Ripple, a new cryptocurrency with an enterprise focus, is designed to make financial deals easier for big corporations and payment providers. What makes it different from other cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin is that it's centralized, meaning it's completely controlled by the Ripple company, as TechRepublic's Brandon Vigliarolo explains.
Because it's centralized, it can't be mined like other cryptocurrency, which is how coins are discovered for Bitcoin, Litecoin, and other varieties. Instead, Ripple introduced a fixed amount of coins at the beginning of its life, and no new ones will ever be generated.
Ripple's sole control over its currency means that it has the power to devalue it, introduce new coins despite saying it won't, and change the blockchain, which has raised some concerns among cryptocurrency watchers.
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Ripple has said, however, that its aim was to create a stable, reliable cryptocurrency that can be used for high-level business transactions as an alternative to converting between national currencies. It has said repeatedly that there are no plans to introduce more coins or artificially adjust the value of its currency.
There are a lot of businesses using Ripple, which you can learn more about at Ripple's website.
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Brandon Vigliarolo has nothing to disclose. He does not hold investments in the technology companies he covers.
Brandon writes about apps and software for TechRepublic. He's an award-winning feature writer who previously worked as an IT professional and served as an MP in the US Army.