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Ripple Vs. Cardano – What’s the Difference?

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Many traders are familiar with Cardano (ADA) and Ripple (XRP) as both of these projects are among the most popular in the market. However, while both of these platforms are popular trading options, many people are unaware of the key differences between Cardano (ADA) vs Ripple (XRP). Learning the differences between these networks can help you to make an informed trading decision moving forward.

What is Cardano (ADA)?

Cardano (ADA) has been a major contender in the crypto market. This third-generation blockchain and dapp ecosystem were named after the famous Italian polymath and physician, Girolamo Cardano. Cardano was the inventor of systematic computations which are a cornerstone of today’s computer logic.

This approach falls in line with the project's academic approach to blockchain assets. The protocol is the first blockchain to launch, leveraging an advanced peer-reviewed research strategy. The protocol incorporates decades of scientific methodology, academic theory, and other educational aspects.

Cardano (ADA) - Homepage - Cardano (ADA) vs Algorand (ALGO)

Cardano (ADA) vs Ripple (XRP)

What is Ripple (XRP)?

Ripple launched in 2012 as an early contender in the market. The protocol operates as a payment system developed to service the banking sector. The platform is often confused with its utility token, XRP. Ripple is the payment system that supports XRP. Ripple enables banks to issue tokens that can represent fiat currencies, cryptocurrencies, and even commodities.

Ripple was created by Jeb McCaleb, who is a well-known blockchain developer. He has since gone on to found a variety of popular platforms including Stellar Lumens, Overnet, and more. He is best known as the original developer of the Mt.Gox crypto exchange. This now-defunct CEX (centralized exchange) was among the first in the market. As such, it controlled over 80% of all Bitcoin trading volume at one point before going under due to massive hacks.

Arthur Britto and David Schwartz were also head developers on the project. They worked hand-in-hand to ensure Ripple was scalable and secure. Notably, the protocols merged with OpenCoin to fulfill its goals of supporting the banking sector with advanced crypto assets. In 2013, OpenCoin officially became known as Ripple following the companies name change

What Problems Does Cardano Solve?

Cardano was built to eliminate some major issues that have plagued the crypto market for days. The protocol seeks to create standards that can become industry-wide regarding security, privacy, and decentralization. As part of this strategy, Cardano supports high interoperability within the market.

Cardano Hydra

Cardano (ADA) vs. Ripple (XRP)

Cardano includes a host of helpful tools to improve developer efforts. The network includes helpful features such as system upgrade protocols, governance models, and feature sets. Developers can leverage these tools to create more immersive Dapps and connect separate networks.

Scalability was a problem for Cardano in the early days of its launch. The protocol was limited to 10 transactions per second. However, the integration of the Hydra layer-2 network improves scalability massively. This option expands the network to thousands of transactions per second. To accomplish this task, Hydra removes computations off the layer 1 blockchain.

What Problems Does Ripple Solve?

The Ripple Net network was built to handle some specific issues. For one, the protocol focuses on driving the integration of blockchain assets in the banking sector. The developers realized that the efficiency and security of blockchain assets would be ideal for use within an institutional payment provider. Notably, RippleNet now incorporates over 100 banks.

Brad Garlinghause - Ripple CEO Named in BMA Lawsuit

Brad Garlinghouse – Ripple CEO – Cardano (ADA) vs Ripple (XRP)

Ripple provides institutional clientele with fast transactions compared to their traditional alternatives. The network can conduct international transactions in seconds. Company reports put the average time for transactions at 4-seconds. This speed makes Ripple a major upgrade for banks compared to fiat currency transfers.

How Does Cardano Work?

Cardano combines developer tools, academic backing, a proprietary cryptocurrency, and a purpose-built blockchain. The Cardano blockchain provides high security and flexibility to the market. The network integrates a new consensus style called Ouroboros. This chain-based Proof-of-Stake (PoS) system integrates community-elected leaders and time-locked epochs to improve scalability.

How Does Ripple Work?

Ripple combines an international payments network of financial institutions called the RippleNet, the XRP cryptocurrency, and a high-performance blockchain. The network leverages these aspects to provide ultra-low-cost global financial transactions of any size with no chargebacks.

