I have been very interested in internet payment systems for a long time, so naturally I kept a close eye on the development of Bitcoin, the crypto currency that is getting so many headlines lately. I love the idea of it, but there are some other aspects that I like a lot less. For example Bitcoin mining (the processing of Bitcoin transactions) is a computationally expensive task, which probably means the transaction fee will become too high to allow for micro transactions. And learning to think in bitcoins may be too much to ask from many users. But worst of all, Bitcoin transactions are slow. They take up to 20 minutes to clear.
Enter Ripple. Ripple comes with a new crypto currency, XRP or Ripple, but that is just a part of the protocol. The biggest change of Ripple versus Bitcoin is that Ripple is going beyond the wallet to wallet payments of Bitcoin to include currency exchange as well. This way user A from the USA can pay US dollars to user B from Japan who nearly instantaneously receives a certain amount of Yen in his wallet. And that is where the power of Riple lies. They allow the user to think and pay in his or her own currency. In addition to this, Ripple also allows for very low transaction fees, in the order of 0,0001 USD. And those transactions are cleared in seconds instead of minutes to hours!
So there you have it. Ripple equals Bitcoin v2.0 equals the future of payments!