The world’s third highest cryptocurrency by market cap, Ripple needs no introduction to those who have been camping around the cryptocurrency industry for a while now.
The payment transfer network and its separate yet eponymous cryptocurrency network with its native token XRP are some of the most talked about entities in the cryptocurrency community.
Which is why even newer members of this ever-growing cluster are bound to at least have heard their names even if they have not had the opportunity to learn more about them.
But Ripple’s reach does not end with the cryptocurrency community, since the company is known for making waves in the banking and finance industry by partnering with names such as the Bank of England courtesy of its payment solutions.
With a presence as impressive as Ripple, new and old cryptocurrency investors alike are bound to be intrigued about holding some XRP of their own.
To help such interested individuals, we have put together a comprehensive guide to Ripple’s history, its offered functions, and the procedure to holding and storing XRP information securely.
So without further delay, let’s go ahead and learn more about Ripple and how it is beneficial to its holders.
What is Ripple?
Before we understand what Ripple is, we need to make sure that we are establishing one core difference, that is, the difference between Ripple, the payment solution company and Ripple, the cryptocurrency network.
See, Ripple has an interesting structure and it can be quite confusing to many, as a matter of fact, one can find many conversations on social media with arguments over the Ripple and its connection to XRP. One can see, why it is important to clear this up.
While both solutions were brought to life by the same company, Ripple, they serve as two different entities.
- Ripple, the main firm, and payment solutions provider, focuses on facilitating international remittances and local value transfer for financial institutions.
It can facilitate those transactions using the distributed ledger technology (DLT) that it is built upon, and while most of them are processed in fiat.
The company can also use XRP in those transactions from time to time (depending on what the company’s client wants – with the XRP usage being limited by partner companies as of now).
The platform used in this corporate version of Ripple is private and different from the open-source version of the cryptocurrency network that is available to the public.
- Ripple, the cryptocurrency network, provides peer-to-peer network solutions in which it also uses DLT, but on a network that is open-source (as defined above).
Users can transfer payments using XRP between one another, just like any other cryptocurrency. Due to the DLT which Ripple incorporates, its transactions are secure yet speedy, which is the main selling point of the network and XRP to the individual user.
Therefore, through the “corporate Ripple”, XRP can be used in a variety of settings. It can be used for cross-border payment transfer for large-scale banks and industry level financial institutions.
Fundamentally serving as a means to transact value all over the world while presenting some of the fastest turnaround times and the lowest fees that the sector has to offer.
However, these functions do not have much to do with “cryptocurrency network Ripple”, which only operates as a regular cryptocurrency platform where users can make transactions with one another using XRP.
Initially worked upon as OpenCoin, the project was founded by entrepreneur Chris Larsen and current Stellar co-founder Jeb McCaleb.
With their mutual efforts pertaining to finance and development, Larsen and McCaleb went on to create a new payment solution out of OpenCoin, which was termed as the Ripple Transaction Protocol (RTXP).
In September 2013, the project found its new name in Ripple Labs Inc. while making its public blockchain to be open-source.
The next major shift came in 2015. The network had originally been meant to be only a source of value transfer powering peer-to-peer transactions, but with yet another name change to Ripple, it was announced by the company that it will start focusing on corporate level transactions as its main point of business.
Since then, the similar names of the entities and the way that the public blockchain remains completely controlled by Ripple the company itself, for now, has caused a lot of people to be confused about Ripple’s operations and the way that its cryptocurrency network functions.
That is why it is imperative to understand the distinction between these functionalities so that any users who are willing to invest within the company know exactly what they are getting into and do not delve into an investment with false expectations about a product.
With that being said, the kind of solutions that Ripple provides to banks and payment processors all around the world have indeed gotten it significant attention in the financial sector, where the company has been able to form alliances with some of the most renowned and revered names in the industry.
Apart from the Bank of England that was mentioned above, the names of Ripple’s partners include but are not limited to SBI Holdings Japan, Santander, Western Union and Moneygram.
Thus, even if Ripple does keep its payment transfer solutions and services for the individual users separate at this point, it still proves to be a viable option for those who decide to hold it or use it as a means for everyday value transfer with a promising future due to its approach to the overall banking and financial environment.
At the time of writing, Ripple is trading at $0.66, having reached its all-time high of $3.82 on January 4, 2018, during the cryptocurrency boom that was experienced during the end of 2017.
Data Provided by CoinMarketCap
Get a Ripple Wallet
In order to procure some XRP for yourself, you will first need to procure a Ripple wallet, which can be in the form of a desktop client, a web-based solution, a mobile app or a hardware wallet.
You can always store your XRP or any cryptocurrency in an exchange provided wallet as well.
However, it is advised to take your cryptocurrency off of any exchange as soon you buy it, since exchanges are prone to be hacked despite being highly secured.
On the other hand, individual wallets with a high level of security statistically do not fall prey to hacks that much, as the hackers seemingly only put their efforts in a place from where they can get the most returns.
Therefore, the first thing on your to-do list of buying XRP should be to obtain a safe wallet that is within your control. For your convenience, we have outlined a detailed list of popularly used wallets below.
- Toast Wallet
Toast Wallet is one of the most popular Ripple wallets available at press time.
Built as an open-source application that is free to use, Toast Wallet is considered one of the safest options among XRP users, who swear by its functionality, ease of use, and multi-platform support.
