Ripple for beginners: A step-by-step guide to XRP | finder.com
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What is Ripple? The ultimate guide to XRP

The fast money transfer network, Ripple, and its associated coin, XRP, have been enjoying steady acceptance and growth over the five years since their inception. Here’s why.

When talking about Ripple (XRP), people often overlook the product that caused it to exist: the Ripple Network. Unfortunately, even though it’s been accepted by several banks as a legitimate money transfer system, the platform is a bit more complex to figure out than your regular cryptocurrency.

So we’re going to go through it and explain every piece along the way.

Live Ripple (XRP) price

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How to buy Ripple (XRP)

The easiest way to buy XRP is through a two-step process that requires an exchange with another cryptocurrency

1. Buy some bitcoin or Ether.

Buy bitcoin (BTC) or Ether (ETH) through a cryptocurrency exchange. One of the leaders, Coinbase makes it easy for aspiring crypto chasers to purchase coins.

coinbase

2. Exchange your bitcoin or Ether for XRP.

After your bitcoin or Ether hits your digital wallet, transfer them to an exchange offering XRP. Among your options is Binance, which charges some of the lowest fees available in the US.

binance

What is Ripple?

IconSymbolInitial release dateAlgorithm typeMax. supply
XRP2012SHA-512100 billion XRP

The goal of Ripple is to be a global settlement network, a platform to allow anyone to transfer money in any currency to any currency in a matter of seconds. This is an ambitious goal meant to eliminate the use of older systems like Western Union or SWIFT.

The Hard Fork

Consider this scenario: Alice and Bob need to send some money to each other. Alice uses Jamaican dollars (JMD) to conduct her business, while Bob operates in Bangladeshi taka (BDT).

While it might not be evident to end users, the process behind Alice sending Bob money involves converting the JMD to a common currency like USD, then transferring the money between Alice’s bank and Bob’s. Finally, the USD in Bob’s bank is converted back to BDT.

This incurs a lot of fees at every exchange and wastes a lot of time. The Ripple network and currency aim to fix this problem.

The alternative Ripple proposes is the use of XRP as a common currency underlying all money transfers between different currencies (USD is currently the most common currency). Not only are transaction fees much lower to convert from one currency to XRP and back, but transfers take a maximum of 4 seconds to execute and verify.

Quite a few global banks have already started embracing Ripple as it saves them a lot of money in the long run by avoiding exchange fees.

Exchanges that list Ripple (XRP)

Name Product Payment Methods Available Fiat Currencies Available Cryptocurrencies
Cryptocurrency
BTC, XRP, USDT, ETH, NEB, XVG, TRX, NEBL, ETH, NEO, FUN, ETC, BCC, POE, DASH, ELF, ICX, BNB, ZRX, APPC & 80+ more
Trade 60+ cryptocurrency pairs on this up-and-coming exchange based in China. Multi-language support.
Cash, BPAY, POLi, Cryptocurrency
AUD
BTC, BCH, ETH, XRP, ADA, XEM, LTC, XLM, MIOTA, TRX, DASH, NEO, XMR, EOS, QTUM, BTG, LSK, ETC, XVG & over 45+ more
CoinSpot is an Australian marketplace that allows you to easily buy, sell or exchange multiple cryptocurrencies using AUD.
Credit card, Debit card
USD, EUR
BTC, BCH, BTG, ETH, ETC, DASH, DOGE, NEO, OMG, PIVX, SALT, STEEM, USDT, XLM & 50+ more
Access competitive crypto-to-crypto exchange rates for more than 35 cryptocurrencies on this global exchange.
Cryptocurrency
-
BTC, ETH, XRP, DOGE, XLM, ETC, STRAT, LTC, SC, DGB, BCH, LSK, XMR & 50 more
Trade various coins through a global crypto to crypto exchange based in the US.
Cryptocurrency
-
BTC, ETH, XVG, SC, XRP, DOGE, STRAT, XMR, ADA, OMG, ETC, BCC, XLM, DGB, UKG, QTUM, ZCL, RDD, LTC, NEO & 120+ more
New account registration is currently halted on Bittrex due to a surge in demand.
Cryptocurrency
-
BTC, BCH, BTG, ETH, ETC, FUN, 1ST, ANT, BAT, BNT, BLK, CVC, CLAM, DASH, DCR, DGB, DNT, DOGE, EDG, EOS, FCT, GAME & 25+ more
Credit card, Debit card, SWIFT, SEPA, Cryptocurrency
USD, EUR, RUB, GBP
BTC, DASH, ETH, XRP, ZEC
Use your USD, EUR or RUB to buy and sell cryptocurrency at competitive exchange rates and with high maximums for verified accounts.
Electronic Funds Transfer, SEPA, Wire Transfer *payment methods vary per country
USD, EUR, GBP, JPY, CAD
BTC, BCH, ETH, ETC, XMR, DASH, LTC, XRP, XLM, REP, ICN, MLN, ZEC, USDT, GNO, EOS
Exchange multiple cryptocurrencies through range of payment methods, including Electronic Funds Transfer, SEPA or Wire Transfer.

