A guide to Ripple – cryptocurrency
Ripple has recently been getting quite popular in the media and the cryptocurrency space. Ripple is a cryptocurrency, which means digital currency. It is however, quite different from other cryptocurrencies in various ways. It is more like a protocol, rather than a currency. It allows financial institutions like banks, to transfer money between different countries in a matter of a few minutes. Not only does it allow the transfer of funds between branches of a bank, but also within different banks. This helps to reduce the time it takes in the standard money transferring process.
Consequently, it opens up new opportunities for the banking sector as well as for the entire financial industry. For this protocol, the cryptocurrency is known as XRP. The fees and the processing charges of this cryptocurrency are also very low. It is quite different from how Bitcoin works. Bitcoin is only a cryptocurrency which is based on the technology known as blockchain. Ripple, on the other hand, is more of a protocol also based on the blockchain technology and its cryptocurrency is known as XRP.
Ripple is a privately owned company, and their main aim is to enable a global network of banks and financial institutions, and they call this worldwide network which is using this software the ‘Internet of Value.’
It was founded in 2012 and as such, it is one of the oldest cryptocurrency-based technology company. It was released by Ripple Labs Inc by Chris Larson and Jed McCaleb.
Banks have already taken a liking to Ripple, and even payment providers are coming on board due to the future prospects of Ripple cryptocurrency. It can be used person to person as well as for an enterprise as the primary purpose of Ripple is to move money around the world as rapidly as possible.
How to buy Ripple
Many people are now considering buying cryptocurrencies since they are touching all-time high values. There are many other useful aspects of these digital currencies as well. The Ripple currency, known as the XRP, is not mined like the rest of the cryptocurrencies but it is owned and released periodically by the Ripple Labs. Mentioned below is a quick guide for a first-time user to buy Ripple with US Dollars and with other cryptocurrencies, as well as through peer-to-peer networks.
Where to buy Ripple
In order to buy Ripple, you would, of course, need a Ripple wallet first, where it can be stored. Then you need to know which cryptocurrency exchange the XRP can be bought from. You can buy Ripple from Kraken, Bitstamp, Bitsane, Cex.io, Gatehub, Exmo and Bitfinex.
How to buy Ripple peer-to-peer
If you do not want to buy the cryptocurrency through currency exchanges, then you have the option of buying it through peer to peer (P2P). Most of the P2P exchanges are run by software which connects the buyers and sellers automatically without any human intervention. There are of course not many options to buy XRP in direct trade even though there are many options to buy Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. The P2P exchanges, however, do not store the money for the user. Instead, they merely connect one user to a peer to buy or sell. In this way, they are quite safer as compared to the regular cryptocurrency exchanges as you will not ‘lose’ your money, and neither will they charge additional fees. However, if you do get scammed by a peer, there would not be anyone to intercede for you. There are however a few rules in place in the P2P exchanges, to avoid fraud.
Why are there so few direct ways to buy Ripple (XRP)?
There are only a few exchanges which are selling XRP to USD directly or Ripple to USD. Ripple is still quite small in comparison to other cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin or Ethereum and neither does it target the same market. It is merely a platform that offers an inexpensive and speedy system of settlement to significant financial service companies. It is like a protocol which enhances the global financial system and does not aim to make people independent from it. Ripple XRP is not an open source and decentralized blockchain cryptocurrency, and as such, most people are not sure whether it will reach the level of popularity as Bitcoin and other altcoins. As such, those exchanges which are willing to offer Ripple XRP for sale are quite a few. So users can change XRP to USD and also make Ripple to USD exchanges, but the options are limited.
When you do buy Ripple XRP, you may wonder where you would store them. In that case, you would need to get a Ripple wallet or an XRP wallet. Even though the Bitcoin wallets are free, the XRP wallets are not. A user is required to have at least 20 XRP for booking their wallet address. This is why it is essential to have the right wallet and not spend 20 XRP on multiple Ripple wallets. There are plenty of options to choose from when getting a Ripple wallet for yourself. Many cryptocurrency exchanges do offer to let the user store their currency on the exchange itself, but it is not recommended as your coins would be the property of the exchange.
Software XRP Wallets
Currently, the most common way of storing cryptocurrency is by using a software wallet. The software wallets are available in different shapes and forms. There are online wallets, which can be accessed from almost any device. These are not very safe as it stores your private keys online and it can be subject to a cyber-attack. There are also many applications available for mobile devices, and computers which are running on different operating systems, browser extensions and more. For the safety of the cryptocurrency, it is advisable to use software wallets which only store your private key offline and on the particular device which you are using currently.
Mobile XRP Wallets
Mobile wallets are apps which can be used on smart phones. There are of course a large variety of such apps to choose from, and one must be very careful due to security reasons. As such, only those apps are recommended which store your private key exclusively on the device on which your app is installed on. The app should not be storing your private key on some server online. This also means it is better to avoid using the mobile wallet apps which are associated with exchanges.
