What is Ripple?
Ripple is an emerging cryptocurrency that is quickly establishing itself as a preferred means of digital financial transactions. The interesting aspect of Ripple is that it’s a global settlement network. This means that it allows individuals and banks to instantly transfer almost any currency to anyone, anywhere in the world. The usual fees associated with wire transfers are not present, as lesser-known currencies don’t have to be traded across multiple other currencies when being transferred internationally. Furthermore, transactions carried out in Ripple are instantaneous. It’s these reasons that banks are beginning to embrace the Ripple platform, as well as their cryptocurrency, XRP.
Ripple claim that banks can save an average of $3.76 per transaction by using their platform, which is why organisations such as Santander, Axis Bank, Union Credit, NBAD, and UBS have starting using Ripple. The backing of these and similar organisations has seen a rise in the value of the cryptocurrency. Individuals looking to invest should consider purchasing the currency sooner rather than later, as many institutions are forecasting a steep rise in the cost. This guide outlines everything you need to know about buying Ripple/XRP, as well as some good examples of where to purchase it.
How to Buy Ripple
If you’re new to the world of cryptocurrency, it can be a daunting task getting set up buying and trading. Although the principles aren’t all that difficult, there are many different factors you need to read up on, and some different accounts you need to sign up for. Although large scale investors will invest directly in Ripple, most investors will be investing in XRP, Ripples native currency. We’ve tried to simplify the process of buying Ripple (XRP) into three steps; getting a Ripple wallet, finding a Ripple exchange, and withdrawing Ripple to your wallet. We’ll cover each one in more detail below:
Acquire a Ripple Wallet
A cryptocurrency wallet works the same way you’d expect a regular wallet to work. It stores your acquired currency, in this case XRP, in a safe and secure location. There are two main types of Ripple wallet; hardware based and software based. Each has their benefits, so we’ll look at each in turn.
As the name suggests, a hardware wallet is a physical object that stores your currency. It can take a number of different forms, although many look similar to a USB storage device. These devices are often encrypted and password protected, meaning you can have your XRP information safely protected in a physical location. Many people prefer using a hardware wallet given its tangible nature and safety features. However, it’s the kind of thing that could easily be lost or stolen.
As cryptocurrency transactions are carried out almost entirely in the digital space, it only makes sense to use a digital means of storing them. Software Wallets store your XRP private and public keys (that determine ownership of XRP) on your desktop, mobile, or via a website. There are a variety of options available, some of which are endorsed by different cryptocurrencies. In order to use one, you will need to sign up for an account, download the software, and enter your details to link your currencies. Although mostly secure, there have been instances of hacking and malicious software linked to Software Wallets.
Whichever wallet you choose, you’ll need to be sure to safely note down all of your private keys and recovery information. Also be sure to take the necessary steps to protect your wallet and any funds inside of it. Some services will offer both a cryptocurrency exchange and wallet combined. However, be sure that any XRP you purchase isn’t left on the exchange for long. If the exchange goes down or is breached, you may lose everything you had stored on there.
There are a few different ways to purchase Ripple, and a number of different exchanges that offer the service. Your options may be determined by your geographical location, but in general there are three main ways to invest in Ripple. The first is by investing through a trading fund, the second by using fiat currency, and the third is by using Bitcoin. We’ll look at each in turn.
Invest in Ripple Using a Trading Fund
If you want to a speculative investment on the price of Ripple, a trading fund might be the answer. This allows you to buy and sell Ripple for fiat currency (such as USD, GBP, or EUR) but not send coins to other people.
Buy Ripple with Fiat Currency
There are many exchanges that you can sign up for and buy XRP directly from your bank account. After registering your details and confirming your bank information, you’ll be able to wire transfer funds directly to your exchange account. From here, you can the buy and trade XRP. Some exchanges allow you to purchase XRP by using your credit or debit card, meaning the transactions happen a lot quicker. With both of these methods, there are often extra fees or long wait times associated, although it is a useful way for newcomers to cryptocurrency to get started. Exchanges such as cex.io, Coinmama and BitPanda are all good places to start.
Buy Ripple with Bitcoin
Perhaps the easiest way to purchase Ripple is to exchange Bitcoins for XRP. Sites such as Changelly give the user a quick and cost-effective way of exchanging between the different currencies. It’s relatively straightforward to purchase Bitcoins on an exchange such as Coinbase, and then use those coins to exchange into XRP. Transactions are fast and secure, and often don’t have extra fees associated with them.
Withdraw Your New Ripple Coins to Your Wallet
The last and most important step is to withdraw your Ripple coins to the wallet you set up previously. Leaving your XRP on the exchange is not a good idea. They’re not infallible and in the past there have been instances where users have lost their coins when exchanges have been breached or folded. It’s fine to leave them there for a day or two if you intend to carry out more transactions, but no longer than that. This is because you don’t have access to the private key for your coins, meaning ownership can’t be traced to you. Once they’re in your wallet, they’re protected by your private key.
Like any transaction online, you’ll want to make sure you take all the necessary precautions to ensure your funds are safe and secure. There are steps you can take to do this; only use trusted websites with a valid security certificate, and don’t give out your private key or password. Make sure that you read up about the latest trends, and do your research on any new websites you’re thinking of using. Although most of the exchanges and wallets are safe, there are those that can take advantage of inexperienced users. Reports of malware, stolen coins, or closed exchanges are not uncommon.
