Pros and Cons of Ripple
As we’ve discussed, the biggest strength of Ripple is its affiliation with major banks. However, there are some other pros and cons you need to consider before you invest:
XRP is extremely cheap compared to Bitcoin and altcoins.
Ripple is proven in a commercial/financial environment. Tests involving xCurrent and xRapid have already been successful, showing that Ripple can be effective in a real-world setting.
Ripple is improving. To ensure it has the capacity to process the same number of transactions as Visa et al, developers are constantly upgrading Ripple. At present, it can handle 1,500 transactions per second, but this will improve, making it a major rival for more established systems.
Some people argue that XRP isn’t a fully decentralised crypto because Ripple owns a majority share of the tokens, and that gives it a certain degree of control.
Ripple already has a high market cap which could make growth harder (i.e. it’s tough to see huge gains when you’re already a big company). Therefore, it may take a major innovation to see a real price surge.
Cryptocurrencies Similar to XRP
One of the closest cryptocurrencies to XRP in terms of technology is Stellar Lumens (XLM)
. Like Ripple, Stellar allows two parties to exchange one currency for another. Basically, XLM is used to pay transactions fees on the Stellar network.
Through this mechanism, a bank can send money to a bank in another country and use XLM to cover the fees. By doing this, the original currency is essentially converted into XLM. To put it another way, XLM acts as an intermediary that carries currencies from one bank to another.
Although Stellar performs a similar job to Ripple, it can’t quite match it in terms of speed. What’s more, it doesn’t have as many high profile partners, meaning that it’s not as visible in a commercial setting.
The Best Places to Buy Ripple: XRP Brokers and Exchanges
Being among the top three digital coins means that XRP is fairly easy to buy. In fact, you can invest in XRP tokens in a variety of ways, including crypto-to-crypto, fiat-to-crypto and via contracts for difference (CFDs). Three of the best places to buy Ripple
- Bitstamp Exchange – Bitstamp is a multicurrency exchange that gives you the ability to trade BTC for XRP and vice versa.
- Kraken Exchange – One of the largest crypto exchanges, this platform allows you to invest in XRP using fiats such as USD and EUR.
- eToro Exchange – This is an online brokerage that allows you to trade XRP using CFDs.
XRP Price Overview
The price of Ripple
has remained fairly consistent in recent times. During the crypto boom of 2017, it followed the trend and hit highs of $3+. However, if we exclude that period of time where all valuations were spiralling out of control, XRP has remained relatively stable at >$1 per coin. At the start of 2019, XRP price charts had the coin floating around the $0.30 mark.
At that level, there’s plenty of potential for growth. Even if we exclude the fact all cryptos boomed in 2017, Ripple has already been 10x higher than was at the start of 2019. As more banks utilise this technology, there’s no reason it can’t reach those highs again.
XRP Mining: How Do You Get Ripple?
Unlike other cryptos, you can’t mine XRP. Each token is created by the institutions connected to the network. These tokens are then used for each specific transaction, meaning they can only be used once. Because of that, mining Ripple on an individual basis isn’t possible. Fortunately, you can buy Ripple. Because a certain number of coins have been distributed, they’re now available on exchanges.
XRP Wallets: How to Store Your Coins
Storing XRP tokens in an exchange is the easiest way to access your coins. If you’re looking for a safer option, there are plenty of XRP wallets you can use. One thing that’s important to note, however, is that all Ripple wallets require a holding balance of 20 XRP.
For a hot solution (i.e. one that’s based online), software and mobile crypto wallets
such as Toast are great. For a desktop solution, Rippex and Cryptonator give you safe, cost-effective storage space. Finally, for the most secure solution, an offline (cold) wallet such as the Ledger Nano S is perfect.
Ripple vs Bitcoin
If you’re trying to decide whether to invest in Ripple or Bitcoin, there are a few things to consider. In terms of longevity, reputation and overall value, Bitcoin is clearly out in front. However, the same would be true if we compared BTC to any other altcoin. But in a world where perception matters, these credentials are still important.
With casual investors driving the market, coins that are given the most media coverage often do the best. If you read our Bitcoin handbook
, you'll see that BTC certainly fits into this category because it’s the original crypto and, for some, it’s still the best. However, it’s fair to say that Ripple has also received its share of media coverage over the last few years.
As we’ve said countless times in this guide, the company has forged relationships with major banks such as Santander. This has helped its reputation and, in turn, improved its value. Beyond that, Ripple can process many more transactions per second than Bitcoin. With scalability being an issue for all cryptos, this fact alone should satisfy the tech-heads out there.
Of course, you can invest in both coins. But if you have to choose just one, there’s certainly a ton of potential in Ripple.