Bitcoin vs Ripple: A Comparison

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btc vs xrp

At one point, Ripple XRP was the third-largest cryptocurrency in the world, behind only Bitcoin and Ethereum. However, due to the recent SEC lawsuit, XRP has dropped to 7th place with a  market cap of ~$32 billion. So, today let’s compare Bitcoin and Ripple to gain better clarity on both these projects and their use-cases.

In Brief 

  • Bitcoin is used as a store-of-value, while Ripple is primarily used for cross-border payments.
  • Bitcoin uses a public ledger, aka “anyone can verify transactions.”
  • Ripple uses a permissioned ledger, aka, “only the ones chosen can verify transactions.”
  • Bitcoin transactions take 10 mins, while Ripple only takes 3-5 seconds.
  • All 100 billion XRP tokens are pre-mined, and nearly 55% are held in escrow and released periodically.
  • Bitcoin has variable transaction fees, while Ripple has a fixed 0.00001 XRP for standard transactions.

What is Bitcoin? 


Coming into prominence in 2009, Bitcoin is widely regarded as the first established cryptocurrency in the market. It was created by the pseudonymous Satoshi Nakamoto as a response to the financial crisis of 2008 to give people control over their assets.  Bitcoin functions on the blockchain, which acts as a public ledger that stores every single transaction. Miners from all over the world collate these transactions in a “block.” Following that, they use computational powers to solve complex cryptographical equations. If successful, they get to add their blocks to the main chain and earn rewards.

What Is Ripple? 


Ripple was founded by Ripple Labs to solve several issues such as low efficiency, high costs, and low speeds faced by current payment systems. Before we proceed further, let’s understand the terminology a little better. Ripple refers to “RippleNet” – the technology that powers the XRP native tokens. The company has partnered with several banks and financial institutions, helping banks make cross-border payments almost instantly with little or no transaction costs involved.

The company was founded to solve several issues such as low efficiency, high costs, and low speeds faced by current payment systems. One of the most fundamental differences between Bitcoin and Ripple is their ledger. Bitcoin uses a public ledger. Anyone can buy ASICs on Amazon and start mining Bitcoin. Ripple uses a permissioned ledger wherein only entities that have been pre-approved by Ripple Labs can become network validators.

Also read: Ripple vs Stellar – The Ultimate Showdown

Bitcoin vs Ripple: The Differences 

Both Bitcoin and Ripple are two of the most prominent cryptocurrencies in the market today, with both generating significant interest lately. 


Bitcoin’s primary function is to act as a mode of payment for goods and services. Today Bitcoin is also used as an investment asset, with companies buying bitcoin to shore up their reserves and use it as a hedge against inflation. Ripple facilitates cross-border payments and remittances and also acts as a currency exchange system. 

Transaction Speeds 

An average Bitcoin transaction can take around 10 mins to complete. The transaction speed depends on how congested the bitcoin network is at the time of the transaction. If there are more users on the network, the transaction is likely to take longer. Higher value transactions on the Bitcoin network tend to be processed quicker than smaller transactions.  Transactions on Ripple only take 3-5 seconds. Ripple ensures fast transaction speeds as they are necessary for the protocol to function as a remittance and payment settlement system. 

Supply And Mining

Bitcoin has a strict upper cap of 21 million tokens. Every 4 years or 210,000 blocks, the protocol goes through this mechanism called “halving.” Simply put, the mining rewards that a miner earns gets halved every 4 years to ensure that new BTC is mined at a declining rate. As of writing, around 18.75 billion Bitcoins have been mined. The last Bitcoin will be mined on 2040.  On the other hand, the 100 billion XRP tokens have been pre-mined and will be gradually released into the market. Ripple Labs owns around 6 billion of the tokens, while ~55% of the whole supply is locked up in escrows. These escrows are on the ledger itself, and the ledger mechanics control the release of XRP tokens from the escrow into the ecosystem.

Transaction Fees 

The average transaction fee in Bitcoin is around $10. This number usually depends on a lot of factors, such as network congestion and networks. During the peak of the 2017 and 2021 bull markets, the BTC transaction fees reached around $50-$60! Ripple utilizes a fixed transaction fee system instead of a variable one. A standard transaction costs around 0.00001 XRP. Keeping in mind that 1 XRP is currently around $0.29, these fees are practically negligible. Ripple has purposefully kept such low fees to help banks and financial institutions carry out large transactions daily.

Bitcoin vs Ripple: Overview








Satoshi Nakamoto

Ripple Labs





Uses proof-of-work (PoW)


Transaction Time

10 mins

3-5 seconds

Total Supply

21 billion

100 billion

Transaction Fees


Fixed (0.00001 XRP)

Bitcoin vs Ripple: Conclusion

Bitcoin is, and will remain, the primary cryptocurrency. Multi-billion dollar companies like MicroStrategy, Tesla, Square, etc., have picked it up as a store of value. Recently, countries like El Salvador, Paraguay, and Venezuela have started adopting it as a means to secure their country’s financial future, as well.

Ripple, on the other hand, is currently going through a rigorous SEC lawsuit to determine whether the XRP token is a security or not. However, there is no denying that they have made several high-value partnerships and have played their part in improving cross-border transactions.

Where Do I Buy BTC and XRP?

If you are interested in Bitcoin and Ripple, you can buy the tokens via CoinSmart. Buy cryptocurrencies with ease via CAD, EUR, and USD.

How to buy BTC in Canada

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Bitcoin vs Ripple GetSmart Quiz: Answer All The Questions And Earn An Entry To Win $1,000 CAD of Bitcoin

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Which of the following has a public ledger?

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Which of the following has the higher "Total Supply?"