While the Ripple (XRP) project dates to 2012, the last year brought them into the spotlight. Massive partnerships and working product releases catapulted them to the forefront of the blockchain industry. Bitcoin (BTC) still reigns supreme, but Ripple arguably holds more real-world power than the original cryptocurrency. Major financial institutions are using the Ripple payment protocol to upgrade their software back ends, making inter-bank transfers easier and more reliable. As a result, Ripple’s XRP token remains at a comfortable spot as the third cryptocurrency by market cap.
The second quarter of 2018 saw the cryptocurrency industry emerge from the bear market that dominated the start of the year. As a result, development teams are beginning to announce new projects and expansions as the market stabilizes. Ripple’s contribution to the sudden explosion in new projects is the revival of their previously-shelved Codius platform. Announced in 2014, Codius would bring smart contract functionality to the Ripple blockchain. However, the market was only a fraction of the size that it is now, and the XRP team decided it could not support the ambitious project.
What is Codius?
Before Ethereum, the Codius project realized the potential of smart contract technology. Even the terminology was not fully in place yet – what we now know as decentralized applications were referred to as ‘distributed apps’. While dApps are now a well-known feature of smart contract enabled blockchain, their introduction necessitated several features XRP did not have. For one, Ripple’s financially targeted nature did not lend itself to games or social applications – both of which aided the adoption of decentralized applications.
Of course, smart contracts aren’t only for dApps, and reviving Codius allows Ripple to introduce the technology to their product line. Smart contracts offer an additional layer of security and counterparty risk avoidance. Smart contracts allow the removal of a third party – all terms must be adhered to, or the execution will not go through. Now that the cryptocurrency market reached critical mass, smaller scale financial applications can benefit from the Codius platform. Particularly Ripple’s stated goal of making international monetary transfers simpler and more cost effective. Ripple Labs proved themselves a successful development team, and their take on smart contracts is sure to be intriguing.
Recent XRP News
The Codius revival is not the crypto company’s only recent activity. Even through the downturn in the market, the crypto company aggressively pursued new markets and new activities. In one of the most effective public relations moves in the cryptocurrency industry, Ripple donated millions to DonorsChoose.org. A crowdfunding site for school projects, DonorsChoose.org had several thousand projects seeking funding – and the Ripple Foundation paid for all of them in full. Stephen Colbert announced the donation on his late-night show, to great acclaim for Ripple.
Further, major global bank Santander announced that they would be using Ripple’s product array to power their new mobile app. The app would allow users to easily transfer money across international borders, a process that has historically been expensive and inefficient. Traditional banking companies still hesitate when it comes to blockchain technology, and balk at cryptocurrency in general. However, Ripple’s headway in this direction helps the entire industry gain ground.
Article By: Adam Stone