Ripple is the third-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization after Bitcoin and Ethereum. It is a venture-backed startup that never held an ICO (which is the main reason why the SEC will never declare it a security). Ripple offers a global financial settlement service for banks that lets them transact directly and instantly across national borders. Thus, Ripple is oriented to large institutions instead of individual users. Its goal is to give financial institutions an easy and reliable solution for cross-border payments. It has already partnered with large banks around the world and more financial institutions are moving to adopt the Ripple protocol. This institutional support and the fact it is safe from SEC regulation are why I believe XRP will survive the altcoin bloodbath.
As of May 2018, over 1,800 cryptocurrency specifications existed.[24] Within a cryptocurrency system, the safety, integrity and balance of ledgers is maintained by a community of mutually distrustful parties referred to as miners: who use their computers to help validate and timestamp transactions, adding them to the ledger in accordance with a particular timestamping scheme.[14]
Welcome to Bitcoin' and triangle movements, one day looking so bullish and few days later looking so bearish and back again. This pingpong behavior has been going on for a few months now. Bears get out of hiding when the downside gets tested and the bulls show up when the upside gets tested. In the meantime it's just the exchanges that earn real money, even though ...
In cryptocurrency networks, mining is a validation of transactions. For this effort, successful miners obtain new cryptocurrency as a reward. The reward decreases transaction fees by creating a complementary incentive to contribute to the processing power of the network. The rate of generating hashes, which validate any transaction, has been increased by the use of specialized machines such as FPGAs and ASICs running complex hashing algorithms like SHA-256 and Scrypt.[30] This arms race for cheaper-yet-efficient machines has been on since the day the first cryptocurrency, bitcoin, was introduced in 2009.[30] With more people venturing into the world of virtual currency, generating hashes for this validation has become far more complex over the years, with miners having to invest large sums of money on employing multiple high performance ASICs. Thus the value of the currency obtained for finding a hash often does not justify the amount of money spent on setting up the machines, the cooling facilities to overcome the enormous amount of heat they produce, and the electricity required to run them.[30][31]
Some of the notable adopters as of late include Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic. You can now buy a private flight into space with your bitcoins. Zynga, the facebook games platform, offered the bitcoin payment option to players in “FarmVille 2”, “CastleVille” and other games. Major adult websites are also starting to accept the new currency as a means for payment.
I like the service but if you please can put more info in the dashboard or during signup because after I bought the plan and I configured account, everything was 0 and I didn't know that I have to wait up to 48 hours to see my pending payments. I got everything after reading the FAQs but please put somewhere noticeable in the dashboard or as a notification for new account. rather than that everything is more than great till now.
However, some altcoins innovate by experimenting with useful features Bitcoin does not offer. For example, Darkcoin hopes to provide a platform for completely anonymous transactions, BitShares describes itself as “a fair version of Wall Street,” and Ripple serves as a protocol users can employ to make inter-currency payments with ease. Some altcoin ecosystems, such as CounterParty and Mastercoin, even utilize the Bitcoin blockchain to secure their platform.

Most cryptocurrencies are designed to gradually decrease production of that currency, placing a cap on the total amount of that currency that will ever be in circulation.[25] Compared with ordinary currencies held by financial institutions or kept as cash on hand, cryptocurrencies can be more difficult for seizure by law enforcement.[1] This difficulty is derived from leveraging cryptographic technologies.
Around 2008, Satoshi Nakamoto founded Bitcoin. At the time, a paper was published through the Cryptography Mailing List. The first Bitcoin software client was released in 2009, and he collaborated with many other developers on the open-source team, careful never to reveal his identity. By 2011, the enigmatic Bitcoin founder had disappeared. His peers understood how valuable this cryptocurrency was, and worked feverishly to develop it to its maximum potential.