Does Ripple allow one to issue their own currency, similar to how ripples (XRP) were created at the system's inception?

1 Answer 1


Currently, only three-letter currencies that exist as IOUs can be created as a custom currency. And if someone else uses that same three-letter identifier for something else, each account can only transact in one of those conflicting currencies. So you could use "XBR" to mean people owe each other beers and you could use the ripple system to track how many beers you owe people or they owe you. You could accept payment in beers.

There are plans to introduce more customized currencies. There are some things you can't do without some specialization. For example, charging a storage fee as some gold storage agents would like to do. This is still in the design stages.

You can, of course, create IOUs denominated in any currency, subject only the what other people are willing to take. But if you want to create two accounts and have one owe the other $1,000,000, you can.

  • 2
    That's kind of a big limitation.
    – David
    Feb 12, 2013 at 9:51
  • @David: If you can be more specific about what you see as a limitation and why, that might have an affect on the implementation schedule. One of the things holding up custom currencies is that lack of good use cases. (Currently, demurrage is about the only use case.) Feb 12, 2013 at 10:25
  • I'd say the currency code should reflect who issued the IOU, because otherwise it's going to be confusing to have EUR in your account and have to open a second account to deal with EUR IOUs issued by a different gateway. Did I misunderstand something ?
    – David
    Feb 12, 2013 at 14:00
  • 1
    So long they both represent the same currency, there's no problem. The problem would be if someone else used EUR to represent grams of europium. ;) The issue is that all EUR IOUs that you personally issue are indistinguishable and you'd have no good way to handle the changing exchange rates between the two different metrics. Feb 12, 2013 at 14:33
  • 2
    @David: If you mean in the system, when one account extends trust to another, a node is created in the ledger for the triple of the two accounts and the currency. When we say "Jeff holds $50 in Jack IOUs", what happens in the system is the "Jeff/Jack/USD" node holds a balance of $50 in favor of Jeff. If you mean in the client, I don't think it does a good job yet of letting you easily work with IOUs from multiple issuers in the same currency. There's still a lot of "inherent complexity" that the client hides. Feb 14, 2013 at 2:40

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