I'm trying to get my head around XRP, "the native currency of the Ripple network".
I understand that it's a currency that's only used within the Ripple platform to allow for transactions and serve as a "currency of last resort".
So I would imagine banks and financial institutions are quite interested in buying XRP so they can join the platform, since it allows them to cut off their operational costs.
However, it seems there is another group of people interested in XRP purely for speculative purpose.
What I don't quite understand here is how those people will actually "use" XRPs since it can only be used within the Ripple platform. Of course they will hold it until it surges in value but that would mean that, during that period, the XRP held by those speculators will not be available within the Ripple platform unless they "use" them in someway within the platform.
However, since those individual speculators aren't banks or financial institutions that are doing transactions with different currencies, I don't see any use cases of XRPs for them other than selling them, which would mean they are basically "hoarding" XRPs while waiting for their values to go up.
So I guess my questions are:
What does it mean to buy XRP as an individual OTHER THAN speculation?
(If investing in XRP could mean something other than speculation) How can we "use" XRP to do something other than speculation as an individual?
How is it possible that the Ripple protocol can operate even when there are many people buying XRP and therefore "holding" it, making it "unavailable" to the rest of the network. (I would imagine there are constant supply of XRP, which is enough to keep up with the "hoarded" XRP)
Any suggestions will be really appreciated.