XRP serves as an online payment network to process international remittances, much like the SWIFT system used by banks. However, XRP offers much faster transaction settlement times and lower costs compared to traditional payment methods. It was launched in 2012 by Chris Larsen and Jed McCaleb.
The XRP network facilitates exchanges between several fiat and cryptocurrencies and gold and other commodities. Along with RippleNet, the company also oversees the XRP Ledger, a decentralized blockchain network, where XRP is the native crypto token. The important thing to note is that RippleNet serves as the company's enterprise blockchain and does not require XRP to operate.
Unlike the Bitcoin network, where anyone can validate transactions by solving a complex math problem, to become an XRP validator, you have to be in the unique node list overseen by XRP. XRP tokens are pre-mined, meaning that all 100 billion tokens were created at the same time and are periodically released.