Ripple is the new banking system, effectively rendering the process of sending through SWIFT and Western Union obsolete. It is a global settlement network that makes the exchange of currencies of all kinds fast and easy. The beauty of Ripple is that any currency can simply be inserted into the network and sent to its destination without the messy procedure usually involved when sending money from A to B.
It will also dramatically reduce costs. At present, if you want to purchase certain currencies, you will have to buy USD first and then convert to your desired currency.
Ripple renders this second step obsolete. It is a platform that easily allows the exchange of currencies of all kinds. And it drastically cuts out fees. The reason banks are currently slow to invest is that the price of the XRP (The Ripple token) is still subject to huge price changes, and this current volatility is not acceptable.
It should be understood that Ripple is really a company, and you can invest it in indirectly by buying the Ripple token, the XRP. XRP is like the reserve currency of the Ripple network, and users essentially swap their XRP for any other currency.
Before you buy Ripple, you need a wallet to store XRP in. Rippex is a safe and functional wallet, or alternatively, the Toast wallet is a great option.
For ultimate security considering purchasing a Ledger Nano S, a hardware wallet. When buying Ripple, you are generally limited to buying bitcoins first and then exchanging them, so you will also need a bitcoin wallet. Because Ripple is new, there is no direct way to buy them.
Good bitcoin wallet clients include Exodus, Electrum and Blockchain Info. If you are buying your Ripple on eToro, you do not need an actual wallet; you do not really own any actual coins, just the rights to them.
How to buy Ripple
Ripple is a popular currency available on all major exchanges, and it is relatively easy to acquire. It is currently the third largest coin by market cap.
The process for buying Ripple will nearly always involve ID verification. If it does not, you are most likely being scammed, as all major exchanges require ID verification to comply with existing rules and regulations.
Buying Ripple is not as easy as buying bitcoin, as bitcoin has been around longer and there are numerous platforms in operation from which you can purchase directly. The easiest place to buy Ripple at present is through either Coinbase or Coinmama.
You have to buy bitcoins first before you can invest in Ripple, which can be a double whammy given already high fees on some exchanges. The fees are usually around 3 or 4 percent, which is quite a cut. When you have your XRP you can simply exchange them for the currency of your choice.
If you do not wish to sign up to an exchange, you can easily use the services of either Shapeshift or Changelly. Both of these have an easy-to-use interface that is beginner friendly and quick.
You will still need to verify your identification. Exchanges and other online cryptocurrency platforms will all offer a variety of payment methods, the main one being bank transfer and credit card.
PayPal is not offered as frequently as these two due to the higher potential of fraud via chargeback scams. Bank transfer is quicker and cheaper, credit card is faster and incurs significant fees.
After you have bought your bitcoins from Shapeshift or Changelly, you can simply exchange them for your currency of choice in a very user friendly fashion, on the same platform.
A more direct way to purchase Ripple can be achieved through BitStamp. You will need to register and provide documentation on this platform, like all exchanges. After this you need to link an account and deposit funds. You can then purchase a currency pair with the XRP alongside EUR, USD or BTC.
This process is similar to the one on the Kraken exchange. But in order to buy Ripple on Kraken, you will need to buy XBT first, as XRP is not sold directly. After you have bought XBT you can then buy an XRP/XBT currency pair.
Ripple for Europeans
For European customers, BitPanda is a good alternative. This site offers moderate fees for its transactions and also allows the exchange of various currency pairs for the XRP token.
LiteBit.eu is another platform where you can buy Ripple if you are based in Europe, and you can actually buy XRP directly on this site. The process again requires ID verification.
The support for the Litebit exchange can be slow and it has suffered from a breach of data in the past where usernames were stolen, allegedly by an insecure third-party operator.
But for Europeans this is one of the easiest ways to gain access to a variety of cryptocurrencies, though it does come with a price. The fees are minimal, but you do not get near market price for buying and selling cryptocurrencies.
Ripple for the Future
Ripple is a coin with huge potential and could drastically reduce fees of all kinds. But there does remain some fear about the relationship Ripple has with the banks, the way it is set up like a company, and the fact that it seems to put the power in the hands of banks instead of individuals, which is what cryptocurrencies were initially designed to get rid of.
All this aside, it could render huge dividends in the future and it could well see further corporate and governmental backing which may result in a massive price increase. If you are looking to invest in Ripple, all of the major exchanges will let you invest.
But be sure you have a solid investing strategy and hold for longer as opposed to shorter periods. At a 4% minimum markup it simply does not pay to day trade cryptocurrencies unless you have a massive edge.