While available for Windows, Mac, and Linux, Toast Wallet is also functional as an app for iOS and Android and can be downloaded from the respective app stores.
However, in order to start using a Toast Wallet address, users need to send at least 20 XRP for the first transaction to have the address activated.
If an amount less than 20 XRP is sent to an inactivated wallet address, then it bounces back to the sender – and if sent through an exchange, to the exchange’s hot wallet.
Despite this initial requirement, Toast Wallet remains easy to use yet highly secure for its users.
Widely used for popular cryptocurrencies, GateHub remains a primary choice for holders of XRP when it comes to web-based wallets.
The wallet sports a clean and simple interface with high-level security features that assure its users of keeping their digital assets safe.
Since GateHub is a web-wallet, it offers easy access to its users, who can sign-in from any location to access their cryptocurrency information.
GateHub supports XRP, Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Dash among many other cryptocurrencies.
- Toast Wallet
Toast Wallet takes the prize here as well, since it is one of the most used and securest options for the holders of XRP who want to access their digital asset even while being on the go.
Toast Wallet’s mobile app offers the same level of safety as its desktop version and thus remains a recommended option for its users.
Ledger’s name is synonymous with security and reliability in the cryptocurrency industry, and the same holds true when it comes to storing XRP in a hardware wallet.
At around $90 a piece, the flash-drive-like device with its supported software and ability to integrate user- specific apps across multiple cryptocurrencies remains a suitable choice for those who want their cryptocurrencies to be safe with the utmost level of security.
Once you have chosen which wallet to go with, you may go ahead with selecting an exchange and buying XRP for yourself.
How to Buy Ripple
There are multiple options available for exchanges and services which users can opt for in order to purchase XRP. All of the following options are reliable; however, some may suit a certain segment of users while not catering to the other.
Keeping this in mind, we have compiled a list that comprises of all such options in order to ensure that you may find a suitable option for yourself no matter whether you seek to buy XRP with fiat or through cryptocurrencies.
Purchase XRP through Fiat
Kraken is considered as a viable option for trading cryptocurrencies across multiple countries since it supports fiat deposits and withdrawals along with providing a slew of cryptocurrencies to trade with.
Users can deposit fiat through bank transfers, and upon completion of the action which usually gets completed within a few days, they can buy Ripple from Kraken accordingly.
A U.S. based exchange, Bittrex is one of the most recommended places from where you can buy Ripple.
While Bittrex only deals in cryptocurrency deposits, it does make an exception for customers who can transfer more than $100,000 in fiat, in exchange for either Bitcoin, Ethereum or Tether. The details of this process, including its requirements, are mentioned here.
Bitfinex is yet another popular cryptocurrency exchange that deals in Ripple.
While the exchange is not available to U.S. citizens (individuals), it remains a popular choice across Europe and other regions due to its acceptance of fiat deposits. Users need to go through a verification procedure, but upon meeting it, they can perform transactions accordingly.
Bitit is an online platform where users can purchase XRP through fiat by using the method of bank deposits or credit cards.
The service accepts USD, GBP, EUR, CAD and JPY among other cryptocurrencies. Users can complete the verification process online and then proceed with purchasing large amounts of cryptocurrencies accordingly.
Purchase XRP through Cryptocurrencies
In addition to traditional exchanges such as Kraken, Bittrex, and Bitfinex that allow the purchase of XRP through fiat and cryptocurrencies by allowing both modes of deposit, Binance could be considered as another good option to buy XRP but with the restriction of only allowing cryptocurrency deposits.
Binance is one of the most widely used and reliable exchanges in the world, mostly because of its ease of use and low trading fees.
However, the exchange only accepts cryptocurrency deposits, so this option remains viable for those who already have some cryptocurrency handy with them.
Purchase Bitcoin or Ethereum through Fiat to Exchange It with Ripple
Another option to buy XRP through fiat is to first buy Bitcoin or Ethereum through exchanges that accept fiat but do not deal in XRP, and then transfer the cryptocurrencies to an exchange of their choice such as Binance in order to complete their purchase of XRP.
When it comes to buying Bitcoin with fiat, one name which instantly comes to mind is Coinbase.
The exchange has revolutionized the trading process for the everyday user by compiling cryptocurrency trading options in a single app, where users can easily buy Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash and Ethereum Classic.
The Coinbase app facilitates fiat transactions including credit card purchases and offers a built-in wallet to its users.
Interested users can then transfer their purchased cryptocurrency that accepts cryptocurrency deposits and trades in Ripple in order to reach their end goal accordingly.
Similar to Coinbase, Coinmama is another option which allows users to purchase Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, Cardano, Qtum, and Ethereum Classic through credit card and bank deposits.
After purchasing a popular cryptocurrency from Coinmama, users can transfer it to a Ripple-supporting exchange and move forward with their purchase accordingly.
As you may notice, a lot of these exchanges and services provide their own wallets for users to hold their cryptocurrencies.
However, as stated above, it is advised that users keep their cryptocurrencies safe in a wallet that they have complete control over instead of letting any exchange maintain their deposits for them.
This way, users can ensure that they are taking the extra step to keep themselves from becoming collateral damage in hacking instances.
However, as with any other investment model, you should first do your own research and ensure that you are not investing money which you cannot afford to lose, and that you always have a plan to fall back on in case things go south with your investment.