What Is the Difference Between Bitcoin and Ripple?

by Andrew McGuinness     Sep 04, 2019

Bitcoin is the most well-known cryptocurrency not only because it was the first digital currency to hit the market back in 2009, it is also the most valuable. On the other hand, Ripple was founded in 2012, and despite the fact it is not as successful as Bitcoin, it is doing a fairly good job trying to attain what Bitcoin has achieved.

Ethereum and Ripple have been fighting for the second spot on the list of biggest tokens on the market and it currently sits at the third position. Although despite the fact that Ripple and Bitcoin are both cryptocurrencies and are competing for the top spot on most of the same lists, what sets Ripple and Bitcoin apart from each other?

1. Price

The prices of Bitcoin and Ripple differ largely. While Bitcoin was created a decade ago, setting the scene for all other cryptocurrencies to come, Ripple only came along three years later in 2012. Despite the fact Ripple is gaining exposure through three of its biggest investors, all Japanese credit card companies, its value remains a measly $0.27 for each token. Bitcoin, on the other hand, has reached a value of over $10,000 per token (values are as of 23 August 2019).

2. Decentralization

While Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency that is as decentralized as a currency can get, Ripple is not. Bitcoin relies on its users to make changes and decide on upgrades. If changes are proposed and not enough percentage of the Bitcoin community agrees with the change, a hard fork is likely to be carried out. This happens if less than 51% mining power is available to go through with changes or upgrades.

Ripple, on the other hand, relies on higher figures within the company such as ledgers and developers in order to go about changes and updates to the system. This method of decision making allows for more of a democratic result, as well as quicker updates. Every alteration requires an 80% approval rating before being carried out. This is more likely to be the right decision for the company than if the approval rating were to be a mere 2% higher than that of the disapproval rating.

3. Objectives

When it comes to cryptocurrency, Ripple and Bitcoin both pursue different strategies. While Bitcoin holds no limitations in terms of usage and anyone is able to use it anywhere, Ripple does not have the same approach. Ripple advertises its cryptocurrency as a transfer solution for your security when it comes to larger figures.

4. Capacity

It goes without saying that Bitcoin is much larger than any other cryptocurrency currently on the market. But how big is it exactly? If we are to be exact, the value of all Bitcoins currently on the market combined would amount to $169 billion. Ripple is valued significantly less at $10 billion. Despite its significantly less value, only 17 million Bitcoins are in circulation which is a stark contrast to Ripple’s whopping 42 billion tokens that are currently being bought and sold.

5. Transaction period

Transaction times are one of Bitcoin’s greatest downfalls. What’s more, not only is Bitcoin slow with transactions, but you have to pay for these transactions as well. It is estimated for each transaction to cost around $27, taking over an hour to be processed completely. Ripple, on the other hand, allows transactions that cost less than a penny and may take as long as a few minutes and as little as a few seconds.

Summary of Differences

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