Buying, selling and owning Ripple carries a unique set of risks. Make sure you understand the legal, regulatory and tax status of Ripple in the US before you transact.
Buying Ripple (XRP) is quick and simple. It's a lot like buying stocks and can take as little as 15 minutes.
You just need to create an account with a crypto trading platform like KuCoin or Crypto.com.
Keep reading for step-by-step instructions and a list of platforms you can use to buy Ripple in the US.
Buying, selling and owning Ripple carries a unique set of risks. Make sure you understand the legal, regulatory and tax status of Ripple in the US before you transact.
How to buy XRP in 4 easy steps
To buy XRP all you'll need is a smartphone or computer, an internet connection, photo identification and a way to pay.
Compare crypto exchanges
The easiest way to buy XRP is from a cryptocurrency exchange. Comparing in the table below helps you find a platform with the features you want like low fees, ease of use or 24-hour customer support.
Create an account
To create an account on an exchange, you will need to verify your email address and identity. Have some photo ID and your phone ready.
Make a deposit
Once verified, you can deposit USD using the payment method that best suits you – cryptocurrency, PayPal, wire transfer and credit or debit Card payments are widely accepted.
You can now exchange your funds for XRP. On beginner-friendly exchanges, this is as simple as entering the USD or XRP amount you want to purchase and clicking "buy". If you like, you can then withdraw your XRP to a personal wallet.
Where to buy XRP in the US
If this is your first time buying cryptocurrency you'll need to look for a platform that accepts US dollars, like KuCoin or Crypto.com.
Don't worry too much about extra features or coins for now – you can always sign up with another exchange later.
Use the table to choose a platform that meets your needs and click the Go to site button to get started.
What will I need to buy XRP?
To create an account with your chosen crypto platform, you only need an email address or mobile number. This will usually allow you to deposit cryptocurrency, but not USD.
If you want to buy XRP with US dollars, you'll need to pass a Know Your Customer (KYC) check.
This is a standard security procedure for most exchanges in the US and requires you to upload some photo ID, and in some cases a selfie with today's date.
KYC is usually approved instantly, but in rare cases, you may have to wait a few hours or days.
What are the best ways to buy XRP?
Once you've set up your account, you'll need to deposit funds to buy XRP with. We've listed out some popular ways to buy XRP and what you should know about each payment method below.
What is the cheapest way to buy XRP?
Most exchanges let you buy as little as $5 worth of XRP, if not less. Just type in how much you want to spend in USD and let the exchange work out the rest.
Some platforms only offer 1 way to buy XRP, while others provide several choices. The 2 most common ways to buy XRP are on the spot market or with an "instant buy" feature.
If it's your first time buying XRP this will be the fastest method – but also the least cost-effective.
You'll usually find the instant buy section under a "Buy now" heading on the platform you've chosen.
It should feature a simple interface that lets you enter the amount of XRP you want to buy, or US dollars you want to spend.
This is usually the only option available for credit or debit card purchases, but you may also be able to make an instant buy if you've pre-funded your account with a bank transfer.
Be prepared to pay a markup on XRP's market rate in exchange for the convenience.
If you see colorful charts with a range of prices, you're probably in the spot market.
The spot market is where buyers and sellers come together to place bids for XRP on the open market. It's usually the cheapest way to buy XRP because it lets traders set their own price.
You'll find the spot market under a "Trade" or "Spot" heading on the site or app menu of the platform you've chosen to use.
There are several different order types that you can make on the spot market.
- Market order. This will buy you the amount of XRP you specify at the lowest possible price available. This makes it like an instant buy order, but with much lower fees.
- Limit order. This is the most common order type and lets you purchase XRP at the price you specify. Traders use this to time the market and capitalize on price dips or increases.
How to find the best place to buy XRP in the US
There are dozens of different trading platforms to choose from when buying XRP in the US, so to help you find your best option, keep these factors in mind:
- Where it's registered. Using a locally registered exchange is a good idea. It's more likely to accept US dollars and local payment methods like SEPA, which helps avoid foreign exchange fees. Choosing from US-based exchanges also means it's likely to be registered with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) which means it has to comply with local laws in the US.
- Security. Look at the security features the platform has to offer, like 2-factor authentication and PGP-encrypted emails. Cold storage of user funds is considered industry standard, but insurance funds are less common and indicative of good security practices.
- Fees. Check the fine print to find out exactly how much your transaction will cost. Depending on the platform you choose, these could include spreads, trading fees and deposit and withdrawal charges.
- Transaction limits. Are there any minimum or maximum limits on the amount of XRP you can purchase? Does the exchange restrict the amount of funds you can withdraw from your account in any 1 transaction or 24-hour period?
