Hey, crypto investors! Are you curious about the XRP Ledger (XRPL) and how it fuels the XRP cryptocurrency and other applications? let’s dive into this exciting blockchain, where I’ll explain what XRPL is, how it works, when it was created, and how XRP rides its wild waves to success.
What Is XRPL, Anyway?
In a nutshell, XRPL is an open-source, decentralized blockchain technology that was created by Ripple Labs. It’s like a giant digital ledger that records all sorts of transactions and data in a secure and tamper-proof way, using a network of nodes and validators to reach a consensus.
But XRPL is not just any old blockchain — it’s designed specifically to handle fast, low-cost, and scalable transactions of XRP and other currencies/assets.
How Does XRPL Work?
Now, I won’t go into all the technical nitty-gritty details, ’cause I ain’t no computer scientist (or maybe I am, who knows?), but I’ll give you the gist of it.
XRPL works by using a unique consensus algorithm called the Ripple Protocol Consensus Algorithm (RPCA). This algorithm doesn’t rely on mining or staking, but instead uses a voting system to select a set of trusted validators who validate transactions and verify the integrity of the ledger.
The result? A fast, secure, and reliable network that can process thousands of transactions per second with a fraction of the energy consumption of other blockchains.
When Was XRPL Created?
XRPL has been around since 2012. That’s more than a decade of blockchain innovation and improvement. Over the years, Ripple has continued to upgrade and refine XRPL to make it even more powerful and versatile, with features like payment channels, trust lines, multi-signature, and more.
But even though Ripple created XRPL, it’s not the only one that can use it.
XRPL is an open protocol that anyone can access, develop on, or integrate with.
That’s the beauty of decentralization, folks.
How Does XRP Use XRPL?
Ah, now we come to the heart of the matter. XRP and XRPL are like two peas in a pod, or like a fish in water.
XRP is the digital asset that XRPL was designed to handle, and it’s one of the fastest and cheapest cryptocurrencies out there when it comes to fees.
When you want to send XRP from one account to another, XRPL is the highway that carries it from node to node, validator to validator, until it reaches its destination.
And because XRPL is so efficient, the transaction fees are usually a fraction of a penny, no matter how much XRP you’re sending.
But XRP is not the only thing that XRPL can handle. You can also issue your own digital assets on XRPL, like stablecoins, security tokens, or even NFTs.
In 2021, RippleX proposed an ambitious goal to the XRPL community: bring NFTs to the XRP Ledger. Since then, they have been working closely with XRPL developers to make it work, and since late 2022 XLS-20, the standard for XRPL NFTs, is enabled on the XRP Ledger Mainnet.
It’s a significant milestone for developers and builders utilizing the XRPL for their NFT projects and apps. XLS-20 introduces native non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on the XRP Ledger to represent assets that are each unique, along with operations to enumerate, transfer and hold such tokens.
The future looks bright, to say the least.
What makes this possible is, of course, the ledger’s built-in tokenization functionality and performance advantages.
XRP Ledger NFTs were also designed with efficiency in mind. This is a huge benefit compared to passing through different exchanges with different rule sets. It standardizes royalty enforcement thanks to the ledger’s built-in DEX.
NFTs on the XRPL have been designed to be less vulnerable, less congested, and less expensive than other chains, and RippleX engineers have worked hard to create the right standard with a no-smart-contracts approach.
This makes NFTs on the XRPL more efficient and less prone to congestion, which is a fundamental problem for developers minting NFTs on leading layer-1 blockchain solutions.
Furthermore, with XLS-20, developers can support more NFTs at lower cost and do things like leverage auction functionality and an efficient storage mechanism, direct a cut of secondary sales to the original minter on the XRPL, or even co-own NFTs.
This is a game-changer for the NFT space and will undoubtedly attract more developers to build new NFT applications that support minting, burning, and trading at scale.
The activation of XLS-20 could not have been possible without the explosive demand from the XRPL community.
Developers from around the world directly informed the future of NFTs on XRPL community channels like Github, Discord, and Mattermost.
RippleX may have proposed the XLS-20 standard, but it was the developers who inspired the design, which aims to make it easier for developers to access XRPL functionality without needing to build or maintain complex smart contracts.
Community projects like xDude, Pixel Ape Rowboat Club (PARC), X-Tokenize, and XRP Junkies (to name a few) are proof of the excitement and NFT use cases made possible with the XRPL’s low transaction cost and high transaction volume.
Because of the XRP Ledger’s decentralized nature, no singular authority can make decisions for the network. Instead, network changes are determined by its participants, who vote on behalf of the XRP Ledger’s best interest.
Some participants even initially voted “no” on XLS-20, urging all to do their due diligence and ultimately ensuring a battle-tested amendment ready for 2022 and beyond.
In full transparency, XRPL NFTs have the potential to cause a temporary increase in traffic on the XRP Ledger network. While extensive performance testing has been conducted, and the XRP Ledger’s stability, efficiency, and security remain strong, some community members have voiced concerns about minting NFTs and converting large collections of NFTs all at once.
Despite these initial concerns, RippleX engineers and the XRPL community are excited about what lies ahead for this next chapter of the XRP Ledger.
So there you have it, folks. XRPL is the engine that powers XRP and a whole lot more. It’s a decentralized, open-source, and highly efficient blockchain technology that’s been around for more than a decade, and it’s still going strong.
XRPL is not just a niche technology for crypto geeks, but a powerful platform for innovation and disruption in the world of finance and beyond. So next time you see XRP zipping around the crypto market, show some respect on Ripple Labs and the company’s brilliant team.