from sub-penny prices.
Still, Ripple has manufactured a use case for XRP, within the ecosystem of its recently acquired MoneyGram business. XRP will be used along with on-demand liquidity to achieve fast cross-border payments. But the usage of XRP remains optional for banks.
It was the banking industry that was the big bet for XRP fame. Initially, it was believed XRP could be used to displace legacy interbank systems. Based on the potential usage of the coin for interbank payments, extreme optimists saw XRP growing to an exorbitant price of $500. But after the markets realized that no actual XRP is needed to move funds between banks, the expectations receded.
Ripple remains among the most well-known projects, and XRP is still the third-biggest digital asset by market capitalization. However, the project has lost its appeal as potentially disruptive of both banks and Bitcoin (BTC). The Ripple network also does not involve a classical blockchain, and relies on a series of servers ran by voluntary third parties.
There are 31 active validators on the Ripple network, of which the address ripple.validator.com hosts seven servers. Thus, the Ripple network resembles more that of EOS or TRON, instead of the Bitcoin network that has expanded to between 8,900 and 10,000 nodes in the past year.
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