Ripple is a system of the real time gross settlements, currency exchange and money transfer system. It is known as Ripple protocol or Ripple transaction protocol (RTXP).
XRP is the native currency of the Ripple network. XRP are currently divisible to 6 decimal places, and the smallest unit is called a drop with 1 million drops equaling 1 XRP.
The Ripple protocol is based on an open shared database or ledger using the consensus process, which allows making payments, exchange or transfers of money in a distributed process denominated in arbitrary real world assets like dollars, gold, airmiles etc.
Ripple was first implemented in 2004 by Ryan Fugger and later in 2012 the Ripple protocol was launched with the main goal of ensuring “secure, instant and almost free global money operations of any size without any chargebacks”.