How to Buy Ripple (XRP) – A Beginner’s Guide
By: Steven Hay | Last updated: 1/3/21
XRP, commonly referred to as Ripple, has been gaining momentum as one of the leading cryptocurrencies around. In this guide I’m going to give you an overview of Ripple Labs, the company behind Ripple, the cryptocurrency XRP, and list the different ways it can be bought online.
How to Buy Ripple Summary
XRP, Ripple’s cryptocurrency, can be bought in the following way:
- Get a Ripple Wallet (e.g. Ledger Nano S, Edge)
- Get your XRP address
- Sign up to CEX.io
- Buy XRP using your credit card
Keep in mind that every Ripple wallet requires an initial 20 XRP deposit to prevent the creation of fake accounts. You won’t be able to access this deposit after your initial purchase.
December 2020 update: On 12/22/2020 the SEC filed an action against Ripple INC., Ripple’s parent company, and two of it’s executives, Christian Larsen and Bradley Garlinghouse (former and current CEOs, respectively). The complaint is 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 major exchanges such as Coinbase and Coinmama, to name two, closing all trading activities for XRP.
For a thorough explanation of Ripple, XRP and additional buying options keep on reading. Here’s what I’ll cover:
- What is Ripple?
- Buying Ripple in 3 Steps
- Conclusion – is Ripple a Good Investment?
The banking system today uses outdated and slow systems to transfer money between institutions. Ripple aims to be the “Internet of value” – A set of rules (i.e. protocol) that financial institutions can use in order to move money around the world as quickly as information moves through the Internet.
The Ripple Transaction Protocol (RTXP) supports two types of currencies – IOUs and XRP. IOUs represent debt (i.e. I owe you) and can be traded between different institutions. An IOU can be issued for any type of asset, not just currencies.
XRP is a cryptocurrency aimed mainly at financial institutions so they can convert their funds into and transfer it quickly to other institutions around the world.
As for the performance of the Ripple network, aka RippleNet, an XRP transaction takes 4 seconds on average and the network can process up to 1500 tx per second.
A few banks have already embraced the Ripple platform: Santander, Axis Bank, Yes Bank, Westpac, Union Credit, NBAD, and UBS, among others.
According to Ripple, banks can save an average of $3.76 per payment by using their protocol. Considering that banks perform thousands or perhaps millions of transactions every year, this represents significant savings.
As it currently stands, Ripple is one of the most exciting Fintech organizations with their innovative financial platform, as Forbes even includes Ripple in their Fintech 50.
While large scale investors may be able to invest in Ripple directly, most other investors and speculators are limited to investing in XRP, Ripple’s native currency.
XRP took off in value in 2017 when it went from under $0.01 to over $0.30 a coin. This huge surge in value is due to both bank adoption and speculative interest.
The goal is to turn XRP into a stable currency that doesn’t deviate in value much, so banks would be comfortable moving into it without fear of volatility. As it stands, many banks don’t want anything to do with XRP because it can dramatically change in value overnight or even in seconds.
A long-term appreciation in the value of XRP is ultimately the end game strategy for Ripple, as they hold the majority of XRP in existence. This means that a bet on XRP is a bet on Ripple.
While XRP has some huge advantages over other cryptocurrencies, some would argue that it is a big brother platform for making global transactions.
Since the original vision of Ripple was focused on allowing everyday people to make global transactions, like remittance payments, inexpensively and quickly, the pivot to focusing exclusively on banks was seen as a turnoff by many.
Anyone who likes the Ripple platform but doesn’t like Ripple – the company, may want to use Stellar, a Ripple fork by Jed McCaleb, as it has more of an altruistic vision.
The first thing you’ll need to do before purchasing XRP is to get a wallet that will be able to store XRP. As with most cryptocurrencies, you have the option of choosing a software wallet or a hardware wallet.
Software wallets are free programs that are usually considered less secure and therefore are suitable for smaller amounts of money.
Hardware wallets, on the other hand, are physical devices that connect to your computer (like a flash drive) and store your private keys on the device itself. They are considered to be the safest form for storing cryptocurrencies.
Desktop & mobile
TREZOR Model T – is a hardware wallet with a built-in touchscreen that allows you to store XRP and over 1000 other crypto assets. It’s only compatible with desktops at the moment. You can read my review of it here.
Edge – Formerly known as Airbitz, Edge is a mobile wallet (iOS, Android) that can store several cryptocurrencies, including XRP.
Exodus – A beautifully designed software wallet that supports XRP and over a 100 other crypto assets. 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 20 XRP reserve in order to protect against low-level spam attacks.
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
There are several options for buying Ripple today. You can either buy XRP with fiat currency (i.e. USD, EUR, etc.), trade Bitcoins for XRP on specific exchanges or you can invest in XRP indirectly through a fund.
*eToro users: 75% of retail CFD accounts lose money.
Invest in Ripple via a trading fund
Platforms like eToro allow you to invest in XRP, however, eToro is less suited for accessing your coins or sending coins to other people. It is possible to withdraw the Ripple you bought to your private wallet, but it entails extra steps and takes more time to complete.
To put it simply, eToro is a good option mainly if you want to speculate on the price. You can read my complete eToro review here.
*75% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money. CFDs are not offered to US users. Cryptoassets are highly volatile unregulated investment products. No EU investor protection.
How to Buy Ripple with a Credit Card
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.
How to Buy Ripple with Bitcoin (trade BTC for XRP)
Throughout the Ripple community, the consensus is that the least expensive way to purchase XRP is by buying bitcoin and then trading it for XRP.
The easiest way to trade Bitcoin for XRP is by quickly exchanging it on Binance. Kraken is an additional popular exchange that allow users to trade bitcoin for XRP, however, its verification process requires more time.
I wouldn’t recommend leaving your XRP on the exchange you bought them from. This is due to the fact that you don’t actually control the private key for your coins and therefore they are not actually yours.
No matter where you got the coins from, remember to withdraw them into your own non-custodial Ripple wallet (i.e. you have access to the private key). Once the transaction is confirmed you’ve successfully finished the process of buying Ripple.
Ripple will probably appeal to larger banks throughout the next couple of years, as they offer a fast scalable global payment network while reducing transaction fees.
XRP has the potential to earn huge returns on their investment IF Ripple keeps making headway throughout the banking sector (and that’s a big if).
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).
So while Ripple’s future currently looks bright, XRP’s future is still unclear (as with most cryptocurrencies). Remember that where there is great reward there is also great risk involved. Please make sure to invest responsibly as I’ve outlined in the past.