XRP, the cryptocurrency used by the Ripple payment network, is growing in popularity.
The world’s third-largest cryptocurrency by market cap is now used by a number of major banks as part of their payment settlement infrastructure.
The altcoin has become a major cryptocurrency, so it’s no surprise that many retail investors want to get their hands on it.
Thankfully, it is much easier to buy XRP today than it was a few years ago. There are now several exchanges which allow you to buy XRP with USD, as well as with other fiat currencies.
What is XRP?
XRP is the cryptocurrency used by the Ripple payment network, which was created to speed up the transfer of money between institutions.
Ripple has been increasingly adopted by banks and payment networks as a settlement infrastructure technology, therefore boosting the usage of XRP. It has already been acknowledged by huge companies such as UniCredit, UBS, and Santander.
Unlike Bitcoin, XRP can’t be mined. Every coin has already been calculated, although presently only about 40% of XRP tokens are in circulation.
Ripple’s network can handle significantly higher transaction volumes than other leading cryptocurrencies. According to Coinmama, Ethereum can handle about 15 transactions per second, whereas Ripple’s network consistently handles about 1,500 transactions per second.
XRP can be sent to anyone in the world virtually instantly for a low fee. You can also hold on to it as an investment, sell it, or convert it into Bitcoin.
Before you buy XRP, you need to have a wallet to store it in. Your main decision will be choosing between a software wallet and a hardware wallet.
Hardware wallets are physical devices that enable you to store your crypto offline. They’re considered the most secure way to store your cryptocurrency, but they can be expensive. Examples of hardware wallets that support XRP include Ledger and Trezor.
Software wallets let you store your coins on your computer. They’re usually free, which makes them a good option for people dipping their toes into crypto trading, but they are considered less safe.
A major difference between Bitcoin and Ripple wallets is that Ripple requires you to deposit and maintain a balance greater than 20 XRP at all times to use the ledger. Once you’ve funded your wallet address, your account will be activated.
Finding an exchange
The next step is to find an exchange that supports the purchase of XRP. There are lots of exchanges available that enable you to trade Bitcoin for XRP, and a few that let you buy XRP with fiat currency like USD. It’s also possible to invest indirectly in XRP through a platform like eToro, which enables you to speculate on the price without actually accessing coins directly.
Buying altcoins like XRP used to be difficult, but because of high demand, major fiat exchanges now enable the purchase of XRP. Once you’ve set up an account with your chosen exchange, you should be able to buy some XRP using either a debit or credit card or via a bank transfer.
It’s possible to leave your XRP on the exchange you bought it from. However, this doesn’t give you any control over the private key for your coins, meaning you do not actually own them.
If the exchange gets hacked and the coins are lost, you won’t be able to get them back. It is therefore strongly recommended that you withdraw your XRP coins to your wallet as soon as you have bought it.