What is Ripple?
Ripple is a real-time gross settlement system, currency exchange and remittance network created by Ripple Labs Inc., a US-based technology company. Released in 2012, Ripple is built upon a distributed open source protocol, and supports tokens representing fiat currency, cryptocurrency, commodities, or other units of value such as frequent flier miles or mobile minutes. Ripple purports to enable "secure, instantly and nearly free global financial transactions of any size with no chargebacks." The ledger employs the native cryptocurrency known as XRP.
In 2013, the company reported interest from banks for using its payment system. By 2018, over 100 banks had signed up, but most of them were only using Ripple's XCurrent messaging technology, while avoiding the XRP cryptocurrency due to its volatility problems. Representatives of the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT), whose market dominance is being challenged by Ripple, have argued that the scalability issues of Ripple and other blockchain solutions remain unsolved, confining them to bilateral and intra-bank applications. A Ripple executive acknowledged in 2018 that "We started out with your classic blockchain, which we love. [But] the feedback from the banks is you can't put the whole world on a blockchain."
What is Ripple faucet?
Ripple faucets are a reward system, in the form of a website or app, that dispenses rewards in the form of a satoshi, which is a hundredth of a millionth XRP, for visitors to claim in exchange for completing a captcha or task as described by the website. There are also faucets that dispense alternative cryptocurrencies. Rewards are dispensed at various predetermined intervals of time. Faucets usually give fractions of a ripple, but the amount will typically fluctuate according to the value of ripple.
Faucets are a great way to help introduce new people to ripple, or to your favourite altcoin. Many faucets provide information to newbies as well as offering them some free coins so that they can try before they buy, experimenting with a test transaction or two before putting real money on the line. Since this whole area is so new and a bit scary to some people, who perhaps don't quite trust it with their hard earned cash yet, this is a great way to promote digital currency and bring in new users.