Originally posted by dominicus
Someone needs to come out with another kind of digital currency so it;s not all Bitcoin dominant.
It needs to be decentralized and put in check by other currencies. The reason its so high is because its the only digital currency out there
Up until now Bitcoin has been, by far, the most powerful contender in the crypto-currency market. Other alternative coins, such as Namecoin, Solidcoin
and Litecoin, have arisen to offer various modifications on the core Bitcoin concept but none have achieved anything close to Bitcoin’s level of
success. Litecoin is perhaps the most prominent out of all the alternatives, rumor has it that Litecoin will be tradable on Mt.Gox soon but so far the
overwhelming majority of merchants – and merchant platforms, for that matter – have seen no reason to pay attention to them. Now, that may finally
change with decentralized cryptocurrency’s new kid on the block: Ripple.
Bitcoin is clearly not an effective store of wealth — just look at how quickly that wealth can be evaporated with the recent market
crash/correction. Neither is it a useful payments mechanism, given how fast its value can fluctuate. Currently, it can take an hour for a bitcoin
transaction to clear, which means that the value of the transaction when it clears can be radically different from its value at inception. Bitcoin
only works for payments if you can be reasonably sure that its value will remain reasonably steady for at least the next hour or so.
Seeing the problems and prospects of Bitcoin, a company named OpenCoin started developing the Ripple protocol. Ripple is a distributed open source
payments system and its native math-based virtual currency is called ripples (XRP). Ripple enables free payments to merchants, consumers and
developers; the ability to pay in any currency; no chargebacks; and instant global payments. Ripple can accommodate any currency, including dollars,
yen, euros, and even bitcoin, making it the world’s first distributed currency exchange.
The Ripple project is actually older than Bitcoin itself. The original implementation was created by Ryan Fugger in 2004, the intent being to create a
monetary system that was decentralized and could effectively empower individuals and communities to create their own money by swapping debts among a
social network. With the influx of VC money it has become much more than that.
Ripple feels like bitcoin in many ways. Users are anonymous (or, technically, pseudonymous), for instance: if you want to send me money via Ripple,
right now you have to pay rpU1neb5evF3Dk9CbPahxHoxkXRuiuYC3S rather than just my email address. It’s all open-source, too: OpenCoin has no
privileged access to the way in which people pay each other. The fees are de minimis, just enough to prevent DDoS attacks and the like. There’s even
a built-in crypto-currency, the Ripple, with a fixed money supply. But the great thing about the Ripple system is that individuals don’t have to pay
each other in Ripples. Instead, they can pay each other in pretty much any currency in the world: Ripples, yes, or dollars, or yen, or euros, or even
bitcoins. Ripple hasn’t succeeded yet, it is still in Beta and has a long way to go. But at least it has a genuine hope of doing so.