When I discuss Ripple and the XRP token I like to make a distinction from the start. Ripple is the company that is creating use cases for the XRP token. XRP is the native token that is used on the XRP ledger network. The two are separate entities but are obviously closely tied together. The founder or Ripple states that if the Ripple company no longer existed, this would not affect the function of the XRP token and ledger whatsoever.
Now that I have made that distinction we can discuss the use case XRP has and why it differs to Bitcoin. XRP was created to allow a secure, instant and low cost alternative for financial transactions of all sizes with no ability to charge back. XRP is not considered as an alternative currency, it is more like a ‘middle-man’ in that you can trade between digital currencies, digital assets, real world commodities and fiat, using XRP as the go-between source.
Due to the XRP token being ‘pre-mined’ the cryptocurrency community was quite hostile to the intent of the creators. This sentiment has somewhat lingered still due to Ripple creating Ripplenet (a network of financial institutions and banks interested in the technology) combined with holding on to 20% of the original 100 billion XRP created.
Despite this XRP is considered one of the more successful ‘real-world’ use cases of blockchain technology and despite the polarising views, has the second highest market cap behind bitcoin.