What is the difference between Ripple and XRP? How does the success of Ripple affect the price of XRP?

What is Ripple and what is XRP?

Ripple is a software solutions company, headquartered in San Francisco, California, USA. Its business is selling/licensing payment software to financial institutions, and its mission is to try to make the sending of money across borders globally a seamless proposition. Their stated goal is ‘to eventually transfer money/value just as the Internet moves information today’, which is to say in an error-free manner, nearly instantaneously, and inexpensively. Notice that this involves both payment and settlement, a process that today takes days, lacks transparency and costs quite a bit in terms of fees for the end user, and ties up capital for the service provider.

XRP is a digital asset. It exists independently of Ripple. It runs on the XRP Ledger, an open-source blockchain developed for payments. Both the XRP Ledger and XRP would continue to exist if Ripple didn’t.

XRP is meant to be used with xRapid, which, together with xCurrent and xVia, are being positioned as one cohesive solution rather than several distinct ones.

Who owns what?

Ripple owns 60 billion XRP, of a total of approximately 100 billion.

Fifty-five (55) billion XRP are locked up in a rolling 5-year escrow that releases 1 billion XRP per month and returns the unused/unsold portion to escrow, adding an additional month at the end of the established 5 years. The original intent of this initiative was to reassure investors that Ripple could not suddenly flood the market with their significant XRP holdings all at once.

Ripple is a privately held company, and its shares are owned by a number of investors, founders, employees, etc.

Ownership of XRP, which for an individual can typically be achieved via purchases on an increasing number of crypto exchanges, neither confers any rights of ownership in Ripple itself nor establishes any beneficial relationship for XRP holders if Ripple does well as an enterprise.

The XRP Ledger is open source software and is not owned by anyone, including Ripple.Anybody can contribute to the evolution of the XRP Ledger.

Who controls what?

Clearly, the governing board of Ripple runs the company, and its stakeholders decide on strategies and their execution.

XRP holders and contributors to the XRP Ledger are focused on the digital asset instead, and have no say in what Ripple does as an organization. Nevertheless, a relatively high degree of interaction between the XRP community and Ripple developers and staff exists, and people are free to offer suggestions and ideas. In addition to the well-known Xrp Chat: The Largest XRP Community Forum, Ripple employees are active on a number of recognized technical and financial working groups, attend conferences worldwide, and post on Twitter and Quora, where they try to explain aspects of Ripple and XRP, clarify misconceptions, and outline what the future may hold.

The XRP Ledger is being decentralized by Ripple. As of August 2018, the default UNL (Unique Node List) now has fewer than 48% (10 of 21) of validators under Ripple’s control. For every two third-party validators added, Ripple removes one of theirs. The XRP Ledger employs a consensus mechanism in deciding whether a transaction is legit, making decentralization actually tailorable, since nodes can choose which UNL to consult for consensus-based acceptance or rejection of transactions (i.e. their own preferred UNL or Ripple’s default/suggested one.)

Other initiatives, such as Coil to monetize Web content, Xpring to fund startups, and collaboration with academia have been launched and are being pursued to complement Ripple’s main focus on institutional, cross-border payments. Ripple has also been active with donations, for instance to DonorsChoose, as shown in