XRP Ledger or simply XRP (formerly called Ripple)  is a free software project and a payment protocol that pursues the development of a credit system based on the peer-to-peer paradigm. Each node of the network functions as a local exchange system, so that the entire system forms a decentralized mutualist bank. Some consider that implemented to its ultimate consequences this network would constitute a decentralized social network service based on honor and trust among its participants at a global level (in this way, its financial capital is based on social capital). A scaled-down version of the network would consist of an extension of the traditional banking system in which there would be alternative payment routes that would not rely on central banks. History
The XRP Ledger project (at the time known as “Ripple”  is launched by the company Ripple Labs, founded by Chris Larsen and Jed McCaleb in the United States in 2012. 
At that time the tokens of the system were known as “ripple credits” or “ripples”. Name and logo change
According to XRP’s developer help portal, in May 2018 the community chose the name “XRP” for the cryptocurrency to differentiate it from the company that created it. On June 13, a new logo for the active product of two rounds of voting was announced.  On May 31, 2018, the News.Bitcoin.com news portal published an article describing the efforts of the XRP community to get people to make a correct differentiation between the “Ripple” brand and cryptocurrency.  On July 9, 2018 Ripple Labs published an infographic on its web portal clarifying the difference, characteristics and relationship between the company and the cryptocurrency. OperationContext
Modern monetary systems are based on obligations between participants. Coins and banknotes are government-issued bonds, while loans are personal obligations of the borrower and bank accounts are obligations of the bank, based on what is permitted by laws and government obligations. An obligation has value if the owner trusts to be able to receive the value of it. Thus, we can see the banking network as a network based on trust.
The main method of making a payment to another participant in the system is by transferring ownership of bank obligations electronically over the banking network, from the payer to the collector.
The banking network is a hierarchical network in which banks are mere intermediaries among their customers, and in turn, central banks serve as intermediaries between banks. This structure implies that it is very simple to establish a payment route between any participant, but it is full of points of failure, which could also be considered as single points of control.
The XRP system generates revenue primarily through its system, allowing banks to transact with each other regardless of the need for central banks. Principles
The key idea of the XRP Ledger system is that it should be possible to route payments over open trust-based networks, similar to how the Internet routes data packets through open and arbitrary computer networks. The advantages of this system would be less dependence on institutions that claim the authority to make decisions regarding the monetary policy of an entire country. In this case, all participants would take to some degree part of the decisions of the system, in a much more democratic way. This alternative would in theory be much more supportive and would give a better response to the needs of the regions and the community in general. Some believe that as a result of this, a highly regulated institutional hierarchy would not be necessary to control the central participants, as is the case on the Internet. Additionally, the XRP network could continue to function even if many of its nodes were lost.
The goal of the XRP protocol is not to prevent hierarchical payment structures from existing, it only allows other structures to appear as alternatives. Comparison with other alternative payment systems
Although there are alternative systems to traditional banking and central banks such as payment processors and local exchange systems, the XRP system differs from them as well as other cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Ethereum and Dash because it treats all participants as equals. Both payment processors and local exchange systems are based on a central authority that defines their policies centrally and is responsible for processing payments between the “leaf nodes”, while in XRP Ledger no node has greater capacity than the rest.
In a way, each XRP node is like a local exchange system or payment processor itself. The utility of the XRP protocol is to connect traditional and alternative payment systems on a single network. See also
- Sanctions against Iran
- Sanctions against Russia
- Sanctions against Belarus
- Official Ripple
- Ripple project page
- Ripple protocol consensus algorithm