Hey guys, with latest price rise we've seen many newcomers joining Slack community and asking all kinds of questions. So I think it's worth to tell everyone how it all began. Please feel free to correct factual mistakes you spot or suggest additions which you feel important to mention, especially you @jed, since I'm just an observer from the outside, haven't been obsessed with stalking you and not aware of many details.
I guess it all really started here:
Mike Hearn suggested, that concept is very similar to RipplePay, which according to wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ripple_(company) had been started back in 2004, but I could trace website only to 2006
Shortly after that Jed and Chris Larsen founded OpenCoin, merging concepts of RipplePay with digital currencies.
In 2013 OpenCoin Inc rebranded to Ripple Labs and network got the name Ripple, dropping coin from it's name. That was the time when lots of scam coins were created by simply forking bitcoin code and marketing themselves as Bitcoin successor.
That was very smart for Ripple to break this association, especially it has never been based on Bitcoin codebase.
Another smart move was introduced late in 2013: Ripple started giveaway awarding people for participating in World Community Grid. For the user it looks like mining: you contribute your processing power for the good cause and get rewarded in XRP.
Then in 2014 Jed is less involved in Ripple, Stefan Thomas becomes CTO. There are rumours, that Jed is working on something else
Conflict between founders is growing. I've heard one version of it, don't really know if that's true:
- When Ripple was founded 80% of tokens were given to RippleLabs for operations and distribution and 20% to founders
- It was a major holding back factor for adoption, causing concerns of investors and banks. Then Jed proposed to give up founder's share, but Chris refused to do that.
So Jed publishes following message on forum:
which makes XRP price go 40% down. Jed ended up keeping his share, but people blamed him for losing money due to his announcement.
Later we got to know that Jed and Joyce Kim founded new non-profit Stellar Development foundation and announced fork of Ripple network.
Giveaway was promised to Ripple users who had XRP in May 2014 to make it up for losses due to fallen XRP price.
Also Stellar started giveaway to all new users based on unique facebook accounts. Problems in Ripple protocol were discovered shortly due to increased transaction volumes. Developers decided to rebuild the protocol from scratch.
After few months they came up with new consensus protocol and started developing new stellar core.
In November 2015 new network has been launched. And development continues since.