As a cryptocurrency information resource, we get a lot of questions. We make every effort to provide helpful answers in plain English and, of course, user questions give us a lot of information too. They let us know what newcomers to the space find important, difficult, or confusing.
One question which has been coming up a lot lately is…
How Do I Mine Ripple (also known as XRP)?
Well, to answer it simply, you can’t. In fact, many of the coins we’re used to seeing in the coin price rankings aren’t mineable. Compare these two lists from CoinMarketCap, showing all coins vs. mineable coins:
The reason Ripple can’t be mined is that it’s not a true cryptocurrency, according to our definition of the term, various experts, and our reader poll:
Ripple is instead a centralized crypto asset, which is exclusively issued by the Ripple company and controlled by that company and several financial industry partners. Indeed, Ripple describes XRP as a “digital asset for payments”:
Why Can’t Ripple be Mined?
Mining is only useful in the case of decentralized cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin. By remaining open to anyone with the necessary skills and resources to mine, Bitcoin theoretically prevents any single entity from controlling the blockchain.
Ripple and its several partners explicitly control the network, which can’t technically be termed a blockchain or even a distributed ledger. Incorporating mining would therefore be a complete waste of energy and money. In much the same way as AMZN shares are issued by the Amazon company, XRP was issued directly by the Ripple company rather than being mined into existence. The only way to acquire Ripple is therefore to buy or earn it.
Here are Some Ripple Basics
Current Price: $0.53
Current Supply: 39,245,304,677 (39 billion) XRP
Supply Cap: 100,000,000,000 (100 billion) XRP
- Ripple transactions are extremely fast, confirming within seconds,
- Ripple can reach 50,000 transactions per second in throughput,
- The Ripple network requires no significant electrical consumption.
- the system may be easily shut down or altered by the state
- transactions occur at the company’s discretion and may be reversed or frozen
- full trust is placed in the company to wisely and honestly manage the system.
What is Ripple trying to Achieve?
Rather than trying to replace the banking system like Bitcoin, Ripple intends to improve it. Ripple’s success therefore ultimately depends on acceptance by major banks and central banks. The highly-conservative banking industry is unlikely to make the jump any time soon, according to Ripple themselves and NYT fintech journalist, Nathaniel Popper.
A further point of concern is that Ripple remains unsupported by major American exchanges, besides Kraken. A Coinbase listing would probably do a lot for Ripple.
If you have any further questions on getting hold of Ripple, see our complete guide to the process, How to Buy Ripple in 3 Simple Steps. Hope this cleared a few things about Ripple and about why it can’t be mined.