Ripple has grown over recent months, from an interesting concept with dormant projects into an actively developing ecosystem.
The Ripple Project (http://ripple-project.org/
) aims to build a new form of money which derives from existing social relationships rather than from rigidly inefficient central banking systems. The project involves technological as well as economic, social, and other aspects.
After an initial burst of activity when Ryan Fugger founded the project in 2004, the fundamental ideas emerged and a prototype called Ripplepay opened. However, the project did not gain sufficient traction to bootstrap into a mainstream trend.
Now, though, a number of old and new participants have had a chance to review the available resources, and the situation has changed with troubled economies and more open-minded people discussing ways to improve their communities' financial infrastructure.
In this fluid environment, the Ripple ecosystem evolves. From the initial vision and prototype, there are now several different software implementations to choose from with different design goals and architectures. Supporting services now include credit server hosting, an online market, and other facilities. And the Ripple user community now sees more frequent and dynamic interaction.
The project wiki (http://ripple-project.org/
) is a good place to start familiarizing oneself with the concept and surrounding resources. Currently most ongoing discussions take place in the Ripple users group (https://groups.google.com/group/rippleusers/
). Meanwhile, new implementations include Multiswap (https://multiswap.net/
), an innovative "circular multilateral barter" system; Shire Hours (https://www.shirehours.com/
), where liberty activists trade silver and time; Rivulet (https://github.com/jplewicke/rivulet
), with the goal of integrating open transactions into existing sites; and Rain Droplet (https://raindroplet.info/
), focused on building community credit.
With well over a hundred members from all parts of the world, and many more people aware of its ongoing progress, the Ripple community is growing as it advances the state of the art. The idea is a highly adaptable one, and the community is now searching for the best ways forward through a mix of lively discussions and varied experiments. Avenues include methods to decentralize the system further for enhanced resilience, candidate markets and marketing strategies, and improvements to software modularity and interoperability.
You are welcome to get involved by sharing your thoughts and participating. Start at the project home (http://ripple-project.org/
), and branch out from there!