These 5 easiest ways to buy Ripple should be very useful if you are looking to invest in the popular cryptocurrency. Whether or not you subscribe to the idea that the recent boom in cryptocurrencies is a bubble and their value should drop eventually, you can’t overlook the fact that cryptocurrencies are not going away any time soon. At the moment Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies (see what are the cryptocurrencies you should know) are treated more as assets rather than currency, which is a bit of a stretch, given that they were developed as currencies, i.e. they should act as a medium of exchange. However, because of their high volatility and difficulties related to processing, many cryptocurrencies represent speculative assets, even though a lot of people believe that the high increase in their prices reaffirms their strength as alternatives to fiat currencies.
The importance of cryptocurrencies spreads way beyond their monetary role. At the moment, they have value, can be exchanged into fiat money and there are hundreds of online and physical stores that accept them as mean of payment. Moreover, many people buy and sell cryptocurrencies with the sole purpose of generating returns from their price fluctuations. However, their popularity might dwindle overtime and people will think of them as of something of the past or use them as a comparison when the next bubble appears. Nevertheless, while cryptocurrencies might become less mainstream, they will still be widely used within ecosystems based on blockchain technology that ascended together with cryptocurrencies. Blockchain technology is the real winner of the cryptocurrency boom, with many large companies assessing its potential and analysts predicting that it will disrupt many industries from logistics to fintech to real estate.
Currently there are nearly 1,500 cryptocurrencies that have a combined market cap of over $537 billion, but not all cryptocurrencies are the same. There are cryptocurrencies that were developed solely to act as a replacement of money, such as Bitcoin, Bitcoin Gold, Litecoin, etc, although comparing them with fiat cryptocurrencies is not totally accurate. Think of these cryptocurrencies more as gold. They have scarcity and utility and can be used as a way to store value, but they are not backed by anything or anyone, in comparison with fiat money that enjoy the support of the government. In addition to these cryptocurrencies, which are usually called coins, there also are tokens. Tokens represent an asset or utility that is usually built on top of another blockchain.
Because tokens are generated using a template on an existing platform, they are easier to create and they are issued in connection with a project that a company builds using blockchain technology. The company launches an Initial Coin Offering and sells these tokens in exchange for another cryptocurrency and uses the money to develop the project. Once the project is complete, the tokens can be used within its ecosystem. In addition, tokens are floated on cryptocurrency exchanges, where the powers of supply and demand determine their price, usually influenced by the usefulness of the platform that tokens are used on.
The advantage of tokens versus coins is that the platform for which they are released can be analyzed and its usefulness and demand can be determined, which in turn can help assess the real value and make investment decisions based on that. Currently there are several platforms that generate a lot of talk and are most likely to remain standing once the cryptocurrency buzz winds down. Two of these platforms are Ethereum and Ripple, which have their own tokens, Ether and XRP, both of which are currently the second and third largest, respectively, behind Bitcoin. Ethereum is a platform that allows running complex apps, which is why most new blockchain-based projects are build on it. Ethereum has also captured the attention of big corporations, including JPMorgan Chase & Co., Inc. (NYSE:JPM), Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC), which last year created the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance, a non-profit organization that contains around 200 firms, organizations and researchers.
Ripple is another platform that has captured the attention of big businesses, particularly banks. Ripple represents a real-time gross settlement system. It was released in 2012 and it offers infrastructure for interbank transactions. Using blockchain technology, Ripple allows sending money between countries and banks easier and much faster than traditional methods. In 2016, seven big banks, including Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (USA) (NYSE:CM), UBS Group AG (USA) (NYSE:UBS), Banco Santander, S.A. (ADR) (NYSE:SAN), and UniCredit, partnered with Ripple to test its blockchain technology for interbank transactions. In November, American Express Company (NYSE:AXP) and UK office of Banco Santander, S.A. (ADR) (NYSE:SAN) teamed up with Ripple to develop a real-world payment system to improve cross-border payments between the US and the UK. Earlier this month, Moneygram International Inc (NASDAQ:MGI) and Ripple entered into a partnership that would allow Moneygram International Inc (NASDAQ:MGI) to pilot Ripple’s XRapid service, designed to provide liquidity to financial institutions and just this week, Telecom provider IDT and international payments service group Mercury also joined the service.
Over the last year, Ripple’s XRP token saw its value surge by over 6,000%, although since the beginning of the year, its value has halved. Nevertheless, if more banks move to use Ripple for their cross-boarder and interbank transfers, XRP is a cryptocurrency with a lot of potential. This is why, XRP is a cryptocurrency that is worth investing in, but buying it can be a bit tricky because there is no direct way to buy it with a credit card or a bank account in the US and only a handful of exchanges carry it in pairs with other cryptocurrencies or fiat money. With this in mind, here are five easiest ways to buy Ripple.