How To Buy Ripple

Ripple, not spinner

You've most likely heard that Ripple (XRP) had a spike in late 2017 and early 2018, quickly becoming the buzz of the town. Ripple has partnered up with major financial providers such as Western Union, the SAMA, UBS and Santander with the promise of providing a long awaited cross-border payment experience that is low-cost, reliable and immediate. So far, it seems they have delivered.

Although the first 3 months of 2018 have been a bit rough for XRP (at the time of writing the centralized altcoin had a market cap of around $31 billion and was trading for $0.79), it continues to spark interest, having grown 4300 percent in value during 2017.

If you're looking to get some XRP of your own, you might already be aware that these coins are not mined, but owned and periodically released by Ripple Labs. Wondering what's the best way to buy Ripple? Here's a quick guide on how to buy Ripple with US dollars, other cryptocurrencies, and via peer-to-peer networks.

Ripple Labs and money

Note: Of course, you'll need a wallet that can hold XRP first! You can check out a review of different wallets here.

How to buy Ripple with USD

Ripple can be exchanged for US dollars at Bitstamp, Kraken, Bitsane, Gatehub, Cex.io, Bitfinex and Exmo. Don't worry, we'll show you how.

How to buy Ripple with USD on Bitstamp

1. Create an account: go to the registration form and provide your name, email address and country. You'll receive an email containing a user ID and password. Get back to the site and login. Remember to change your password as soon as you do.

Bitstamp’s registration form

2. Now verify the account here. Depending on your situation, choose "personal account verification" or "corporate account verification". You will be asked to submit further personal information, a high quality image of an ID document, and some proof of residence, such as a bank account statement, a utility bill, or a government-issued document. Do not use the same ID document as a proof of residence.

Bitstamp’s account verification form

3. Once your account is verified, you will be able to deposit funds. Go to https://www.bitstamp.net/account/deposit/ and select SEPA or international bank transfer, depending on where you live.

Fill out your banking info and click "Deposit". You should now see Bitstamp’s banking information. In order to deposit funds, just send them a transfer from a bank account held in your name. You'll receive a notification email when the funds are credited to your Bitstamp balance (you can check your balance here). You're all set!

4. To buy XRP on Bitstamp, simply select the correct market (XRP/USD), and complete an order in the main account. Go to https://www.bitstamp.net/market/order/instant/ and select "Buy XRP" at the top of the screen. Type in how much you want to spend in the "I want to spend" window and click the "Buy XRP" button at the bottom of the screen. After the transaction is complete, check that the XRP have been added to your balance.

Bitstamp’s

Bitstamp’s payment methods:

On Bitstamp you can buy Ripple with credit card, debit card and international bank transfer.

Bitstamp’s fees:

  • Сryptocurrency deposits and withdrawals are free. This includes Ripple, Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum and Bitcoin cash.

  • International bank transfer deposits in USD carry a 0.05 percent deposit fee, with a minimum fee of 7.5 USD/EUR and a maximum fee of 300 USD/EUR. Any currency other than USD gets converted to the selected balance currency. The minimum international deposit is 50 USD/EUR.

  • Debit card deposits carry a flat fee of $10 for amounts up to $1000, and a 2 percent charge above this amount.

  • International wire withdrawals carry a 0.09 percent fee with a minimum fee of 15.00 USD/EUR.

  • Debit card withdrawals, same as deposits, carry a flat fee of $10 for amounts up to $1000, and a 2 percent charge above this amount.

  • Credit card purchases of any amount carry a 5 percent fee.

How to buy Ripple with USD on Kraken

1. Go to the registration form to create an account. You get a choice to add a master key and/or your public key as well. Once signed in, you will receive an email with a link to an account activation page (alternatively, just activate the account manually here). Fill in the info and click "activate account".

Kraken’s account activation form

2. Now you have to verify the account. Log in and go to "Account" and then "Get verified". You'll need to get verified for Tier 3 or higher in order to make bank deposits in USD to buy XRP. Keep in mind that you must not go over the deposit limit established for the tier you choose. Once you're done, click the green "Get verified" button at the bottom. You will be asked to provide some ID verifying documents.