- Other platform features. Look out for other features that suit your investment or trading needs. For instance, many exchanges now let you earn yield on your holdings, while some issue crypto debit cards to help you spend your coins.
- Customer support. If you ever have a problem with a transaction, will you be able to quickly and easily get in touch with the customer support team? Are they based in the US? Check what contact methods are available and find out how quick the team is at responding to enquiries.
- Insurance fund. A small number of exchanges now insure user funds. Beware that policies vary greatly between exchanges, so you'll need to research this thoroughly if insurance is important to you.
- Reputation. As a young industry, reputation can provide a lot of clues when choosing an exchange. For instance, who are the founders? Have there been any controversies? Are their business practices transparent? If you can't find any of this information, that may be a red flag.
- Range of coins. If you're thinking about adding other cryptos to your portfolio in the future, check to see what other coins you can buy through the platform.
- Read reviews. Finder's crypto exchange reviews include user feedback, which helps you get a better idea of what the exchange is like to use for other people starting out just like you.
Using FinCEN-registered exchanges
There are plenty of places to buy XRP, and people in the US can choose from platforms registered here at home or in locations all around the world. Opting for a locally registered XRP exchange typically offers more convenience, but may have some downsides depending on your goals.
- US-based exchanges must comply with FinCEN Anti-money Laundering (AML) and Counter-terrorism Financing (CTF) reporting obligations.
- You can usually buy XRP with USD.
- Exchanges in the US typically support local payment methods, such as SWIFT, Faster Payments (FPS) and SEPA.
- You may be able to access local customer support.
- Subject to local laws.
- You'll need to provide your personal details and proof of ID – a disadvantage if you want to trade anonymously.
- Overseas trading platforms may provide better liquidity.
- Some features are simply not available on FinCEN-registered exchanges. For example, high leverage margin trading, DeFi features and some altcoins.
Recent XRP developments
Is XRP safe to invest in?
You shouldn't invest in any asset, including XRP without doing plenty of research first. Before you buy XRP, make sure you understand and weigh up these risks:
- Price volatility. XRP's price is largely based on speculation, which means it can rise or fall in a short time. It's not uncommon for XRP to lose more than 10% of its value in a single day.
- Perceived value. XRP is a unique asset that does not have any tangible value. It derives most of its value from utility and speculation.
- Exchange vulnerabilities. Leaving your XRP on a crypto platform exposes you to several counterparty risks, including:
- Scams. Scammers frequently try to trick exchange users into handing over their username and password, often by phishing with malicious emails or fake website links. Use 2FA and encrypted emails to help protect your funds.
- Hacks and theft. Exchanges are vulnerable to hacks and theft, so choose one with good security practices and a track record of safety.
- Fiscal mismanagement. In mid-2022 a number of crypto platforms froze user funds after it was revealed they had engaged in irresponsible funds management.
- Insurance. Unlike stocks, only a small handful of exchanges provide insurance on your cash deposits.
- Regulatory uncertainty. The regulatory environment for XRP and other cryptos is constantly changing. It's important to understand how international rulings have the potential to impact XRP's future – for better or worse.
- Novel technology. XRP was created in 2013 which makes it relatively new as a form of technology and as a currency. XRP doesn't yet have the same track record or performance history as some other asset classes.
- Technical learning curve. Evaluating the tech behind XRP before you invest is important, but requires a deep understanding of the blockchain and other aspects of decentralized finance. You should be prepared to do plenty of research.
- XRP vs Ripple Labs. Although the XRP asset is considered independent from Ripple Labs as a company, the 2 projects are still closely related and often confused for one another. Despite this close link, the success of Ripple does not necessarily guarantee that the price of XRP will appreciate. Ripple Labs has several technologies and services that do not incorporate XRP.
- SEC lawsuit. The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is arguing that due to how XRP was issued to investors, it should be considered an (illegally) registered security. Although this lawsuit has been developing since 2020, it is yet to conclude and still has the potential to negatively impact XRP prices.
- Majority owned supply. As the creators of XRP, Ripple Labs and its founders received 80% of the 100 billion total XRP supply after its token generation event. Although there are now precautionary measures in place – including a max distribution of 1 billion XRP per month – this makes the issuance of XRP centralized and the volume of tokens released each month may negatively impact prices.
How is XRP taxed?
If you hold XRP as an investment, you'll be taxed on any capital gains you make when you sell it — which includes spending it on goods and/or services. In the US, tax obligations also apply to mining, professional XRP trading and in a range of other scenarios, so make sure you're fully aware of what you need to report to the IRS.
