How to Buy Ripple (XRP) – A Beginner’s Guide
By: Steven Hay | Last updated: 2/8/24
XRP, commonly called Ripple, has firmly cemented its spot as one of the Top 10 cryptocurrencies by market cap over the last several years. In this guide, I will give you an overview of Ripple Labs, the company behind Ripple, its cryptocurrency XRP, and the different ways it can be bought online.
Don’t Like to Read? Watch Our Video Guide Instead
How to Buy Ripple (XRP) Summary
XRP, Ripple’s cryptocurrency, circulates on the XRP Ledger. It can be bought in the following ways:
- Get a Ripple wallet (e.g., Trezor Safe 3 or Ledger Nano S Plus)
- Get your XRP address
- Sign up to Kraken or CEX.IO
- Buy XRP using your credit card, debit card, or a bank transfer
- Some exchanges do allow PayPal, Google Pay, and Apple Pay
Or use this table to compare different exchanges to buy XRP:
Keep in mind that every account on the XRP Ledger requires an initial 10 XRP deposit to prevent the creation of fake accounts. You won’t be able to access this deposit after your initial purchase. However, this may not be true if you have an exchange-hosted wallet.
Keep reading for a thorough explanation of Ripple, XRP, and additional buying options. Here’s what I’ll cover:
- What is Ripple?
- Buying Ripple in 3 Steps
- Conclusion – Is Ripple a Good Investment?
Today’s banking system uses outdated and slow systems to transfer money between institutions. Ripple was conceived as a way to securely move money around the world as quickly as information moves through the internet.
XRP is a cryptocurrency aimed mainly at financial institutions so they can convert their funds into XRP and transfer it quickly to other institutions around the world.
An XRP transaction settles on the XRP Ledger in 3 to 5 seconds. At $ 0.0002/tx, the cost per transaction is among the lowest in the cryptocurrency space. It can handle 1,500 transactions per second.
As it currently stands, Ripple is an exciting fintech (financial technology) organization with an innovative financial platform. It’s been included in Forbes’ annual Fintech 50 several times, most recently in 2020.
The company behind XRP has not been without controversy, however.
In December 2020, the SEC filed an action against Ripple Labs Inc., Ripple’s parent company, and two of its executives, Chris Larsen and Brad Garlinghouse. The complaint was for raising over $1.3B “through the sale of digital assets known as XRP in an unregistered securities offering to investors in the U.S. and worldwide.”
Following the SEC’s announcement, XRP’s price had suffered a massive drop, with several major exchanges closing all trading activities for XRP.
This turned around a bit in July 2023 when a judge ruled that Ripple did not violate U.S. federal securities laws. The coin that was once delisted from Coinbase was added back. The SEC appealed this decision, and a trial is set for April 2024.
The first thing you’ll need to do before purchasing XRP is to get a wallet that can store XRP. As with most cryptocurrencies, you can choose a software wallet or a hardware wallet.
Software wallets are free programs that are usually considered less secure and, therefore, are better for smaller amounts of money.
Hardware wallets, on the other hand, are physical devices that connect to your computer (like a USB stick or flash drive) and store your private keys on the device itself. Hardware wallets are considered to be the safest way to store cryptocurrencies.
Ledger Nano X – A hardware wallet that allows you to store XRP as well as more than 5,500 other cryptocurrencies and NFTs. It can also connect to your mobile via Bluetooth. The Nano X is compatible with Windows, macOS, Android, and Apple iOS. You can read my review about it here.
Ledger Nano S Plus – This hardware wallet is the upgrade to the original and very popular Ledger Nano S. Like the Nano X, the Nano S Plus can manage 5,500+ various cryptocurrencies and NFTs. It is also useable on Windows, macOS, Android, and Apple iOS. It just doesn’t have Bluetooth. You can read our full review of the Nano S Plus here.
Trezor Model T – A hardware wallet with a built-in touchscreen that allows you to store XRP and over 9,000 other crypto assets. It’s compatible with desktops and Android phones, but Apple iOS (iPhones) is not yet supported. You can use it on macOS. You can read my review of it here.
