What Is Ripple?

Ripple, or XRP, is both a cryptocurrency and a platform. Technically, Ripple is the name of the company and network, and XRP is the cryptocurrency. The Ripple platform is an open-source protocol designed to allow fast and cheap digital transactions.

Key Takeaways:

  • Ripple, or XRP, is both a cryptocurrency and a platform.
  • The company and network platform are typically referred to as Ripple, and XRP is considered the cryptocurrency.
  • The Ripple platform allows fast and cheap digital transactions.
  • XRP can be purchased on various exchanges such as Bitstamp, Kraken, and GateHub.

Understanding Ripple

Ripple has made a name for itself, and some financial institutions and analysts predict a strong future for this network. The network is expected to increase the global liquidity of money by allowing transfers around the world to take place at record speeds and for low fees.

XRP hit it's all-time daily high on Jan. 4, 2018, when the value of one XRP reached $3.84. However, a downward trend ensued after the peak, and by Sept. 2018, XRP lost more than 93% of its value from its January 2018 high, hitting a new low of $0.26 on September 11, 2018. Although there appeared to be periods of optimism, the downward price trend persisted through 2018 and 2019, and the continued poor performance resulted in XRP reaching it's all-time daily low of $0.12 on March 13, 2020.

In Nov. 2020, XRP experienced an upswing in price — its daily high peaking at $0.77 on November 24, 2020. Since Nov. 2020, the price of XRP has shakily trended upward, reaching a daily high of $1.96 on April 14, 2021. The notable and widespread May 2021 price fluctuations in the crypto market that apply to the majority of exchange-traded digital assets are currently reflected in XRP's price. As of May 20, 2021, the adjusted close of XRP was $1.18.

How does an investor buy Ripple? Like other cryptocurrencies, Ripple is available on several different exchanges. According to the Ripple website, XRP, Ripple's cryptocurrency token, can be purchased through various exchanges.

Special Considerations

How does an investor buy XRP tokens? Right now, that's not an easy question to answer for US investors. According to the XRP Token FAQ, XRP trades on over 100 global markets and digital asset exchanges. However, Ripple Labs, Inc. is embroiled in a lawsuit filed by the the Securities and Exchange Commission. The SEC filed a lawsuit against Ripple in Dec. 2020, alleging that its sale of XRP was an unregistered securities offering worth over $1.38 billion USD. As a result, XRP has been de-listed from many exchanges.

Buying XRP has grown increasingly more difficult, if not impossible in the United States, as many exchanges have suspended trading for the time being. For some exchanges, this means de-listing in US markets only and/or in countries in which they operate, or choosing to de-list globally. The following are examples of well-known exchanges that have currently de-listed XRP pending the results of the lawsuit:

  • Coinbase
  • Crypto.com
  • BinanceUS
  • BitStamp
  • Kraken
  • eToro
  • Abra
  • B2C2
  • Crosstower
  • Bittrex
  • Eobot
  • Beaxy
  • OSL
  • OkCoin
  • Stex
  • Ziglu
  • Wirex
  • Beaxy
  • Bitwise

Phemex Crypto Exchange, who had previously de-listed XRP, has reconsidered its position and has brought XRP back to it's trading platform for spot (XRP/USDT) and contract (XRP/USD) trading.

As of May 21, 2021, it is unclear when the legal action may be resolved and what the implications of the ongoing courtroom rulings and motions might be as it plays out in coming weeks and months. While you may not be able to invest in XRP at the moment, the outcome of this case has historic potential to decide not only the future of Ripple Labs, Inc. and XRP trading, but also set the tone for the regulatory future of cryptocurrencies.