While all cryptocurrencies are a little different from one another, Ripple stands out because of its support from major banks. This has resulted in some exciting partnerships, which in turn helped make Ripple and its transaction protocol XRP one of the largest cryptocurrencies by market share in early 2018.
If you want to get XRP for yourself, you need to know where to go and what to do. In other words, you need to understand how to buy Ripple. We’ll walk you through the steps you need to take and give you a few different options with the pros and cons of each.
Step 1: choose a secure Ripple wallet
While most cryptocurrency exchanges allow you to keep your newly acquired digital currency with them, this is not an ideal place to leave. Just like with Bitcoin, choosing a secure wallet is an essential step on your Ripple purchase.
In this wallet you store your XRP after the purchase, so that you are not prone to stock market failures, hacks or theft. While there aren’t quite as many usable XRP wallets as Bitcoin wallets, there are some great ones we can recommend.
Toast wallet: This freely available ripple wallet is compatible with the operating systems Android, iOS, Windows, Mac and Linux and offers reliable security with robust backup options. It’s software-based so you are somewhat dependent on the level of protection your device has, but it’s more convenient than a hardware wallet and it’s free too. Hence, you should consider using a VPN for extra privacy and defense.
Ledger Nanos: If you are serious about your Ripple security or plan to buy a lot of it, then a hardware wallet is a great way to secure your new purchase. At around $ 100, it’s a lot cheaper than its touchscreen alternative, the Ledger Blue. It’s a little more complicated to set up than a software solution, but it’s the safest thing you can do for your cryptocurrency without jumping into a locker too.
Step 2: Register for an exchange
There are many different exchanges and many of them accept trades in XRP, but not all are reputable. You can find several sanctioned exchanges on the RippleLabs website, but we’ll use the longtime Kraken for this guide.
First, sign up for an account with Kraken and choose a strong password (save it in a password manager). Then activate your account through your email and log in. Once on your account page, navigate to the Verification tab and follow the on-screen instructions.
You must verify your account at at least level 3 in order to deposit fiat currency funds such as USD in order to make a trade. For level 3, you must provide proof of address, which can take 1-5 days to verify. Such a steep check may not be required in other countries.
Once verified, click your account name in the top right corner and select Deposit from the drop-down menu. Select your local currency from the menu on the left, followed by your transfer preference from the drop-down menu. Follow the on-screen instructions to send your fiat currency to your Kraken account. Note that transfer times can take up to five days in some cases, but in most cases they can be completed within a day or two.
Step 3: make the trade
When your account is prepared and ready, click the Trade tab and select New Order. Select the currency you want to buy and the currency you want to use to purchase, and enter how much you want to buy or spend. Note the market prices and when you are satisfied with your intended purchase, click the button on the green Buy XRP.
This will make a market trade at the best available rate. If you wish, you can place a limit order that will only complete one trade at a certain price or better. If everything goes according to plan, your XRP will be transferred to your Kraken wallet.
Step 4: move it to a safe place
Once you have your XRP, you want to avoid issues like exchange failure or hacking. It’s time to move your newly acquired Ripple to your previously prepared wallet. Whether it’s a software or hardware wallet, you should be in complete control of your new cryptocurrency.
To do this, click on your account name in the upper right corner and select Withdraw. Then select XRP from the list of currencies in the left menu. On the next page, follow the on-screen instructions to add your over-the-counter wallet address. Save it, select it from the drop-down menu, then choose how much of your XRP you want to transfer.
When you’re done, click the green Confirm Withdrawal button. Details of the transaction should then appear on the withdrawal page and inform you of the status of the transfer. It can’t happen right away, but it shouldn’t take more than a few hours to appear on your over-the-counter wallet.
‘Buy’ with other currencies
The above methods are the only current ways to buy XRP with your real money. If you already own cryptocurrencies like Ether or Bitcoin, you can swap one for another fairly quickly via asset exchange sites.
For a full breakdown of the methods involved in this, see our guide to trading cryptocurrencies. If you need a quick recommendation, services like ShapeShift and Changelly are decent options and even get built right into certain wallets. Paxful also has some direct trading assets exchanges with XRP, although this is very dependent on the sellers.