In this guide, we’re going to be looking at the Ripple payment protocol, as well as the digital currency that’s native to the network, XRP. So time to find out, where to buy Ripple.
The guide will cover a range of topics. These will include what Ripple actually is, a little bit of its history, and how Ripple is used. I will also explain how XRP is used, and how Ripple and XRP work together. I’ll briefly introduce you to the team behind the project and give you some things to think about when deciding whether to invest in Ripple or not.
By the end of the guide, you’ll know: what Ripple can do today, where it started, and who is behind the project. You’ll also know some of the advantages and limitations of the Ripple platform, as well as where to buy Ripple.
There’s an awful lot to cover this time. So, let’s get started already!
Table of Contents
Learning About Ripple
Ripple causes a lot of confusion in the cryptocurrency space. The name is often used to describe the platform itself, as well as the currency that is native to the network. However, they do have their differences.
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So prior to finding out where to buy Ripple, let's find out what Ripple actually is. Ripple, the payment protocol, is often confused with the currency — XRP. To avoid this confusion during this guide, I’ll be using the term Ripple to refer to the payments protocol and XRP to refer to the coin (currency) that runs on the network.
Ripple is a global system of payments, settlements, and exchange. It aims to improve on current banking systems. The two issues with banks today that Ripple hopes to improve are:
- Slow transaction times
- Expensive cross-border payments
Ripple is very different to truly decentralized cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. It has been designed to work with banks, rather than to replace them. You can think of the Ripple protocol as the internet for banks — it allows all banks to communicate with each other in a common language.
Tom Channick, an employee of Facebook, stated, he will be leaving Facebook to take over comms @Ripple. This already shows where Ripple can move already.
A Bit of History on Ripple
Ripple has a long history and started life as Ripplepay in 2004.
The version of Ripple we know today was released in 2012 though. Since 2013, many banks have started using Ripple to help with money transfers and exchange. It’s estimated that 80% of Japanese banks are currently using the payments protocol.
After several team member changes, today XRP (the Ripple network’s native coin) is the third largest digital coin in terms of market cap. It has grown into a tool to help banks exchange currencies with one another and to allow their clients to make very quick payments to each other. Using Ripple, you can pay a colleague or associate on the other side of the world in seconds in their local currency.
How is Ripple Used
Ripple is used as a global settlement network. It lets banks (and other retail users) make cross-border payments and exchange currencies with one another. It gives all the banks using it one common language. This means they can communicate much more easily with each other.
Today, many banks still use services like SWIFT. SWIFT was designed in the 1970s. It lets banks send money from one bank to another. However, it is very slow and expensive. Transactions can take days or weeks using SWIFT. They can also cost a large percentage of the total amount transferred.
Ripple hopes to change that. Like the internet helped people communicate across countries, Ripple aims to give banks a way to communicate value across countries. Doing it as fast and cheaply (or nearly as fast and cheaply) as data can travel on the internet. So now you have even more reasons to find out where to buy Ripple.
Think about sending an instant message to a friend; It arrives quicker than you could speak the message itself. Ripple hope to provide this kind of speed and efficiency to the world of finance.
The Ripple payments protocol is often referred to as “currency agnostic”. This means that you can put any currency into the system and get any currency out. This built-in exchange feature makes Ripple very useful for global financial institutions to communicate with each other.
That’s not all though. What’s sent and what is received doesn’t have to be currency at all. It can be air miles, assets, gold, silver, and more.
For example, you could put gold into the Ripple payment protocol, and receive dollars, euros, or pounds on the other side of the world in seconds. So, you can see why the banks like it!
How XRP Is Used
XRP is a digital coin. It exists on the Ripple network. XRP is intended to be used as a “currency of last resort”. This means that if there is no line of trust available between two parties, the transaction can be settled using the common currency XRP.
XRP can be transferred very quickly. It only takes a few seconds to travel between sender and receiver. When you'll know where to buy Ripple and will have some, you'll see it for yourself!
XRP is also used as a transaction fee and stops unwanted transactions appearing on the network. All parties wanting to make updates to the Ripple protocol ledger must pay XRP. This is usually a very small amount, such as 0.0001 XRP. This fee goes to no one and is burned, which causes a constant decrease in the amount of XRP’s to exist.
