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The ripple, whose acronym is XRP, is the name of a cryptocurrency (or electronic currency) founded in 2012 by OpenCoin, a company since renamed Ripple, and a blockchain type network. The ripple blockchain is a transaction validation network based on a shared public database and using decentralized servers. These servers can belong to anyone, even, and perhaps most importantly, banks. Holders of these servers are called "validators". As members of the ripple network, they verify by consensus and validate transactions made via the ripple blockchain. The ripple blockchain is an open payment network in which the ripple cryptocurrency (XRP) is transferred.

The latter is destined to become a universal clearing currency, particularly in the context of interbank exchanges (and not a currency of payment). One of the main objectives of the XRP ripple is to simplify inter-currency transactions, for example by replacing the Swift system, a slow and expensive protocol that banks use today to exchange currencies among themselves. and / or in the context of transfer operations abroad. The promise of the ripple (XRP) is to make this type of transaction almost instantaneous and much less expensive. In practice, a bank based in France that would like to send funds to a US bank could convert its euros into XRP and transfer them to the final recipient. This one would then only have to convert the XRP in dollars to finalize the operation.

By extension, the ripple blockchain could also be used to secure the exchange of other crypto-currencies, or any other valuable unit, such as mobile phone minutes or airline miles. Since the XRP (or ripple) is not a payment currency, it does not (apart from its high speculative size) offer any intrinsic utility for individuals.

However, the speculative dimension of the ripple (XRP) is significant. Today, the ceiling of 100 billion XRP has been issued. The ripple company owns more than 50%. Most of it has not yet been distributed to prevent any phenomenon of hyperinflation.

Long remained in the shadow of Bitcoin, Ripple however became in 2017 the most successful virtual currency of the year. Its capitalization ("price value" x "the number of units in circulation") currently represents $ 88 billion.
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