Trezor Safe 3 – This is Trezor’s latest hardware wallet. It also supports over 9,000 different crypto assets, including XRP. It has a Secure Element chip for added protection. Like the Model T, the Safe 3 is usable on Windows, macOS, and Android smartphones. Apple iOS is not yet available. You can read our full review of the Trezor Safe 3 here.
Edge – Formerly known as Airbitz, Edge is a mobile wallet (iOS, Android) that supports more than 130 cryptocurrencies, including XRP. It’s available in 10 languages and nearly 180 countries.
Exodus – A beautifully designed software wallet that supports XRP and thousands of other crypto assets on 50+ different networks. The wallet also has an exchange for users who want to swap XRP for other cryptos and vice-versa.
It should be noted that every Ripple wallet must initially be funded with a 10 XRP reserve in order to protect against low-level spam attacks. This is a requirement of the XRP network, not any individual wallet.
Once you have your Ripple wallet, it’s time to create your XRP address, which you will need later on. An XRP address is a string of 25-35 characters that starts with an r and is case-sensitive. For example: rPspuKM5rCw5EkRDD9vGL816V15DwtSa3L
Depending on your location, you can either buy XRP with fiat currency (i.e., USD, EUR, GBP, etc.) using a debit card, credit card, or bank transfer, or you can trade another cryptocurrency, like Ethereum or Bitcoin (or others), for XRP on specific exchanges.
How to Buy Ripple with a Debit or Credit Card or Bank Transfer/ACH
For US users:
Kraken is a regulated, US-based exchange that allows users to purchase various crypto assets, including XRP. Being a seasoned player in the crypto industry, it is a solid option for US users who are looking for a safe way to buy XRP. Read our detailed review here for a comprehensive look at Kraken.
Coinbase is another great and easy choice for US users. They removed XRP from their listings after Ripple was charged by the SEC, but they have since restored trading. US users can buy XRP with a debit card, bank account, PayPal, Apple Pay, and Google Pay. Credit cards as a payment method are not available to US users. Read our full Coinbase review here.
Uphold is a great platform that lets users trade everything from XRP and more than 260 cryptocurrencies to equities, commodities, currencies, and more. The Vault is one of Uphold’s well-known features. The company describes it as an “Assisted Self-Custody” solution seamlessly integrated within its centralized trading venue. Vault’s live beta is exclusively available for XRP only. However, it is set to go live with support for additional assets in 2024. You can read our complete Uphold review here.
For non-US users:
CEX.IO is a London-based cryptocurrency exchange that has been operating since 2013. It lets you quickly buy XRP using your credit or debit card or via wire transfer. You can read my full review of CEX here.
Binance is another leading exchange that allows the purchase of certain cryptocurrencies (XRP among them) with a credit card, debit card, or wire transfer. You can read my complete Binance review here.
Keep in mind that while credit card purchases are faster, they also cost more in terms of fees. So if you have the option to pay with a wire transfer and are not stressed on time, you’ll be able to get a better price.
I wouldn’t recommend leaving your XRP on the exchange you bought them from. This is because you don’t control the private key for your wallet and its coins while they are on the exchange. If something happens with the exchange – it gets hacked or goes offline – you can lose access to whatever cryptocurrency you left on the exchange.
No matter where you got the coins from, remember to withdraw them into your non-custodial Ripple wallet (i.e., a wallet whose private key you can access and control). Once you’ve initiated the withdrawal and the transaction is confirmed on the network, you’ve successfully finished the process of buying and safely storing Ripple (XRP).
XRP’s future is currently unclear due to the still-ongoing class action lawsuit filed by the SEC. If vindicated, Ripple has a solid chance to appeal to larger banks throughout the next couple of years, as it offers a fast, scalable global payment network while reducing transaction fees.
As an investment asset, XRP holders have the potential to earn huge returns IF Ripple clears the SEC hurdle and continues to make headway throughout the banking sector (and those are big ifs). Aside from XRP, banks can also choose to opt-in to RippleNet but use IOUs instead of XRP (more on IOUs in the video at the beginning of this post).
And as with all cryptocurrency – Remember that where there is great reward, great risk is involved. Please make sure to invest responsibly, as I’ve outlined in the past.
Do you have any thoughts on Ripple or its currency XRP? Any experience using it? Let us know in the comments section below.