Compare up to 4 providers

Exchanges where you can buy crypto with fiat

Name Product Payment Methods Available Fiat Currencies Available Cryptocurrencies
Credit card, Debit card
AUD, USD, EUR, GBP, CAD, CNY & 50+ more
BTC, BCH, ETH, LTC
Buy and sell bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash on one of the world's most renowned cryptocurrency exchanges.
Cash, Credit card, Debit card
USD, EUR
BTC, ETH
Use USD/EUR to buy bitcoin and Ether with credit card or cash on the Coinmama cryptocurrency exchange.
Cash, Credit card, Cryptocurrency, Debit card, BPAY, Flexepin, Neosurf, Neteller, M-PESA, PayPal, Perfect Money, WebMoney, Western Union, iDEAL, SEPA, Skrill, SWIFT
AUD, USD, EUR, GBP, CAD, CNY & 50+ more
BTC
Trade fiat currency for bitcoin in person or online with this peer-to-peer exchange offering competitive fees and wide delivery options.
Credit card, Debit card
USD, EUR
BTC, BCH, BTG, ETH, ETC, DASH, DOGE, NEO, OMG, PIVX, SALT, STEEM, USDT, XLM & 50+ more
Access competitive crypto-to-crypto exchange rates for more than 35 cryptocurrencies on this global exchange.

Compare up to 4 providers

How is Ripple different from bitcoin?

The Ripple coin and the Ripple Network have various advantages over bitcoin as they have been built with slightly different purposes in mind.

Fast and cheap

Ripple transaction processing only takes four seconds since it’s significantly less active compared to bitcoin. This has the added bonus of cheaper transaction fees, whereas the price for bitcoin transactions has been on the rise lately as more people adopt the platform.

Mining-free

All the 100 billion XRP that it’s possible to use on the platform already exist. While they’re not all on the market – a few are released into the market every month to avoid flooding – there is no use mining as there is nothing of value to be added, unlike in more traditional cryptocurrencies.

XRP in escrow

In May 2017, Ripple pledged to lock up 55 billion XRP in 55 different smart contracts, essentially putting billions of dollars in escrow. Each month, a contract then releases 1 billion XRP into the market.

The primary motivator for this move was fear from investors that Ripple would suddenly reduce the price of the coin by releasing the billions of XRP that it’s holding into the market.

The move to lock up XRP will mimic the effect of mining as seen in other currencies like bitcoin and ensure that the currency will keep its price steadily growing

Bank acceptance

The Ripple platform and coin being accepted by banks gives the process legitimacy and, at least from an investor’s standpoint, can be a little more reassuring. This is not the case with bitcoin and other currencies as they are seen as competition by the banks.

Ripple history price graph

Where can I use Ripple?

XRP is still a long way from being as widely accepted as coins such as bitcoin, Litecoin or Ethereum. It was never the goal to use Ripple as a payment method. Instead the aim has always been to use XRP to grease the wheels, in order to make fiat money transfers easier, faster and more secure.

That said, there are quite a few merchants that accept Ripple, including hosting providers and vaping product merchants. A full list can be found on the XRP forum here

How do I invest in Ripple?

Rarely has a coin been considered so ripe for purchase as Ripple is in September, 2017. Selling at $0.0218 per XRP on 1 April, 2017…

…the coin skyrocketed to $0.3973 per XRP in no more than 47 days!

The price has since settled down a bit as speculators decide whether they want to invest in the coin or not, and banks shuffle funds around and investigate the platform.

With more bank involvement will come greater growth. If you have no problem with the way Ripple has handled the initial XRP influx (see section below: “What to watch out for – Centralization) and if you think more banks will accept Ripple as the de facto money transfer platform, then there may never be a better time to get in on Ripple than 2017.

