Unlike Bitcoin and Ethereum, Ripple was created originally as a payment network for real-time transactions that would attract financial industry captains. Again, the idea is to free users from banks, credit companies and other agents that enforce delays and charge fees. Only later were Ripple coins (XPR) introduced – 100 million of which have been issued. These are not mined, as Bitcoins are, but constituted the first Initial Coin Offering – a sort of IPO in which coins are issued rather than shares.
The Ripple currency – more than a medium of exchange – also serves as a bridge currency in a system designed to facilitate currency exchange and real-time gross settlements between banks and other financial institutions independantly of the RIpple network itself!.
The system (which is not dependant upon the coin or vice versa) can execute transactions in a staggering 3 to 5 seconds (compared to 2-5 days for a credit/debit card transaction).
Developed in Canada, Ripple was introduced in 2004 (preceding Bitcoin); but the coin only entered in 2014. Since then, the transactional technology has been adopted by several large banks. The owners of the system claim that it is faster than Bitcoin’s blockchain, with no requirement of confirmation from the block for a transaction to be executed.