3. Once verified, you're ready to make a deposit. Remember not to exceed the limit. Go to "Account", then "Funding" and finally "Deposit". Select the kind of deposit.

If you are depositing USD as a US resident, you'll need to activate domestic wire transfers on your account before making a deposit. For more info on domestic transfers, see this page.

If you're depositing USD as a non-US resident, you should go to Account > Funding > Deposit > USD SMBC (SWIFT). If you're a resident of Germany or Japan, you'll need an ID confirmation photo to deposit USD into your Kraken account. For more info check this page.

4. You're finally ready to buy XRP.

Select XRP/USD from the currency pair drop-down menu in the upper-left corner, in the black bar. Go to "New Order", select "Simple interface" and place a buy order for XRP. Type in the amount of XRP you want to buy and submit.

Kraken exchange

Kraken’s Payment methods:

The exchange only accepts wire transfers, and categorically rejects ACH transfers, bill payments, checks, cash deposits, credit and debit cards, PayPal, and similar forms of payment.

A wire transfer should cost a fee of around $25 - $30, which will be charged by the client’s bank.

Kraken cannot accept deposits from third party payment processors, except in some cases where they provide their clients with personalized IBANs that are in the client's own name.

Kraken fees:

  • Domestic USD deposits are charged a $5 fee.

  • USD SWIFT deposits are charged a $10 fee.

  • Cryptocurrency deposits: Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ripple deposits are all free. Ether just carries a small fee for moving coins into the Kraken wallet.

  • Domestic USD withdrawal (available in 48 US states + DC) are charged a $5 fee.

  • USD SWIFT withdrawals (available in most countries) are charged a $60 fee.

  • Cryptocurrency withdrawals have varying fees: Bitcoin withdrawals are feed ฿0.0005, Ether – Ξ0.005, Ripple Ʀ0.02 and Litecoin – Ł0.001.

How to buy Ripple with USD on Cex.io

1. Head over to this form to create an account. Upon entering email address and a password, you'll be asked to set up 2-factor authentication (2FA) – Cex strongly recommends it. You will also receive a welcome email and a confirmation email with a user ID, which you have 24 hours to confirm.

Cex.io’s security notification

2. Once you've set up 2FA, you'll see a page displaying your account info. Hover over your user ID at the top right corner (close to the green "Deposit" button). From the drop-down menu, select "Verification". Click "Start verification" on the next page. Submit your ID confirmation info as required.

3. Once you've been verified, click the green "Deposit" button. You can choose to deposit via credit/debit card (instant but charges a fee) or bank transfer (takes a few days but has no fees).

4. Check your balance. When your funds have been deposited, you can click “BUY/SELL” on the top menu and choose to buy XRP using USD. Click "Buy".

Cex.io payment methods:

This exchange accepts VISA, MasterCard, bank transfers and Crypto Capital as payment methods.

Cex.io fees:

Cex.io has varying taker-maker transaction fees, depending on the trade volume. You can check them all here.

  • VISA payment carries a 3.5 percent + $0.25 deposit fee $3.80 withdrawal fee.

  • MasterCard carries a 3.5 percent + $0.25 deposit fee and a 1.2 percent + $3.80 withdrawal fee.

  • Crypto Capital only has a 3 percent withdrawal fee.

  • Bank transfers are free of charge.

Cryptocurrencies in a cup of tea

How to buy Ripple with Bitcoin, Ethereum and other altcoins

There’s also the option of buying XRP with other cryptocurrencies. There’s some main guidelines that apply in any case:

1. We may be stating the obvious here, but first you must have a wallet that can hold the cryptocurrency that you want to buy the XRP with. If you don’t have enough of that currency, you’ll need to buy some more. You can do this easily at Coinbase or any other exchange that sells Bitcoin, Ethereum, or other cryptocurrencies. You can send the cryptocurrency from Coinbase (or another) over to the wallet address where you’ll be storing the currency.

2. Besides the exchanges mentioned in the previous sections, Bittrex, Poloniex, Binance Shapeshift and Changelly will all allow you to exchange XRP (though not for USD).