Using Ripple to transfer money

Transferring money with Ripple works like any other cryptocurrency:

  1. Have some XRP available in your wallet. XRP wallets are the same as, for example, bitcoin wallets. Buy XRP on an exchange and then transfer them to your wallet.
  2. Scan or enter the recipient’s address. Whether they provide you with the hashed wallet address or a QR code, just follow the simple instructions on your wallet of choice and you’ll be done in no time.
  3. Enter the amount and send. The transaction should be verified in a few seconds and you’re done.

Making money with Ripple

Unless you’re a bank willing to invest into the Ripple platform, and because there is no mining allowed on Ripple, there are only two major ways to make money from it.

Get paid in Ripple

Adopting XRP will not only put you in a position where you can see returns on money that’s sitting in your wallet, but you will also be helping the currency gain legitimacy and wider use. Being this early and this young, Ripple will benefit from any merchant accepting the currency. When it grows, everyone enjoys the fruits of their investment.

Invest in Ripple

While the Ripple platform might not be easily accessible for investors, anyone can buy XRP and wait. The currency is growing and it is still in its infant stage. As more and more merchants and banks adopt the platform, the price will probably increase, the currency will grow, and the value of every wallet will grow with it.

What to watch out for

As much as some people love Ripple and see it as the next generation of cryptocurrencies, there are also some who have concerns over privacy and centralization.

  • Privacy concerns

Cryptocurrency has always been considered the poster child of privacy and anonymity. Ripple’s decision to market their platform exclusively to banks has been a cause of concern for some users who worry about big brother keeping an eye on their transactions.

  • Centralization

Ripple’s platform is extremely centralized whereas most cryptocurrencies aim to be as decentralized as possible. The reason for this is that Ripple owns the vast majority of the coins available on the platform while currencies like bitcoin allow anyone to mine and acquire coins. The move to lock coins inside smart contracts was a step in the right direction to fix this issue, but every time the coins are released they first go to Ripple to do with them as it pleases.

What’s next for Ripple?

The company behind Ripple plans, as a priority, to improve the lack of decentralization from which the platform is currently suffering. By adding more trusted validator nodes, the company plans to shake off the image that it’s just another central bank controlling the Ripple currency.

With that said, the future of Ripple depends entirely on the adoption of the platform by banks and that’s where the focus of the people behind Ripple inevitably needs to be. As more banks join the network, the price of XRP will probably skyrocket, driving more people to the coin and enticing banks to join the platform.
Without banks the platform would likely die, and so will the investors attempting to push it forward. Luckily, that doesn’t seem to be the future of this currency.

Find the cheapest way to buy Ripple

I want to pay with

and buy $ worth

Based on your answers, we recommend:

Coinbase and Binance.

The final amount you’ll have will vary depending on the price of the coin and any network transaction fees you incur.

Although this purchase method is recommended, you can click the button below to view other available exchanges.

View exchanges

Frequently asked questions

Image sources: Shutterstock, CoinMarketCap

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6 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    StephDecember 31, 2017

    Can you store ripple xrp in electrum wallet?

    • Staff
      JoanneJanuary 2, 2018Staff

      Hi Steph,

      Thank you for visiting finder, we are a financial comparison website and general information service.

      The wallets where you can store ripple is listed on this page above. Currently the electrum wallet supports only Bitcoin, you may read further on this page to know more about electrum.

      Cheers,
      Joanne

  2. Default Gravatar
    AlexDecember 21, 2017

    Which wallet offers the purchase of Ripple Curency?

    • Staff
      HaroldDecember 21, 2017Staff

      Hi Alex,

      Thank you for your inquiry.

      You can check specific wallet you can purchase ripple currency on this page.

      I hope this information has helped.

      Cheers,
      Harold

  3. Default Gravatar
    DavidDecember 17, 2017

    Where can I buy ripple in Oklahoma, preferably in or around Tulsa

    • Staff
      JoanneDecember 19, 2017Staff

      Hi David,

      Thanks for reaching out.

      You can buy Ripple as you would buy any other cryptocurrency and that is from an online exchange. Most will require you to go through a verification process but once done you just buy the XRP as you would any other product online. Finally, transfer the coins to your wallet for safekeeping.

      Cheers,
      Joanne

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