Ripple has a very experienced team behind it. It’s led by CEO Brad Garlinghouse. Before joining Ripple, Garlinghouse worked at a document and file sharing service called Hightail. He has also held important positions at AOL and Yahoo!
Beneath Garlinghouse is Ripple’s Senior Vice President (SVP) of Product, Asheesh Birla. Birla joined the team in 2013. Before that he was a Silicon Valley entrepreneur. He is thought of as an expert in the blockchain industry.
Patrick Griffin is Ripple’s SVP of Strategic Growth. He’s an ex-employee of online payment firm Jumio. He also has a background in equity trading.
Ripple’s Chief Market Strategist is Cory Johnson. He worked as a hedge fund portfolio manager at Kingsford Capital Management before joining Ripple. He has also been a technology writer for CNBC and Bloomberg.
Kanaan is Ripple’s SVP of Engineering. He has previously managed teams at Yelp and Quantcast.
Where to Buy Ripple
Unfortunately, we can’t tell you where to buy Ripple. Ripple isn’t for sale, and if it was, you couldn’t afford it!
What we can tell you is the best place to buy Ripple’s native coin, XRP!
There are many cryptocurrency exchanges that let you buy XRP. However, to the best of my knowledge, there are no ways to buy XRP directly with fiat currency. The easiest way to get some XRP is to first buy some Bitcoin or Ethereum.
Buying Bitcoin is easy. There are lots of different exchanges that will sell it for local currency. The most popular is a website called Coinbase. Other methods include buying peer-to-peer with a service like LocalBitcoins, or through an exchange like Bitstamp. After buying Bitcoin, you can send it to one of the various altcoin exchanges, where you can exchange it for XRP. Examples of these are Binance, Bittrex, or Poloniex.
We’ve listed the steps for buying Bitcoin and exchanging it for XRP below. In this example, we’re using Coinbase and Bittrex:
Where to Buy Ripple: Coinbase
- Head to Coinbase and click sign up.
- Fill in the registration page.
- When registered, you need to add your bank account details.
- Then, to buy Bitcoin, click the “Buy/Sell” tab as shown below.
- You then need to enter the amount of Bitcoin you would like to buy.
- Choose your payment method and enter your details to complete the sale.
- Click on the “Accounts” tab and you should see the amount of Bitcoin you just bought in your Bitcoin wallet.
If you want a more in-depth guide on how to do this, visit our guide here: The Complete Guide on How to Buy Bitcoin and Where to do it
- Then you need to head over to Bittrex.
Where to buy Ripple: Bittrex
- Fill in your details on the standard registration page.
- Once registered, click “wallet” on the top menu.
- Click the small + sign next to Bitcoin. This gives you your Bitcoin receiving address.
- Copy this address and head back to Coinbase.
- When you have logged in to Coinbase, click on the “Accounts” tab.
- Under “Your Accounts” you will see your Bitcoin wallet. This is where you will see the amount of Bitcoin you purchased on Coinbase. You need to click “Send” as shown below. (For this example, we didn’t purchase any Bitcoin. That is why the “Send” option is grey. If you have Bitcoin here, you should be able to click it.)
- Once you have clicked “Send” you should see the following box
- In the Recipient box, you need to paste the Bittrex address you copied earlier.
- Enter the amount of Bitcoin you want to transfer to your Bittrex wallet.
- Click “Send funds”
- In a few minutes, you should receive your BTC at Bittrex.
- Go back to Bittrex and click the button at the top of the page that has a Bitcoin logo with the word “market” next to it.
- Type “XRP” in the box that appears and clicks the link.
- On the left of the screen, you’ll see the buying options. Enter the amount of Bitcoin you wish to spend on Ripple and click the “Price” link.
- Then, click “Ask”. This is the fastest way to fill an order on an exchange. Using “Ask” isn’t recommended for huge orders but for lesser amounts and for the purposes of this example, it’s fine.
- It might take a few minutes to complete your order. When it’s done, your XRP will appear in the wallet section.
- You should then transfer your XRP from Bittrex and store it in a secure wallet. The type of wallet I’d recommend for Ripple is a hardware wallet. You can find out more about our two favorite hardware wallets here: Trezor vs Ledger - Things to Know Before Buying
And now you know where to buy Ripple (XRP).