Desktop / Web Wallets
The desktop wallets are apps which can be downloaded on your desktop computer. Many companies have both desktops as well as mobile versions of their wallets where you have the option to sync both. Online wallets are sometimes referred to as web wallets as well, and these are websites. It also includes the wallet services which are offered by exchanges, and they are not a very secure form of storing your cryptocurrencies. If you do decide to use this form of wallet for storing your XRP Ripple, then you must know that your private key will be stored on the company’s server. This means that you are not in control of your wallet or your Ripple XRP currency.
Some of the best wallets for storing Ripple XRP
This can be used on the operating system like Mac, Linux, and Windows. The operational costs include 0.3% of your Ripple/brl or 0.2% in case it is Ripple/BTC or 0.2% of Ripple/LTC.
This is yet another Ripple wallet which can be used on any web browser. The operational cost is 0.025 XRP per transaction.
This is another Ripple wallet which can be used on any web browser. The operational cost is 0.5% flat.
This XRP wallet for your Ripple currency can be used from any web browser from a laptop, desktop or mobile device. The operational cost of using this XRP wallet is 0.10000000 XRP for sending money.
Hardware XRP Wallets
The hardware Ripple wallets are compact and tamper proof USB devices which are specially made to store the cryptocurrency online. They are able to generate the private keys as well as digital signatures offline and on the device itself, which makes them immune to hacking. Many versions of the hardware wallets have security grid cards, and the modern ones have a screen where you can double check and sign for your transactions as well. There is also added security known as the recovery phase, where you can restore your XRP currency even if the wallet gets lost, stolen or damaged. The best hardware wallet for Ripple XRP is Ledger Nano S, and it can be used on any operating system as well as on chrome/chromium 50+ browsers. The price of this hardware XRP wallet is 79 Euros.
When it comes to storing funds safely, paper wallets are also a good choice. Even though they are less significant due to technological advancement. These wallets are generally a piece of paper with the wallet’s private and public keys which are printed out on them. The keys are usually generated offline, so hackers would not be aware of its existence. There is, however, one major disadvantage to paper wallets. They can be easily lost, damaged or misplaced by water, fire and so on. There are some steps through which you can ensure the safety of the keys. You can order a wallet with a tamper proof seal, laminate it and bury it in your garden or even put it in your safe deposit box.
The future of Ripple XRP and price prediction
The future of Ripple XRP like many other popular cryptocurrencies is a hotly debated topic. Many investors and potential investors are interested to know the Ripple price prediction and which direction it would go. One of the factors which makes this cryptocurrency secure is that it has a large community and substantial user base. Moreover, the Ripple team has proven their capability many times, and they continue to do so. Ripple may open the market rate at about $0.78, and it can reach $1.10 till the middle of 2019. Over the next year, it may have different trading platforms and investment routes such as Ethereum and Bitcoin and closing the rate to $1.20 by the end of the year. Other cryptocurrencies like Litecoin and Dash may expect fierce competition from Ripple XRP. Moreover, Ripple plans to distribute about 2 million tokens to the Indian economy in 2019.
Ripple XRP News
Ripple is mostly known for its RippleNet technology which facilitates the bank to bank and cross border payments. In the year 2019, it is expected to stretch out further to more countries and will aim at doubling the market inflows, as compared to the $2 million in 2018.
More recently, they have also announced plans about convergence into one stack. It is expected to be implemented in 2019 with institutional funds to flow in for the XRP, and its growth is expected. This will surely make Ripple stand out within the different cryptocurrencies. If such advancements do take place, then XRP price prediction is expected to be $1.20 by the end of the year 2019, and that is also a conservative figure. It may even reach $2.
Ripple XRP and SEC Regulation
There is however one uncertainty that can affect Ripple reaching $1 before 2020. It is the overarching SEC regulation. The SEC is still uncertain whether the Ripple XRP is a security or not and they have yet not provided any solid opinions. If the XRP is ruled out as a security, then this will have an adverse effect on the price. It can make the service inefficient due to an increase in the compliance and because of tax burdens which this regulation will provide.
The CEO of Ripple labs have mentioned time, and again that XRP is not a security. He claimed that if the Ripple labs even shut down, Ripple XRP will still be in circulation and will always be used without any hassles. This means that the future of XRP Ripple currency is not tied to the Ripple labs and as such, should not be considered as security.
So far, the Ripple has been quite stable, and they have had more than 35 million transactions processed without any problems. It is able to handle 1500 transactions per second, as compared to Bitcoin which can handle 3-5 tps and Ethereum which can handle 15 tps. Overall, Ripple cryptocurrency is well positioned as a dominant player in the industry which is expected to grow in the upcoming years and give tough competition to other cryptocurrencies.