The firm Ripple was formed in 2012 under the corporation OpenCoin, and development on the early iteration of XRP officially began under Jed McCaleb and Chris Larsen in late 2012.
Currently led by CEO Brad Garlinghouse, Ripple has received financial backing from several prominent investors and VC funds as well as having launched three primary financial products -- xCurrent, xRapid, and xVia.
XRP’s Design and Use Cases
XRP is primarily used as a means of payment and liquidity within Ripple’s RippleNet -- its global payments and liquidity network. Essentially, XRP functions within a distributed ledger where transactions are processed and settled via gateways -- akin to a series of private blockchains.
The Ripple Transaction Protocol is the core of the network which enables participating users and entities (i.e., financial institutions) to send and receive XRP (or fiat currencies) with a settlement time of 4 seconds and negligible transaction fees. RippleNet can process roughly 1,500 transactions per second (TPS).
There are currently more than 200 banks and payment providers in the RippleNet ecosystem.