Following the same register-and-verification steps as described above, create an account for one of these exchanges, and deposit your cryptocurrency of choice, having checked first that the exchange chosen trades the cryptocurrency chosen for XRP – see the list below.

3. Once you have an account in an exchange holding some cryptocurrency, go ahead and buy XRP with it.

4. You can later withdraw the XRP into a safe wallet. Remember that cold wallets are always preferable in terms of safety.

Note: remember that Coinbase does not trade XRP.

Cryptocurrency lab

Fees and payment methods

Bittrex simply charges a 0.25 percent commission for all trades. There’s no chance of depositing or withdrawing fiat currencies; these are only possible through cryptocurrencies channeled through Bittrex’s online wallets.

Poloniex uses a volume-tiered, maker-taker fee schedule, which you can check here.

Binance has no fees for deposits, but does not allow them in fiat currencies (only cryptocurrencies). Their withdrawal fees depend on the coin (Bitcoin charges 0.01 while Ethereum and Litecoin charge 0.1).

Some exchanges that trade XRP/BTC

  • Binance

  • Poloniex

  • OKEx

  • Huobi

  • Bittrex

  • Bitfinex

  • Upbit

  • Kraken

  • CoinEgg

  • HitBTC

  • Bitstamp

  • Exmo

  • Cex.io

Some exchanges that trade XRP/ETH

  • Binance

  • OKEx

  • Bittrex

  • Upbit

  • Gatehub

  • HitBTC

  • Mr Exchange

Some exchanges that trade XRP/LTC

  • Bitsane

  • Mr. Exchange

H2: Comparison of fees and payment methods

Exchanges

 

Payment methods

Bitstamp

Kraken

Cex.io

Cointal

Bittrex

Binance

Credit card

5 percent fee

Does not accept

Visa and Mastercard 3.5 percent + $0.25 fee.

Free of charge.

No depositing or withdrawing fiat currencies.

No depositing or withdrawing fiat currencies.

Debit card deposit

Flat fee $10 for amounts up to $1000;  2 percent fee above this amount.

Does not accept

Visa and Mastercard 3.5 percent + $0.25 fee

Free of charge.

No depositing or withdrawing fiat currencies.

No depositing or withdrawing fiat currencies.

Debit card withdrawal

Flat fee $10 for amounts up to $1000;  2 percent fee above this amount.

Does not accept

Visa $3.80 fee.

Mastercard 1.2 percent + $3.80 fee.

1 percent fee.

No depositing or withdrawing fiat currencies.

No depositing or withdrawing fiat currencies.

Wire transfer deposit (USD)

0.05 percent fee

(min fee 7.5 USD/EUR,max fee 300 USD/EUR)

Domestic deposits $5 fee. SWIFT deposits $10 fee. Does not accept ACH.

Free of charge

Free of charge.

No depositing or withdrawing fiat currencies.

No depositing or withdrawing fiat currencies.

Wire transfer withdrawal (USD)

0.09 percent fee (min fee 15.00 USD/EUR)

Domestic  $5 fee. SWIFT withdrawals $60 fee. Does not accept ACH.

No info

1 percent fee.

No depositing or withdrawing fiat currencies.

No depositing or withdrawing fiat currencies.

Bitcoin deposit and withdrawal

Free of charge.

Deposit free of charge. Withdrawals ฿0.0005 fee.

Does not accept

Deposits and purchases free of charge. Withdrawals and selling 1 percent fee.

Free of charge

Deposit free of charge. Withdrawals ฿0.01 fee.

Ripple deposit and withdrawal

Free of charge.

Deposit free of charge. Withdrawal Ʀ0.02 fee.

Does not accept

Deposits and purchases free of charge. Withdrawals and selling 1 percent fee.

.

Free of charge

Deposits free of charge. Withdrawals no info.

Ether deposit and withdrawal

Free of charge

Deposit carries “a small fee”. Withdrawal Ξ0.005 fee.

Does not accept

Deposits and purchases free of charge. Withdrawals and selling 1 percent fee.

Free of charge

Deposit free of charge. Withdrawals Ξ0.1 fee.

Litecoin deposit and withdrawal

Free of charge

Deposit free of charge. Withdrawal Ł0.001 fee.

