Ripple is a global settlement network, which makes it easy to transfer nearly to any currency to anyone in the world in just seconds. It uses a special type of decentralized digital currency, XRP, which provides a platform for making exchanges. It does not function to swap goods and services with currency, rather it is a medium for converting one currency to another, and it does not need a central exchange for this conversion. During its release in 2012, it was stated that Ripple claims to enable “secure, instant and nearly free global financial transactions of any size with no chargebacks.”
Ripplepay, Ripple's payment protocol predecessor, was first developed in 2004 by a web developer named Ruan Fugger in Vancouver, British Columbia. After working on a local exchange trading system, Fugger thought of an idea having the intent to create a monetary system that was decentralized and allow anyone to create their own money. RipplePay.com debuted in 2005 as the first iteration of this system.
Ripple enables cross-border payments for retail customers, corporations, and other banks. It was quoted that Ripple "simplifies the exchange process by creating point-to-point and transparent transfers in which banks do not have to pay corresponding bank fees."
According to a group, the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor, Ripple will “enable a peer-to-peer server architecture to facilitate the movement of value among financial institutions. This allows financial services companies to make direct payments to each other, whether across different networks, geographic borders or currencies.”
Ripple currently is included in Forbes' Fintech50 and is the third largest cryptocurrency based on market capitalization.
- Fast settlement technology - being able to handle 1,000/second settled transactions
- Near infinite scaling given interledger compatibility
- Strong bank connections
- Banks and other institutions can directly buy Ripples
- Zero-latency transactions - uses PayChan feature
- Allows financial transactions from any given currency to another currency with negligible fees
- 63% of the total XRP is owned by Ripple - gives the company (and its associate banks) lots of control over its inflation
- 100 billion XRP were instamined - puts a large drawback in its mining benefits
- Platform has security vulnerabilities - due to its open nature, nodes within its network could be subject to attacks (determined by Purdue University Researchers)
How to Buy:
Buying XRP can be done with just 2 steps:
Take note that when using a wallet, write down the secret key and store it in a secure location. A good practice would be to have multiple copies of the secret key and hide it in different locations. It is important to secure the key since it gives the user access to their wallet.
For max security, it would be better to have the XRP on a hardware wallet. (Take note: Ripple wallet must initially contain 20 XRP reserve in order to protect against low level spam attacks.)
Ledge Nano S is currently the only reliable hardware wallet for storing XRP and a number of other cryptocurrencies. On the other hand, Rippex offers a desktop wallet for Mac, Windows, and Linux which gives users full functionality.
As of today, there are many options to buying Ripple directly, using either a fiat currency (like USD, EUR etc.) or trading Bitcoins on specific exchanges.
In using Fiat Currency, the best way would be to purchase XRP directly using a wire transfer or a credit card.
Wire transfer can be done using Bitstamp. After signing up and following their Know-Your-Customer procedure, it will then be a breeze to send EUR through a SEPA transfer or USD by a bank transfer. Bitstamp also allows moving of funds onto the platform with a credit card payment. GateHub is also an exchange that supports XRP. It accepts SEPA transfers and bank transfers for $15/bank transfer.
The least expensive way to purchase XRP is by buying Bitcoins first from a provider then traded for XRP (according to the consensus from Ripple Community). The easiest way to achieve this would be by quickly exchanging bitcoins on Changelly or Shapeshift. Kraken, Poloniex and, Bittrex are also among the popular exchanges. Customers from Japan can use Coincheck or Bitbank to buy XRP. Those from Mexico can use Bitso while those in South Korea can use Coinone or Korebit.
- Get a Ripple (XRP) Wallet
- Find a Ripple Exchange
Leaving the XRP on the exchange (where they are bought from) isn't recommended. The user has no control over the private keys of the coins and therefore, can't actually be considered as 'owned' yet.
Regardless where the coins where gotten from, it is best to withdraw them to Ripple wallet and hold the private keys. As mentioned earlier, remember to take note of the keys (could be by writing), and store them to secure locations.