The XRP Ledger (XRPL) is an open-sourced distributed ledger powered by a network of peer-to-peer servers.
XRP is the digital asset native to XRPL. It is designed to function as a bridge currency, with the goal to "power innovative technology across the payments space" and enable "seamless, real-time, final, and cost-effective" global payments.
The XRPL also supports IOUs (obligation-like assets), which can represent a large variety assets (e.g. fiat currencies, gold, airline miles, credit card points, and other cryptocurrencies).
The XRPL offers a decentralized exchange, allowing for trading of IOUs and XRP. XRPL also offers some smart contract functionality and supports the network-agnostic Interledger Protocol.
The supply of XRP is capped at a total of 100 billion XRP, while the available supply of XRP is designed to decrease over time, as the accrued amounts of transaction fees are “destroyed”.
XRPL was initially released in 2012 and is maintained by community participants, prominently amongst them the company Ripple, which holds a large amount of XRP that are largely locked up and purpose-bound.