Does not accept

Deposits and purchases free of charge. Withdrawals and selling 1 percent fee.

Free of charge

Deposit free of charge. Withdrawals Ł0.1 fee.

How to buy Ripple peer-to-peer

If you’re not convinced that the centralized exchanges mentioned above are the best way to buy Ripple (perhaps you’d like to reserve some anonymity, or be completely in control of your own money at all times), you might want to consider buying peer-to-peer (P2P).

P2P exchanges are run exclusively by software that automatically connects buyers and sellers, with no human intervention (for more information - see our article). There are definitely less options to buy Ripple in direct trade than there are for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Not to worry, there’s at least one trusted option: Cointal, a P2P cryptocurrency marketplace.

Go to this register form to create an account or just browse offers (these two options are offered at the very bottom of the page; the latter is less prominent so keep your eyes peeled).

You’ll be shown a page where you can choose to sell or buy, and the currency you want. Select "Buy", and check the box for the Ripple icon.

You can also refine the search by entering and amount, a currency you’re paying with, and a payment method. A list of open offers will be displayed below.

Cointal’s “Buy coin” offer form

Cointal fees:

Cointal automatically detracts a small transaction fee from your wallet. Deposits and purchases are free of charge. Withdrawals and selling both take a 1 percent fee.

Safety recommendations for trading P2P

P2P exchanges do not store money for you; they just connect you with a peer to buy or sell. In this respect, they are safer than regular exchanges in as much as they will not “lose” your money, nor charge you exorbitant fees.

However, a downside to this lack of third-party regulation is that, if you do get scammed by a peer, nobody will be there to intercede for you.

To avoid fraud, some P2P exchanges have an obligatory deposit system in place, in which both parties must deposit an amount of currency before the trade, which is returned if the trade goes smoothly, and is used to indemnify the victim and pay an arbitrator in case of a dispute. Other exchanges have their users meet in person to close deals.

People with Ripple wallets

Cointal offers two main fronts against fraud; they offer a refund to scam victims, and they have a community-based trust rating system. Every time a user successfully engages in business with another user, they can rate them as a “trusted seller”. When trading in Cointal, you should always check, next to each seller’s user name, to the far left, for a “trusted seller” tag. Remember to do your part and rate people as well!

Cointal also recommends users not to give other users any personal information. The site does not require verification, nor any info such as email address or phone number. If a trader asks you to provide this info, you should decline and immediately inform the Cointal support team.

Why are there so few direct ways to buy Ripple (XRP)?

There’s only a handful of exchanges that are selling XRP directly at the moment. Although 2017 was a great year for Ripple – remember the 4300 percent gain in value – it is still very small in comparison to Bitcoin, Ether, and other altcoins. Most importantly, it is not targeting the same market.

Ripple is first and foremost a platform that offers a speedy and inexpensive settlement system to major financial service companies. In this sense, it is a protocol that serves and enhances the existing global financial system, it does not seek to help people become independent from it.

Though their system is in part based on their native currency (the XRP), they do not intend to be an open-source, decentralized, blockchain cryptocurrency, and because of this it is uncertain whether the currency will reach the level of popularity that Bitcoin and others have. Until it does, the exchanges willing to offer it directly might be fewer.

So, is it worth it to invest in Ripple?

As mentioned above, Ripple is primarily focused on lending its service to the traditional global financial system. It is perhaps wise to remind you, once more, that the currency XRP was not designed to be a store of value, but an accounting tool for RippleNet, so nobody can be sure that the XRP will ever pick up speed for itself. The fact that they have already signed with many major players (Santander, MoneyGram, American Express, SAMA, Western Union, Deloitte, UBS, SBI Holdings, etc.), however, is an encouraging sign.

An interview with Ripple

Though it was rumored that Coinbase would be adding Ripple to the list of cryptocurrencies it trades, the exchange dismissed the rumor earlier this month.

Like with any cryptocurrency, deciding to invest in Ripple is a gamble. It might be a good choice to invest cautiously in Ripple; keep an eye on it in case one or more of the company’s clients should make the currency one of their official payment methods. If that were to happen, XRP would be back on the vertiginous rise it enjoyed in 2017.