Comment: Ripple, Bitcoin and the Future of Open Money

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Ripple, Bitcoin and the Future of Open Money

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.

Ripple already has clear advantages over bitcoin. Everybody using a Ripple account will have some Ripples in their account, just to get them on the system, and there will always be people making a market, converting Ripples to real currency and back again. The good news, however, is that Ripples are not (fingers crossed) going to become speculative investment vehicles, in the way that bitcoins are. I hope it works, and I hope that the number of gateways into the system will soon expand from the current list of relatively obscure sites like Bitstamp and WeExchange.