Where to Hold Ripple (XRP)
So you eventually made a decision and, by following the guidelines provided above, purchased some Ripple coins. Congratulations! Now, the question is... Where should I hold my Ripple coins?
Of course, you can keep it on the same exchange you purchased Ripple coins from, but this is not the recommended way. Cryptocurrency exchanges tend to be insecure in terms of cryptocurrency storage as there have been many instances when exchanges were hacked and all cryptocurrency holdings were stolen.
For this reason, it is mostly recommended to hold XRP in a chosen Ripple wallet. In fact, there are tons of different cryptocurrency wallet types to choose from: you can store Ripple in a hardware wallet, desktop wallet, software wallet or mobile wallet. Each of these types has its own pros & cons, so it can sometimes get confusing. Hence, check out this Ripple wallet guide to learn more about different Ripple wallet types and discover which Ripple wallet would be the best choice for you.
Unlike Bitcoin, all the XRP coins have already been created. Without new coins being created, we can’t tell you how to mine Ripple. A lot of people think that it’s possible to mine XRP. They’re wrong. So, if your Ripple mining or XRP mining, more appropriately, is impossible. If you're a miner, maybe you'll be more interested in finding out about how to mine Ripple instead of where to buy Ripple.
When Ripple was created, the team made 100,000,000,000 XRP tokens. They were shared out among various interests.
The Ripple team are responsible for holding billions of XRP. Some of these will eventually be released into the open market, but 20% of the total supply is kept by the creators of the protocol. Apart from various issues of centralization, this is one of the biggest problems with the Ripple project.
Like Bitcoin and other blockchain projects rely on “miners” to validate transactions on the network, the Ripple protocol uses validator nodes. These validator nodes prevent double spending of XRP.
Unlike Bitcoin’s miners, validator nodes in Ripple don’t receive a reward for validating transactions. However, they do earn voting rights on the network. These validator nodes are chosen by the company behind Ripple. Therefore, Ripple is thought to be more centralized than other blockchain projects.
Ripple does have a program to create further decentralization of these validators in the future though.
Potential of Ripple
Investors in the cryptocurrency space hear that Ripple is associated with banks and immediately they see dollar signs. After all, banks do have a lot of money to play with!
However, whether Ripple is actually a good investment is another matter.
There are a few things about it that should make you think twice before you go “all-in” on Ripple. Let’s have a look at them.
We’ll start with the things that make Ripple or XRP a potentially good investment:
✓ Banks are already using both the Ripple protocol and XRP.
✓ XRP is burned when it’s used to pay for a transaction. This is only a tiny amount but the number of XRP in existence is shrinking. If there is a demand for XRP, the value of each coin should increase.
✓ It makes international payments and exchanges very easy. Ripple could potentially become the backbone of the global economy.
✗ Difficult to know exactly how much XRP is being used.
✗ The fact that Ripple, the company, could suddenly drop the entire market by releasing the coins they held back should be a concern.
✗ To make it government approved, Ripple allows balances to be frozen. This should scare all those who get excited by the permission-less nature of Bitcoin and all other cryptos.
If you’re thinking about making an investment in XRP, it’s very important that you completely understand how it works and what it is capable of. You must know that the Ripple payment protocol can exist and still work for inter-bank transfers without using its native currency XRP.
This could make an investment in the protocol itself a better move. However, you would need to be an accredited investor to do this.
The most important thing to remember is that digital currencies are very new. As such, they are by no means a safe investment. The whole space could come crashing down. If Ripple suddenly was made illegal in most of the world and banks could be stopped from using it. As unlikely as this sounds right now, it’s still the most likely thing to topple Ripple at present.
Alternatively, a better system might come out, or some system-breaking failure could permanently break the entire protocol.
As with all investments, you must understand exactly how Ripple and XRP work before buying into it. As a high risk, high reward investment, it’s also important that you don’t risk more than you can afford to lose. The market is finding a price for digital currencies right now and that price might be much lower than they are priced at today.
So, that’s our Ripple guide. Hopefully, you learned some more about one of the more misunderstood digital coins around. With all your new-found knowledge, will you be investing in Ripple or XRP?