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The short version

  • XRP is the native token of the digital payment platform Ripple.
  • XRP facilitates quick, inexpensive money transfers around the world.
  • Due to an ongoing SEC investigation, there are a limited number of crypto exchanges in the U.S. where you can buy the risky asset.

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What is ripple?

Ripple is a digital payment platform that uses blockchain technology for fast, inexpensive global transactions.

Ripple provides crypto-enabled solutions for businesses and eliminates economic borders. It partners with the developer community to identify ways crypto technology can inspire new business models and create more opportunities.

Ripple’s network is called RippleNet. Customers can use the network to send global transfers at an affordable price quickly. Ripple's goal is to make it easy for people to instantly send money anywhere in the world at a fraction of the cost of traditional banking systems. The company has built an impressive network of more than 300 partners across 40 countries.

Ripple's blockchain technology is used by some of the world's largest banks, including Santander, American Express, and UBS. Ripple is also working with governments and central banks worldwide to explore how blockchain technology can be used to make payments more efficient.

RippleNet enables on-demand liquidity, which lets customers leverage XRP to bridge two currencies in three seconds for quick payments.

What is XRP?

XRP is an open-source digital asset that Ripple uses in its transactions. Ripple says that XRP was built to be “the most practical cryptocurrency for applications across the financial services space.”

XRP runs on the XRP Ledger and is used by companies, institutions, developers, and other individuals worldwide. It is open-sourced, decentralized and carbon-neutral and can settle transactions in three to five seconds. XRP is cheaper and faster than its more popular competitors, Bitcoin and Ethereum, whose more complicated transactions take longer to confirm.

The benefits of XRP include:

  • Fast transactions: Transactions are settled in 3 to 5 seconds
  • Low cost: XRP transaction fees on average cost $0.0002 per transaction
  • Scalable: The XRP ledger handles more than 1,500 transactions per second
  • Sustainable: The XRP Ledger is 61,000x more energy-efficient than proof-of-work blockchains
  • Decentralized: The XRP Ledger is run by a global network of more than 150 validators

Overall, XRP is built for global payments because it is quicker, more affordable, and more scalable than comparable assets. Although it isn’t technically meant to be used as a cryptocurrency many people in the crypto and investment community trade, hold and exchange it like one.

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Ripple XRP vs. Bitcoin

There are a few critical differences between XRP and Bitcoin.

  • In terms of numbers of tokens available, there are 100 billion XRP vs. Bitcoin’s 21 million coins.
  • XRP is faster than Bitcoin, with the ability to complete transactions in three to five seconds. This is because of its less-complicated mining procedure. It also charges much lower fees for its transactions.
  • Bitcoin was originally created as a currency for buying and selling goods. XRP is a utility token that facilities funds transfers.
  • All the XRP that will exist has already been created and is released by Ripple on a regular schedule while Bitcoin is still being mined.

Best places to buy XRP right now

So, how do you buy XRP? Unfortunately, the answer to that question is not straightforward, as many crypto exchanges have restricted or withdrawn their XRP support.

Theoretically, you can buy XRP with fiat or digital currency through a crypto exchange. Several exchanges support XRP trading. Here are six of the top places to buy XRP right now:

However, due to the ongoing SEC investing that we'll discuss next, none of these platforms allow XRP trading for U.S. residents.

As with other cryptocurrencies, you should choose an exchange with low trading fees and an easy-to-use interface. You also want to ensure that your exchange is safe and that you have a secure wallet. If you lose your cryptocurrency, there’s a high chance that you’ll never get it back.

XRP is under investigation by the SEC

This case has been ongoing since December 2020, and the ruling will make a historic statement on the status of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies in general. Most crypto exchanges have withdrawn their U.S. support for XRP and no longer allow trading. However, if you want to purchase or already had XRP before the investigation, you should still be able to deposit, hold or withdraw your crypto assets.

The SEC's ongoing investigation is the most important thing to know about XRP. The SEC thinks that XRP was launched as a security, and they are marketing it as an unregistered security.

The bottom line is that if you spot a cryptocurrency exchange listing XRP for trading, that exchange most likely will not allow its U.S. users to buy it.

It’s also important to know that the Ripple network is owned by a private company that plans to go public after the investigation wraps up.

The bottom line

Ripple XRP is not as popular or valuable as Bitcoin or Ethereum, but it's a well-known currency within the crypto community, and some think it will be the next big thing in the crypto market.

Just like any other cryptocurrency, investing in XRP is risky. However, with this SEC investigation underway, XRP is even riskier than ever. For this reason, it's important to consider whether you’re ready to assume the risk critically. If you choose to invest in XRP, be sure to understand the risks and proceed with caution.

Further reading:


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