Where to Buy Ripple
Now that we’ve covered the general information about how to buy Ripple, it’s time to suggest some good examples of sites and exchanges you can use to start trading and investing. There really are a huge amount of websites out there that you can use, though as we’ve mentioned not all are legitimate. Before you give your details and bank information out, research thoroughly to make sure it’s a trusted site. We’ve compiled a list of some of the more notable sites you can use to buy Ripple:
Cex.io is a really convenient place for buying and exchanging cryptocurrency. The main appeal is that you can use your credit or debit card to buy Bitcoins, Ethereum, or Ripple almost instantly. First you’ll need to sign up to their site. The process is relatively simple; you need to provide your card details, as well as photos of the card and your ID. You’ll also need to enter your card’s CCV number on the back. Once this is complete, Cex.io will make some small test transactions on your card which you will then need to verify your account. The charges will of course be refunded. After the verification process is complete, you can then start making purchases.
Because you have confirmed your card details, it means you can send and receive funds on your card. You can start to buy XRP with ease by first depositing fiat currency into your Cex.io account. Once the funds are in, you can either buy at a fixed price or use the order book to get a better price (hopefully). Once you’re ready to exchange your cryptocurrency back to fiat currency, it’s easy to convert your balance into USD or EUR and withdraw it back to your card.
The only downside of Cex.io is the relatively high transaction fees that they charge compared to other exchanges. This is the price of convenience, as buying with your credit or debit card really is quick and hassle-free.
Probably the most well-known cryptocurrency exchange is Coinbase. Currently it’s not possible to buy Ripple directly using this exchange. However, that doesn’t mean it’s not a viable option. As we explored above, a cost-effective way of buying XRP is by trading for it with Bitcoins. If this is your preferred method of buying Ripple, Coinbase is a good first step in the chain. It’s a trusted and secure site that allows you to purchase Bitcoin with relative ease. Signup is simple and can be done with a credit or debit card, with a small and refundable transaction fee for confirmation.
Once you’ve purchased your Bitcoins using Coinbase, it’s easy to then use another exchange to trade them for Ripple. As we’ve established already, there is a wide range of sites you could do this on. You’ll need to transfer your coins from Coinbase to the other platform, which is reasonably easy to do. However, as usual you’ll need to take great care to make sure your transactions and details are secure. Using this method of trading across different cryptocurrencies can be applied with Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and many other currencies. It’s the way that many investors operate as Coinbase is an established and secure platform to start with.
Another trusted source to purchase Bitcoin from is Coinmama. Like Coinbase, it’s been established for around four years and has a good track record for safety and ease of use. It’s a platform that accepts users from all over the world and is useful for making smaller-value transactions. Sign up is quick and easy, and once you’ve purchased your Bitcoins it’s fairly simple to transfer them over to another exchange to trade for Ripple.
One of the main differences between Coinbase and Coinmama is the fees and rates that you get. In a competitive market, Coinbase offers slightly better rates for both. If you’re thinking of making large and regular transactions, Coinbase might be the better option. However, if you’re only starting to dabble in trading Ripple, Coinmama is a good option. One slight drawback if you live in the US is that it’s only available to customers in certain states. However, aside from this, coverage across the rest of the world is good.
Users in the European market will find BitPanda a useful site to use. The Austrian-based company has fast become one of the most popular sites in Europe thanks to its simple platform and range of payment options. Buying Bitcoin is really straightforward, as well as Ethereum, Dash and Litecoin. Newcomers to buying cryptocurrency can easily get to grips with BitPanda’s platform, and payments can be made using Visa, MasterCard, PayPal, Bank Transfer, and OkPay.
BitPanda also offer a free wallet for your coins, meaning you can safely store some of your Bitcoins whilst sending others to an exchange to purchase Ripple. As with the other platforms mentioned above, buying XRP does require you to use two different services and first purchase Bitcoins. This is how many savvy investors operate anyway.
The only downsides to BitPanda are the slightly expensive fees and the fact that it’s only available to European customers. Be sure to research the various fees associated with transactions before you get started, and only proceed once you’re comfortable.
So far we’ve mentioned a good variety of sites to purchase Bitcoins in order to trade for Ripple/XRP. We haven’t named any exchanges though, until now. Changelly is a great place to exchange your cryptocurrencies. It’s easy to get set up with an account and link your Bitcoin or Ethereum wallet and transfer your funds.
The interface is really easy to use. You can select from a wide range of cryptocurrencies to convert from and to, and all you need to do is enter the amount you wish to transfer. The limits on exchanges are high, meaning you should be able to complete almost any transaction with ease. The fees on currency are generally fairly small (around 0.5%) although if you use a credit card then it will be quite a bit higher. Transactions are completed in around 30 minutes, meaning you can exchange your Bitcoin or other currency for XRP with amazing ease.
Overall, Changelly is a great exchange to use in conjunction with some of the other sites we’ve mentioned above.
The recent trends have shown that Ripple and its currency, XRP, could be a very good investment. Despite the often volatile nature of cryptocurrencies, Ripple itself has a solid backing with the many banks that are getting on board with the platform. This doesn’t make it any less volatile, but hopefully means that it will go from strength to strength. Buying Ripple/XPR works the same way as many other cryptocurrencies. As we’ve seen, the most important thing is to first acquire a currency wallet, either a physical device or a secure software wallet. Once you’ve done this you can start securing XPR coins to store in your wallet.
Although it’s relatively simple to buy XPR directly with your credit or debit card, many investors prefer to use another cryptocurrency, such as Bitcoin or Ethereum, to purchase XPR. This is because of the lower fees associated with this method, particularly if you’re already invested in one of these currencies. The variety of sites available is broad, and often confusing. Hopefully the sites we’ve mentioned here, Cex.io, Coinbase, Coinmama, BitPanda, and Changelly, will provide you with everything you need to get started. You should now be all set to begin investing and trading in Ripple.