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Unlike Bitcoin, which is run by a decentralised peer-to-peer network and controlled by no single entity, the cryptocurrency XRP was created and is run by a single company. While Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are positioning themselves as independent alternatives to traditional currencies, the goal of Ripple is pretty much the exact opposite: Ripple wants to act as a global settlement network and hence, works closely together with banks and financial institutions. The goal of Ripple is to act as a flexible middle-man currency to allow the exchange of any unit of value. From fiat currencies like USD or Euros, cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin to commodities or flier miles.