How they describe themselves: OpenCoin is the company building the Ripple protocol, a virtual currency and distributed open source payment network – a simple way to send money to anyone on any platform. OpenCoin was formed by Chris Larsen, the Founder of disruptive financial technology companies E-LOAN and Prosper, and Jed McCaleb, the Founder of eDonkey and the world’s largest Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox, to build a new virtual currency and distributed payment network that is fast, secure, and easy to use. OpenCoin envisions a new monetary system built on the Ripple protocol that empowers anyone, anywhere to trade any amount of money, in any currency for free and in complete confidence.
How they describe their product/innovation: At its core, Ripple is a distributed global ledger that creates a distributed open source payment network and the world’s first distributed currency exchange. Ripple solves the double spend problem through a process of consensus rather than Bitcoin’s concept of mining. Ripple furthers the Bitcoin mission with faster transactions (confirming in seconds not minutes) and a multi-currency design that allows for any currency to be traded within its exchange. In fact, Ripple is so versatile, its the best place to hold and use Bitcoins.