According to Ripple (XRP) this is the largest-ever cryptocurrency gift to a single charity, fulfilled thousands of requests from public school teachers on the crowdfunding site DonorsChoose.org. The money will be used to buy classroom materials for more than 28,000 public school teachers across all 50 states, the company said in a statement.
Charles Best, founder and CEO of DonorsChoose.org, said he approached Ripple (XRP) based on CEO Brad Garlinghouse’s previous involvement with the foundation. He sent Ripple executives an email laying out the possible impact of fulfilling the teachers’ requests.
This is the biggest effort so far by the company to formalize a social good program, according to Monica Long, senior vice president of marketing, however, she said to expect more from Ripple (XRP) on education.
DonorsChoose.org agreed to liquidate the cryptocurrency into U.S. dollars over two weeks, according to Long, in the process trying to avoid affecting its market price. The charity’s policy, which also applies to donated shares of a company, is to sell right away.
What is Ripple (XRP)?
Ripple is the name for both a digital currency (XRP) and an open payment network within which that currency is transferred. It is a distributed, open-source payments system that’s still in beta. The goal of the ripple system, according to its website, is to enable people to break free of the “walled gardens” of financial networks – ie, credit cards, banks, PayPal and other institutions that restrict access with fees, charges for currency exchanges and processing delays.
What does Ripple do?
According to is OpenCoin, the company behind ripple, the currency addresses the need to keep money flowing freely. The goal of Ripple (XRP) is to build on the decentralized digital currency approach set by bitcoin and do “for money what the internet did for all other forms of information.”
How would Ripple function like the internet?
Ripple’s chief cryptographer, David Schwartz, explains it like this:
“Payment systems today are where email was in the early ’80s. Every provider built their own system for their customers and if people used different systems they couldn’t easily interact with each other. Ripple is designed to connect different payment systems together.”
Schwartz also anticipates the possibility of seeing “big companies lose their control over the flow of other people’s money just as they’ve lost control over the flow of information.”
Who’s behind Ripple?
The company building the Ripple protocol, OpenCoin, was co-founded by CEO Chris Larsen and CTO Jed McCaleb. McCaleb is well-grounded in digital currency, coming from Mt. Gox, which currently handles the majority of the world’s bitcoin trades. Larsen previously co-founded and led the online financial company E-LOAN. Other developers on Ripple’s team also have a bitcoin background.
OpenCoin recently picked up a round of funding from Andreessen Horowitz, FF Angel IV, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Vast Ventures and the Bitcoin Opportunity Fund.
(Note: OpenCoin is not to be confused with OpenCoin.org, which is developing an open-source version of an electronic cash system developed by David Chaum.)
Why is Ripple described as “free(ish)” rather than free?
Ripple doesn’t collect transaction fees the way PayPal, banks and credit cards do. However, it does take “a small portion of a ripple (equivalent to ~1/1000th of a cent)” from each transaction. That amount is destroyed rather than retained. The deduction is meant as to safeguard against the system being swamped by any one individual who might try to put through millions of transactions at once.
According to coinmarketcap, ripple is currently, March 30th, ranked 3th with its value rounding $0,494791 USD per coin. Despite the down trend, which affected the majority of crypto currencies, it seems that is finally stabilizing and recovering slowly, however, due to the volatile nature of the market, we need to wait to see what the future will tell us about ripple.
Image 1 – Ripple Charts – Source: coinmarketcap.com