Ripple was created as a solution for cross-border banking. The problems associated with the traditional method of transferring funds do not need to be stated. The centralized currency used on the Ripple protocol is called XRP, it is used to help settle and facilitate transactions across multiple banks quicky.
Ripple Labs, a for-profit company, founded Ripple in 2012 (known as Opencoin prior to rebrand). Since then, the Ripple company has grown to three different service offerings, xCurrent, xRapid and xVia. More than likely, when you hear about banking partnerships regarding Ripple, they involve xCurrent technology and not the traded currency XRP. This separation is important to remember when taking into account the adoption of Ripple and the price of the currency XRP. The company’s goal has been clear to push banks into adopting XRP in the future, the lack of correlation may change.
Currently the parent company, Ripple, owns over 60% of all XRP that is circulation. There is a level of trust required between the company and investors unlike competitors in the space. With a company in this much control behind the scenes leads to worries about regulation. A network of decentralized parties is nearly impossible to censor, let alone shut off. In contrast, simple legislation changes can greatly affect a company and it’s projects.