After you've bought XRPOnce you own some XRP, you have 2 options – keep it on an exchange, or move it to a personal wallet. Each comes with its own set of pros and cons.
Keeping your XRP on an exchange
- Convenience. Keeping your XRP on an exchange is convenient because you can buy and sell at any time.
- Security. Holding XRP on an exchange does come with significant counterparty risks, but reputable platforms also invest heavily in security so you don't have to worry about the pitfalls of self-custody.
- Insurance. A small handful of exchanges now operate insurance schemes. These can range from insuring user deposits held in cold storage to reimbursing customers if a hack occurs.
- Earn yield. Many exchanges now let you earn yield on your XRP. This is achieved by lending your XRP so carries its own set of risks. Do your research before deciding if it's the right option for you.
- Phishing. Exchange users are frequently targeted by scammers trying to steal login information through malicious emails and fake website links.
- Hacking. Exchanges are major targets for hackers. While security practices have improved substantially, hacks still occur from time to time.
- Account freezing. Exchanges have been known to occasionally freeze user accounts, whether due to security concerns, technical issues or market turbulence. This could see you temporarily lose access to your crypto.
Moving your XRP to a non-custodial wallet
- Self-custody. A mantra repeated by crypto investors is "Not your keys, not your coins." This comes from the idea that the only way to guarantee ownership of your XRP is to own the private key — which isn't the case when you hold on an exchange.
- Security. XRP and cryptocurrency wallets vary greatly in their features and security. For the most secure experience, consider purchasing a hardware wallet, which is usually a small USB device that keeps your private keys offline at all times for an extra layer of security.
- Utility. If you plan to use your XRP for transactions, daily spending or decentralized finance (DeFi), then storing it in a wallet rather than an exchange will be more convenient.
- Remittance. At its core, XRP Ledger is a payment gateway that can be used in the development of dapps, exchanges or cryptocurrency wallets where currency plays a role. By storing your XRP in a non-custodial wallet, you're able to interact directly on-chain and perform swaps and trades on DeFi exchanges.
- Learning curve. It's no secret that learning how to use a crypto wallet takes some time and effort. Spend some time learning how XRP wallets work before transferring any of your funds.
- Personal responsibility. Owning your own money can be liberating, but it also means the responsibility is all yours. If you lose your private key, the only way to regain access to your wallet is through the seed phrase. Make sure to store both of these privately and securely.
- Inheritance. A challenge presented by crypto wallets is how to pass access on in the event of death or disability. Several companies are experimenting with ways to solve this problem, like the Trezor Model T wallet's Shamir backup feature.
- Web3 risks. Web3 "hot wallets" are connected to the internet at all times and their use with web applications makes them more susceptible to hacks and scams. Consider only transferring the amount you need and keeping the remainder of your XRP in cold storage with a hardware wallet.
If you want to buy XRP, start by comparing a range of crypto brokers and exchanges available in the US. Look at their features, fees, security and overall reputation to decide which platform is the right fit for you. Consider an exchange registered with FinCEN for added peace of mind.
Remember that owning and using XRP is not without its risks. Carefully consider investing in XRP as part of a wider strategy, and talk to a financial advisor if you have any questions.
Once you've bought some XRP, think about what your short and long-term goals are. This will help you decide whether to keep it on an exchange, or move it to your own wallet.
How do I buy XRP right now?
You can buy XRP on more than 11 trading platforms in the US, many of which offer instant buy options.
Create an account with one of the exchanges in our table like KuCoin, complete the KYC verification process and deposit funds using USD or cryptocurrency.
How do I buy shares in Ripple?
Shares in Ripple Labs are not publicly traded, which means you can't purchase them on traditional stock trading platforms. Instead, you'll need to qualify as an accredited investor and hold certain certifications.
What is the easiest way to buy XRP?
If you don't already own crypto, the easiest way to buy XRP is with US dollar.
To get started, choose a cryptocurrency trading platform like KuCoin that allows you to deposit USD.
Alternatively, you may need to convert your USDs into BTC or ETH first, which you can then trade for XRP.
Disclaimer: Cryptocurrencies, including Ripple, are speculative, complex and involve significant risks – they are highly volatile and sensitive to secondary activity. Performance is unpredictable and past performance of XRP is no guarantee of future performance. Consider your own circumstances, and obtain your own advice, before relying on this information. You should also verify the nature of any product or service (including its legal status and relevant regulatory requirements) and consult the relevant Regulators' websites before making any decision. Finder, or the author, may have holdings in the Ripple or any other cryptocurrency discussed.
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