Recently, Mt.Gox and Ripple creator Jed McCaleb gave MIRI a large donation in XRP, which is the #2 cryptocurrency in market cap behind Bitcoin. This gift, along with our recent successful fundraiser, should enable us to hire the beginnings of a full-time Friendly AI research team in 2014. It’s difficult to know exactly how to value the donation, but (e.g.) valuing it at the exchange rate at the time of donation would make it the largest single donation to MIRI in our history.
The size of Jed’s donation means that we currently have more XRP than it makes sense to hold in our diversified asset portfolio. To reduce our XRP holdings while growing the Ripple user base, we’d like to sell some of our XRP to members of our community. If you’re interested, please contact Malo Bourgon (firstname.lastname@example.org).
How does Ripple/XRP work? Technically, Ripple is an online payments protocol and XRP is an associated digital currency, but XRP is often referred to as “Ripple,” which can be confusing. The best explanation of all this yet written is “Bitcoin Vs. Ripple” from the Coinsetter blog, which I’ll excerpt below:
…think of Ripple as “Kayak for currency exchange.” Ripple will compare various pathways of exchanging one currency to another and find the lowest cost option. Transactions also happen rapidly (in under 5 seconds)…
XRP is a digital currency… with an embedded use, which is to pay for Ripple transactions, create Ripple accounts, and be a currency of last resort in the Ripple system… Whereas Bitcoin has no inherent use (its demand and use is solely based on people’s interest in Bitcoin), XRP has… a basic reason why someone may need to use XRP, which is to complete Ripple transactions.
…Should Bitcoin believers be worried that Ripple is on its way to crush their dream currency? Absolutely not. Interest in Bitcoin will continue to grow, and separately, interest in Ripple will continue to grow. In fact, the Ripple network should help make bitcoins substantially easier to buy and sell, as well as legitimize them.
Click here to create a Ripple wallet and join the network; the process takes less than 60 seconds.
MIRI continues to accept donations in both XRP and Bitcoin, and we send tax receipts for non-anonymous donations in either currency.