XRP is a payments network that is designed to serve the financial services industry. It’s a relatively popular crypto—and it consistently lists among the top 10 cryptocurrencies by market capitalization.
Designed to make payment transactions faster and cheaper, XRP settles payments at a fraction of the cost of traditional methods. XRP is one of the more ambitious cryptocurrencies aimed at revolutionizing global payment systems and the digital economy.
While Bitcoin transactions can take minutes or more than an hour, the advantage of XRP is that its transactions are confirmed every three to five seconds.
For those of you who are new to XRP, don’t let the interchangeability of references to Ripple and XRP confuse you. Ripple is the company behind XRP, and it has undergone several rebranding efforts over the past few years—initially launched under the name OpenCoin in 2012, it changed to Ripple Labs in 2013 before settling on Ripple in late 2015.
XRP in the Digital Economy
Ripple claims its payments network will usher in a “new global finance era.” Its products are used for payments and asset exchanges, similar to SWIFT, which provides financial transactions between banks worldwide.
In short, it’s a cryptocurrency that helps financial institutions provide a better payment experience. And you’ve probably heard of a few of its customers, which include Bank of America, American Express and Santander, to name a few.
Where Can I Buy XRP?
You can buy XRP with fiat currency on a number of different crypto exchanges. Here are a few exchanges where you can exchange U.S. dollars for XRP:
Note the terminology of “trading pairs,” such as Bitcoin (BTC) to Tether (USDT). In the case of BTC/USDT, bitcoins can be converted into Tether, a stablecoin whose value is pegged to the U.S. dollar.
If you’re looking to buy and trade XRP with Tether, here are a few exchanges that pair USDT with XRP:
How to Buy XRP
1. Choose a Crypto Exchange
Every crypto platform has its own way of doing things. You’ll want to check the type of currency that you’ll need to use to purchase XRP.
Like many things in life, there are some caveats, especially if you’re purchasing XRP with another crypto. A general rule of thumb is it’s easier to purchase a crypto with a fiat currency like the U.S. dollar compared with other cryptocurrencies.
But if you decide to buy XRP with another crypto, you’ll have to create a crypto wallet that supports XRP and then use the currency on the exchange uses that pairs with XRP to buy the crypto.
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Before making your purchase, research which trading platform suits you best based on security and ease of use. So do your research before opening an account. Once your account is funded, you’re ready to start buying XRP.
Within your chosen exchange, find the XRP currency and enter the amount you’d like to invest.
3. Store Your XRP
Once you buy your XRP, you’ll need a safe place to store it.
An interesting caveat is that dedicated XRP wallets require you to hold at least 10 XRP to activate your wallet on the XRP Ledger. Think of it as a bank account’s minimum balance requirement.
Each account must set aside this minimum amount. You can recover this amount by deleting your account.
XRP can be stored in a number of different ways:
Hardware Wallets. These are a common digital asset storage method, where hardware devices store the private keys to the owners’ assets and allow you to interact with the wallet without exposing your data. These devices can connect to your PC, phone or tablet to transact with XRP. Ledger is one hardware wallet that supports XRP.
Paper Wallets. This method is known to be clunky and vulnerable to phishing scams. For paper wallets, you use a private key to send funds. With this method, you simply print your private keys and recovery passphrases on a piece of paper and store it for safekeeping.
Software Wallets. Desktop wallets, considered “hot” wallets, are programs downloaded to store your crypto asset. There are also mobile wallets that interface with managing crypto assets. Just know that this method is often criticized for safety concerns since most of these wallets operate over the internet. One mobile wallet that supports XRP is Trust Wallet.
Crypto Exchanges. Many exchanges that trade XRP will let you store your crypto. These crypto exchanges include Coinsmart, Crypto.com and Binance, to name a few.
What You Can Purchase With XRP
You can use XRP to exchange between fiat currencies rather than directly exchange currencies through a traditional financial institution. This can be a much faster and cheaper approach versus paying the high fees banks and money remittance organizations may charge.