Ripple CTO unveils origins of XRP currency code naming


  • David Schwartz, Ripple’s Chief Technology Officer, provided an in-depth explanation on Reddit about the naming convention of XRP, the native currency of the XRP Ledger.
  • The naming process for XRP was inspired by the traditional method used for fiat currencies, which involves appending a character to the two-letter country code.
  • Schwartz highlighted that currencies not associated with any country start with “X,” a practice that ensures clear distinction and avoids confusion.

In a recent commentary shared with the cryptocurrency community on Reddit, David Schwartz, the Chief Technology Officer at Ripple and one of the key architects behind the XRP Ledger, provided an insightful explanation of the naming convention of the ledger’s native currency, XRP. This elucidation came to light following a highlight by Edward Farina, Head of Social Adoption for XRP Healthcare, drawing attention to Schwartz’s analysis.

Understanding the naming convention

Schwartz’s explanation sheds light on adopting the name “XRP” for the digital asset. He pointed out the traditional method used in naming fiat currencies, where a three-letter currency code is typically derived by appending a single character to the two-letter country code of the issuing nation. For instance, the currency code for the United States Dollar is “USD,” which builds on the country code “US.” This practice facilitates a standardized approach to currency identification across global financial systems.

However, the naming convention diverges when it comes to currencies that are not tied to any specific country. Schwartz emphasized that such assets are assigned a currency code starting with the letter “X.” This practice ensures a clear distinction for assets that do not fall under the jurisdiction of any single country, thereby avoiding confusion. He cited the example of gold, represented by the currency code “XAU,” following its chemical symbol “AU.” This principle of using “X” to denote non-country-specific assets played a pivotal role in the naming of XRP.

The genesis of “XRP”

The choice of “XRP” as the currency code for Ripple’s native asset is deeply rooted in its early nomenclature. Initially referred to colloquially as “ripples,” the digital asset required a formal currency code that would align with international standards while reflecting its unique identity. The adoption of “XRP” as the currency code was a natural progression, combining the “X” to signify its global and non-national status with “RP” derived from its original moniker, “ripples.”

Schwartz also touched upon the broader practices regarding currency codes within the cryptocurrency industry. He noted that while Bitcoin is commonly known by the code “BTC,” a segment within the community prefers using “XBT” to align with the standard naming conventions for non-national currencies. This highlights the diversity in approaches to naming digital assets and underscores the importance of adhering to established financial standards to ensure clarity and consistency across the board.

Disclaimer. The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decision.

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Mutuma Maxwell

Maxwell especially enjoys penning pieces about blockchain and cryptocurrency. He started his venture into blogging in 2020, later focusing on the world of cryptocurrencies. His life's work is to introduce the concept of decentralization to people worldwide.

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