Ripple is a digital payment platform that uses blockchain technology and a native cryptocurrency to facilitate faster and cheaper global transactions. XRP is the native token for the Ripple ledger and is used to enhance currency conversion and international financial transfers.
You can buy XRP with fiat currency through a cryptocurrency broker or exchange, such as Kraken or eToro. It is also sold at some cryptocurrency ATMs. Learn how to buy XRP, how it works, and how you can invest in this cryptocurrency and its technology.
- XRP is the native token for the XRP ledger and the Ripple payment platform.
- The Ripple payment platform enables fast and cheap cross-border transactions.
- You can purchase XRP on several exchanges such as eToro, Kraken, and Huobi Global.
- Several U.S. exchanges have delisted or temporarily halted XRP trading.
What Is Ripple (XRP)?
XRP is a utility token native to the XRP ledger. When the ledger was developed in 2012, the developers placed a cap of 100 billion XRP on the token and gave 80 billion of them to a company now known as Ripple, which used them to develop a fast and global payment system. The company then locked 55 billion XRP in escrow accounts to ensure XRP's supply remained stable.
Ripple's XRP Ledger platform additionally acts as a decentralized exchange that enables XRP trading directly with peers. However, XRP is primarily meant to serve as a settlement layer—the payment method—for international banking transactions, but it is treated also as a cryptocurrency by the community. XRP functions as a sort of informal money transfer network based on blockchain technology.
Ripple states that its XRP Ledger platform can settle transactions in three to five seconds.
The XRP consensus algorithm relies on trusted sub-networks—networks that are part of a larger validator node spread across geographies—to reach a consensus on transactions. Each node in a Ripple network trusts selected nodes that comprise its Unique Node List (UNL). This design aims to produce a consensus mechanism that a limited group of bank-owned servers can operate to confirm XRP transactions.
How to Invest in Ripple (XRP)
While XRP wasn't originally designed to be a security, derivative, or currency, it is possible to use it as an investment because it is traded on several exchanges. One of the current cryptocurrency strategies investors use is buying and holding it as a long-term investment while waiting for it to increase in value.
You can also use it as a short-term investment or for day-trading, where you'd buy and sell it the way traders buy and sell stocks quickly to take advantage of small price changes throughout a day. Cryptocurrency exchanges are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so if you prefer to trade this way, you can do it at any time.
If you're interested in buying or trading XRP, you can find it on various exchanges.
How to Buy XRP
You can buy XRP with fiat currency or other cryptocurrencies if the exchange supports it.
Most exchanges that list XRP are not allowed to operate in the United States. The cryptocurrency exchanges that are allowed in the U.S. do not list XRP in response to an ongoing investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Here are some of the exchanges that allow XRP to be bought or traded:
- Huobi Global
Controversy Surrounding XRP
Ripple Labs and XRP have proven to be controversial in that the SEC believes the coin was launched as a security. XRP is being investigated by the SEC for potentially being marketed as unregistered securities.
The SEC filed its case against Ripple in December 2020, asserting that the distribution of $1.3 billion worth of XRP to stakeholders violated securities laws. While the legal proceedings of the case are ongoing, many cryptocurrency exchanges have responded by restricting or withdrawing support for XRP.
The outcome of the Ripple case is being closely watched by the investing and cryptocurrency communities. Whatever the final SEC ruling, it is expected to have a historical impact, not only for Ripple Labs but for blockchain technology, tokens of all kinds, and cryptocurrencies broadly—because a ruling in the SEC's favor will set the stage for future regulatory developments.
What Is XRP?
XRP is the cryptocurrency native to Ripple’s open-source blockchain platform.
How Is XRP Used?
XRP is used as a settlement layer for financial institutions to make cross-border transactions faster and less expensive.
Is XRP a Good Cryptocurrency?
XRP is designed as a utility token for use within the Ripple blockchain and payment platform. It isn't intended to be used as a cryptocurrency, but the investing and cryptocurrency communities are using it for trading, holding, and exchanging. However, it's not as popular as Bitcoin (BTC) or Ethereum (ETH) in this regard.
Investing in cryptocurrencies and other Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) is highly risky and speculative, and this article is not a recommendation by Investopedia or the writer to invest in cryptocurrencies or other ICOs. Because each individual's situation is unique, a qualified professional should always be consulted before making any financial decisions. Investopedia makes no representations or warranties as to the accuracy or timeliness of the information contained herein. As of the date this article was written, the author does not own XRP.