How to buy Ripple (XRP) with Luno
Over the past few weeks, the price of Ripple (or XRP, the cryptocurrency behind the Ripple network) has surged dramatically and there has been a lot of interest from investors. We're receiving a number of questions from our customers about how it works and how to buy it.
Note that we currently only support Bitcoin, but this article will outline what Ripple is and how to use Bitcoin to buy it.
On cross-border payments
Cross-border payments with traditional banks are complex, slow and expensive. Multiple parties, often adding their own fees and working on proprietary legacy systems, are required to reconcile simple transactions between just two people. This results in these payments taking as much as three to five days (or sometimes even longer) to complete, with high fees levied in the process.
It is often faster, albeit not cheaper, to take physical cash, get on an airplane and give it to the recipient, than for the transaction to be done between banks.
What is Ripple?
For sake of clarity, “Ripple” can mean one of three things: a company, currency or protocol. Ripple is a privately funded company and the creator of the Ripple Transactions Protocol (or the Ripple network) and the currency that underpins it all: Ripple (or XRP).
They aim to provide "secure, instant and nearly free global financial transactions of any size with no chargebacks". They state that it only takes a few seconds to complete transactions between two parties and the network can handle up to 1000 transactions per second.
While this might sound somewhat similar to Bitcoin, there are major differences between the two, the main one being that Bitcoin is a decentralised currency — a store of value and a means of payment— whereas Ripple focuses on a single use case: sending money as fast as information.
Ripple is subject to some suspicion (and good rebuttals), mainly due to the fact that it is a deflationary currency — a little bit of Ripple gets shed with each transaction—, that it is centralised and that it is a business focused on banks and businesses, not consumers.
Despite the criticism, Ripple (XRP) has shot up in market value and is currently the currency with the third highest market capitalisation, behind Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH). It is also objectively a faster payment mechanism than Bitcoin, where the network has become very congested and more expensive in recent months.
In a nutshell: the system (usually) operates where the sender’s currency (say USD) gets converted into Ripple (XRP), the XRP get transferred in seconds and then sold for the target currency (say EUR).
This means that the Ripple company focuses on banking and cryptocurrency exchange relationships, to allow the sender and receiver to seamlessly transact without even knowing what “protocol” their money is sent with.
How to buy XRP with BTC
Below is a simple step-by-step guide on how you could purchase Ripple from the Luno-supported countries.
1. STEP ONE: GET A LUNO ACCOUNT
Get your free Luno account. You will be asked for some identity information, which we’ll verify.
2. STEP TWO: DEPOSIT MONEY INTO YOUR LUNO WALLET AND BUY SOME BITCOIN
Log into your Luno account and navigate to Accounts. Click on your local currency account and click on ‘fund account’. After you’ve added money to your Luno wallet, you’ll be able to buy some Bitcoin with it.
3. STEP THREE: FIND A BITCOIN-TO-XRP EXCHANGE
You can buy a lot of things with Bitcoin, including other digital currencies.
CoinMarketCap has an extensive list of exchanges that allow you to buy and sell XRP. Look for the XRP/BTC currency pair; they’re ranked by 24h volume.
Another popular solution is an "instant exchange" like ShapeShift or Changelly, both which will require you to send BTC (from Luno) and it will convert it to XRP, which it will send to a Ripple wallet.
👉 Note that we can’t make any recommendations of third party platforms. You'll need to do your homework and decide on an exchange that works best for your needs.
4. STEP FOUR: SEND YOUR BTC AND BUY SOME XRP
Depending on the platform you’re using, you’ll be provided with a Bitcoin address. You can send the Bitcoin from Luno to your preferred XRP exchange.
Once the funds arrive, simply follow the platform’s instructions on how to purchase XRP.
Since day one, we’ve been keeping a close eye on the progress, use cases and adoption of Ripple and most other cryptocurrencies. We'll keep monitoring the payments, cross-border and remittance landscape and keep working hard to build the financial system of the future.
Please note that this article should not be considered financial advice. Luno is not affiliated with Ripple. All trades are at your own risk.