The cryptocurrency, which launched in 2012, recently enjoyed a 4300 per cent surge in value
RIPPLE is one of the largest cryptocurrencies in the world but despite its recent growth, it still remains an unfamiliar name to many.
XRP, Ripple's native currency, took the digital currency world by storm, soaring from under $0.01 to over $1 a coin in under a year
How does Ripple work?
Ripple has soared to a striking $2.70 (£1.99) on January 3.
Cryptocurrency acts as a payment network, RippleNet, and a cryptocurrency, Ripple XRP.
The platform makes it easy to transfer almost any currency to almost any other currency in the world in no longer than four seconds.
Currently, Ripple is focused on working with banks and other institutions in a bid to offer an efficient and cost-effective way of sending real-time payments around the world.
Using Ripple, if one wanted to transfer currency directly from China to the USA, they can trade CNY to XRP, (Ripples currency), and then send XRP to the recipient who will have an online Ripple wallet or a bank in the USA. From there, they can trade the XRP back into USD.
This graph compares the speed of transactions across different cryptocurrencies
In comparison, transactions on Ethereum can take more than two minutes, and on Bitcoin payments can take more than an hour to be processed.
Ripple claims banks can save an average of $3.76 per payment using their network.
Since XRP only works directly with banks, the budding cryptocurrency is set to focus on developing networks to benefit finance corporations.
Although critics have questioned why the platform now focuses exclusively on banks, because it was launched to help everyday people make global transactions much easier.
Why has the cryptocurrency XRP spiked?
Ripple soared by 46 per cent on December 15, reaching a then-record high of 0.8051.
XRP reputedly gained such a boost in its value because Bitcoin's continued growth has benefited the entire cryptocurrency market.
The global market is currently valued at around $488billion, Bitcoin accounts for less than 40 per cent of the daily turnover and Ripple accounts for a minor 4 per cent.
But experts believe it will enjoy a larger boost in value in 2018.
XRP also enjoyed a surge because of its new partnership with credit card company American Express, who are looking to offer instant block-chain based payments.