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XRP began as an open source project to enable efficient direct transfers of money between parties using a permissioned shared public ledger. Ripple Inc completed the initial protocol development and subsequently released it as open source using the ISC license. Ripple Inc has continued as the primary contributor to project since its release. With ongoing efforts and funds dedicated to supporting other parties contributions to the protocols enhancement. This support was formalized with the xPring initiative announced in May 2018. xPring is a dedicated team responsible for using Ripple Inc’s resources to grow the XRP ecosystem. After the initial release of the XRP protocol, Ripple Inc focused its efforts on getting financial institutions to use the ledger to process remittances. Given their substantial volume and high fees charged by incumbent payment processors dominating the market at the time. Entering the cross border payments market led to regulatory scrutiny with FinCEN fining Ripple Inc for violating the bank secrecy act in 2015. As part of the remedial plan related to the fine, Ripple Inc agreed to enhance the anti-money laundering capabilities of the XRP protocol and stricter permissioning requirements were added for additional participants to join the network. To further enhance the credibility of XRP as a partner for traditional financial institutions, Ripple Inc obtained a virtual currency license from the State of New York in 2016. The upside of these enhancements and engagement with regulators was it gave XRP the capability to more deeply integrate with the traditional financial system. Evolving its functionality and allowing it to act as a settlement system with no central operator. SBI Holdings set up a subsidiary, SBI Ripple Asia, dedicated to bringing this vision to Japan. Were over 60 banks controlling over 80% of banking assets in Japan have joined the consortium using the XRP protocol for this purpose. Recent Ripple Inc. efforts have focused on expanding XRPs capabilities for functionally specific purposes. xCurrent is a messaging solution enabling banks to initiate and confirm cross-border payments with each other. xRapid – Seeks to lower the capital requirements needed to effectively function in developing markets. xVia – Enables seamless sending of global invoices.
XRP's foundation is a shared public ledger used by network participants to exchange value globally. A super majority of validators is required for the network to arrive at consensus to validate transactions initiated across the network. Because of the existence of multiple validators the project should be able to survive the loss of its original sponsor, Ripple Inc, if something where to happen to it. One of XRP’s first initiatives was to build the bitcoin bridge to link Ripplenet to the Bitcoin network. The bridge allows XRP users to conduct transactions directly in bitcoin without independently acquiring them by making it possible to make payments in bitcoin directly from their XRP account using other assets such as the XRP token. Ripple Inc, has focused on integrating user verification protocols so network participants are able to define which users they trust and how much they trust them. This has the effect of causing transactions to “ripple” across the network. Because if two users without a direct relationship initiate a transaction across the network. It ripples outward finding a path linking the users together from their trusted relationships to complete the transaction. Similar to how hawala financing systems function off line. For users just getting started, Ripple Inc., maintains a unique node list users can select by default representing validators with a history of reliably operating on the XRP network. Cross currency transactions typically take 3 – 5 seconds to process across the ledger. Once initiated, XRP’s path finding algorithm identifies the quickest least expensive way to complete the transaction. Because XRP operates as a permissioned distributed ledger, once completed, transactions are irreversible. Generally, for the path finding algorithm to work optimally, a large number of market makers need to be operating on the network so sufficient liquidity is available to efficiently complete transactions. To encourage development of a robust ecosystem around the ledger, XRP maintains a variety of APIs to help nodes and other third parties interact with it based on the REST API standard. Leading to invoicing and wallet solutions so businesses can incorporate it as a payment option for their customers.
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