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Rippling on the XRPL

To understand how the XRP Ledger can facilitate innovative solutions, it is important to have a basic understanding of its structure and capabilities. The XRP Ledger is a decentralised software platform that offers a range of features, including rippling, which allows users to facilitate transactions and exchange value. By understanding the fundamental components and functionality of the XRP Ledger, we can better grasp the potential for new and innovative uses of this powerful software ecosystem.

The XRP Ledger: An Overview

The XRP Ledger is a decentralised, open-source blockchain that has been consistently reliable for over 8 years. It enables peer-to-peer currency exchange, cross-currency payments, and numerous other features for its users. In addition to being a powerful tool for innovation, the XRPL also hosts one of the world’s oldest decentralised exchanges, which has been in operation since 2012. Its open-source nature and wide range of capabilities make it a highly attractive platform for developers and users alike.

The XRPL community includes a diverse range of individuals and organisations, including developers, validators, individual users, and even enterprises that use the blockchain for international business transactions. One of the most exciting developments in the XRPL ecosystem is its use on a national level. For example, the State of Palau has partnered with Ripple to create a national digital currency using the XRPL, which may indicate that more central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) will adopt the XRPL in the future. Additionally, users of the XRPL’s decentralised exchange (DEX) can buy and sell tokens using either XRP (the native cryptocurrency of the XRPL) or other tokens listed on the DEX. Overall, the XRPL offers a wide range of capabilities and opportunities for its users.

XRP: The Native Token of the XRPL

XRP is the native token of the XRPL and is designed to facilitate low-cost, almost instantaneous payments to any location around the world. As a digital asset, it is meant to operate quickly and eliminate some of the issues that can arise with global transactions. One of the key features of XRP is its real-time settlement system, which allows it to simultaneously process payments in multiple currencies. This makes it an ideal choice for cross-border payments, as it can bridge the gap between different currencies and facilitate smooth, fast transactions. With a strong understanding of the XRPL ecosystem and the benefits it offers its users, we can now delve deeper into the concept of rippling and how it fits into this powerful software platform.

Rippling: Facilitating Value Transfer Between Parties

In the XRP Ledger, “rippling” refers to the process of atomic net settlement between parties that have established trust lines for a specific token. Trust lines are a fundamental element of the XRPL that allow users to hold and exchange specific tokens. They establish bidirectional relationships between parties, which can include individuals or enterprises, and allow users to ensure that their wallet does not have to hold a token they do not want. Rippling is a useful feature for XRPL wallet holders who can enable it to facilitate the transfer of a particular token between their wallets while using the issuer as a passive intermediary. Essentially, rippling allows for the two-way exchange of two tokens with the same currency code but different issuers.

To understand how rippling works, consider a scenario where wallet 1 owes money to both wallet 2 and wallet 3. In this case, wallet 1 is the primary wallet responsible for making the payments, while wallets 2 and 3 are the recipients. Rippling allows for the simultaneous adjustment of multiple trust lines to facilitate the transfer of value from wallet 1 to wallets 2 and 3. The process of rippling involves updating the balances on the trust lines between the parties involved in the transaction, with the issuer acting as a passive intermediary. This allows for the efficient and secure transfer of value between parties without the need for a central intermediary or clearinghouse. However, it is worth noting that the process of rippling can be complex and may be subject to certain limitations, such as the need for all parties to have established trust lines for the specific token being exchanged.

Starting balances:

  • Wallet 2 is owed $10 USD, while wallet 3 is owed $20 USD. 

The ‘bidirectional relationship’ can be represented in terms of a trust line as follows:

Imagine that wallet 3 wants to pay wallet 2 $5 USD, but instead of making the payment directly, they ask wallet 1 to do it on their behalf. This is because wallet 1 already owes money to both wallets 2 and 3. In this case, wallet 3 might ask wallet 1 to transfer $5 USD from the amount they owe to wallet 3 to wallet 2. In other words, wallet 3 is asking wallet 1 to “ripple” the payment through their trust lines to facilitate the transfer of funds. This request might be phrased as, “Wallet 1, could you please take $5 of the money you owe me (wallet 3) and transfer it to wallet 2?” Rippling allows for the adjustment of multiple trust lines to facilitate payments and exchanges of value between parties in a seamless and efficient manner.

Resulting balances:

  • Wallet 2 is owed $15 USD, and wallet 3 is owed $15 USD. 

Rippling can increase efficiency by allowing for the smooth transfer of equivalent currencies between wallets. However, it is important to note that rippling can sometimes result in the recipient receiving a currency that they did not want. For example, a wallet might expect to receive currency A but instead receive currency B. It is important to note, however, that rippling will never allow a currency to be received without the wallet owner first establishing a trust line or enabling rippling for that specific currency code. This ensures that users have control over the currencies that they receive and can make informed decisions about which trust lines to establish and which currencies to enable rippling for.


In conclusion, the XRP Ledger is a decentralised software platform that offers a range of features and capabilities, including rippling, which allows for the seamless transfer of value between parties. The XRPL is an open-source blockchain with a long track record of reliability and an active community of developers and users. Its native token, XRP, is designed for low-cost, fast payments and is particularly useful for cross-border transactions. By understanding the structure and functionality of the XRPL, we can better appreciate its potential to facilitate innovative solutions and drive progress in the world of cryptocurrency and beyond.

Jack Dunam
Jack Dunam