While all cryptocurrencies are a little different from one another, Ripple stands apart with its backing by major banks. That’s lead to some interesting partnerships, which in turn helped boost Ripple and by extension its transactional protocol, XRP, to become one of the largest cryptocurrencies by market share in early 2018.If you want to get some XRP for yourself, you need to know where to go and what to do. You need to know how to buy Ripple. We’ll walk you through the steps you need to take, as well as give you a couple of different options with the pros and cons of each.
Step 1: Pick a secure Ripple wallet
Although most exchanges for cryptocurrencies will let you store your newly acquired digital currencies with them, that’s not an ideal place to leave it. Just like with Bitcoin, picking a secure wallet is an important step in your Ripple-buying journey. This is where you’re going to store your XRP once it’s been purchased so that you aren’t susceptible to exchange outages, hacks, or thefts.
While there aren’t quite as many viable XRP wallets are there are Bitcoin wallets, there are some great ones which we can recommend.
Toast Wallet: This freely available Ripple wallet is compatible with Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems and offers solid security with robust backup options. It’s software based, so you are somewhat reliant on the security of the device you run the application on, but it’s more convenient than a hardware wallet and free too.
Ledger NanoS: If you take your Ripple security seriously 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 much cheaper than its touchscreen alternative, the Ledger Blue. It is a little more complicated to setup than a software solution, but it’s about the safest you can make your cryptocurrency without springing for a safety deposit box too.
Step 2: Sign up to an exchange
There are many different exchanges out there, and a good number of them accept trades in XRP but not all of them are reputable. You can find a number of sanctioned exchanges on the RippleLabs website, but for this guide, we’ll be using the long-standing Kraken.
First, sign up for an account on Kraken and select a strong password (save it in a password manager). Then, activate your account via your email and login. Once you’re on your account page, navigate to the verification tab and follow the on-screen instructions. You’ll need to verify your account to at least “Tier 3,” in order to deposit fiat currency funds like USD so that you can make a trade. For Tier 3, you’ll need to provide a proof of address which can take 1-5 days to verify. Other countries may not require such steep verification.
Once verified, click your account name in the top-right and select “Deposit” from the drop-down menu. Select your local currency from the left-hand menu 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, though in most will be complete within one or two.
Step 3: Make the trade
When your account is primed and ready, click on the trade tab and select “New order.” Select the currency you want to buy and the one you want to use to make the purchase and input how much you want to buy or spend. Take note of the market rates and when you’re happy with your intended purchase, hit the green “Buy XRP with” button.
This will make a market trade at the best available rate. If you would rather you can place a “limit order,” which only makes a trade at a specified price or better. If all goes to plan, your XRP will then be transferred to your Kraken wallet.
Step 4: Move it somewhere safe
To avoid any problems with the exchange going down or being hacked, it’s time to move your newly acquired Ripple to your previously prepared wallet. Whether it’s a software or hardware wallet, it’s better you have complete control over your new cryptocurrency.
To do so, click your account name in the top right-hand corner and select “Withdraw.” Then choose XRP from the list of currencies on the left-hand menu. On the next page, follow the on-screen instructions to add the address of your off-exchange wallet. Save it, and then select it from the drop-down menu. Then choose how much of your XRP you want to transfer away.
When ready, click the green “Confirm withdrawal,” button. Details of the transaction should then appear on the withdrawal page, letting you know at what state the transfer is in. It may not happen immediately but shouldn’t take more than a few hours to appear on your off-exchange wallet.
‘Buying’ with other currencies
The above methods are the only current ways to buy XRP with your real-world money. If you already have cryptocurrencies like Ether or bitcoin, you can use “asset exchange” sites to trade one for another quite swiftly.
For a full breakdown of the methods involved in that, check out our guide on how to trade cryptocurrencies, but for a quick recommendation, services like ShapeShift and Changelly have proved popular over the past year, and are even incorporated directly in certain wallets. Cointal and Paxful also have some direct trade asset exchanges with XRP, though that depends very much on the sellers.