RippleNet includes some of the largest names in the market. The network currently includes Santander, Axis Bank, Yes Bank, Westpac, Union Credit, and much more. These banks can conduct large international transfers in a frictionless and permissionless manner. RippleNet's fees are a fraction of fiat currency transfers and even other popular cryptos such as Ethereum.

Cardano (ADA) vs. Ripple (XRP) – Network Support

The Cardano Foundation is a non-profit that helps to expand the Cardano ecosystem. The group reviews potential upgrades and third-party applications. The group takes a strong focus on standardization with the overall goal of improving interoperability in the market.

Ripple Labs is a non-profit organization that helps to expand the RippleNet payment system. This group will approve or deny potential partnerships with financial institutions. Ripple Labs also provide legal support for the platform. Notably, the SEC went after Ripple for years claiming that it violated securities laws. Currently, the SEC has leveled charges against Ripple and two developers. The group alleges that $1.3 billion in XRP sales violated regulations. The legal battle is still ongoing.

Cardano vs. Ripple – Which is Better?

When you review Cardano (ADA) vs Ripple (XRP) it's easy to see that these networks focus on different aspects of the market. As such, they can operate cohesively without detracting from each other’s clientele base. Notably, Ripple continues to expand its massive partnerships, even as its legal proceeding continue. These facts, plus the overall security of Cardano, make both of these networks smart options for traders seeking long-term holdings.

How to Buy Cardano (ADA) or Ripple (XRP)

Currently, Cardano (ADA) and Ripple (XRP) are each available for purchase on the following exchanges.

Uphold – This is one of the top exchanges for United States & UK residents that offers a wide range of cryptocurrencies. Germany & Netherlands are prohibited.

Uphold Disclaimer: Terms Apply. Cryptoassets are highly volatile. Your capital is at risk. Don’t invest unless you’re prepared to lose all the money you invest. This is a high-risk investment, and you should not expect to be protected if something goes wrong.

Kraken – Founded in 2011, Kraken is one of the most trusted names in the industry with over 9,000,000 users, and over $207 billion in quarterly trading volume.

The Kraken exchange offers trading access to over 190 countries including Australia, Canada, Europe, and is a top exchange for USA residents. (Excluding New York & Washington state).

To learn more, make sure to visit our Investing in Cardano or Investing in Ripple guide.

*July 14, 2023 UPDATE*

After a multi-year court battle, Judge Torres, who was presiding over the case, announced a split decision surrounding the charges laid against Ripple Labs by the SEC.

“For the foregoing reasons, te SEC's motion for summary judgment is GRANTED as to the Institutional Sales, and otherwise DENIED.  Defendants' motion for summary judgment is GRANTED as to the Programmatic Sales, the Other Distributions, and Larsen's and Garlinghouse's sales, and DENIED as to the Institutional Sales.”

Simply put, Ripple was found guilty of selling unregistered securities directly to institutions, as these were clearly viewed as investment contracts.  Outside of this point, which is in favor of the SEC, it is widely viewed that Ripple ‘won' the case.  It was found that both programmatic sales of XRP and those made by Larsen & Garlinghouse did not constitute the sale of unregistered securities.

This decision was made due to the following distinction.

“…the vast majority of individuals who purchased XRP from digital asset exchanges did not invest their money in Ripple at all.  An Institutional Buer knowingly purchased XRP directly from Ripple pursuant to a contract, but the economic reality is that a Programmatic Buyer stood in the same shoes as a secondary market purchaser who did not know to whom or what it was paying its money…Therefore, having considered the economic reality and totality of circumstances, the Court concludes that Ripple's Programmatic Sales of XRP did not constitute the offer and sale of investment contracts.”

These rulings are significant, as many of the circumstances of the case and points made echo those of other digital assets on the market.  While each and every case is unique, a modest level of clarity has now been provided for the status of altcoins.

While the ruling may be challenged by the SEC, digital asset exchanges have already begun relisting the asset now that the fear of regulatory violation has diminished.  Moving forward, a trial will decide whether Larson and Garlinghouse knowingly aided in the illegalities that the company did take part in.

David Hamilton is a full-time journalist and a long-time bitcoinist. He specializes in writing articles on the blockchain. His articles have been published in multiple bitcoin publications including