Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Ripple physical coins

How to Buy Ripple (XRP) in the UK (2020)

In 2020, how do you buy Ripple (XRP) in the UK?

The best place to buy Ripple (XRP) with GBP in the UK is with Wirex. You can register in less than 10 minutes and then quickly and easily buy Ripple (XRP) at the real exchange rate with low fees (just 1%). Most people will find this their best option.

Alternatively, you can buy Ripple (XRP) with Bitcoin (BTC) through a cryptocurrency exchange like Binance. This process is nowhere near as convenient as Wirex, but it will work out slightly cheaper.

In this guide, I’ll go through both these ways of buying Ripple (XRP) in the UK.

Buy Ripple (XRP) with GBP in the UK [Best Option]

Wirex (Dark Green) Full Logo

Wirex provides crypto-friendly currency accounts in the UK, EU, and Asia Pacific. They’ve made buying and selling cryptocurrencies like Ripple (XRP) quick, easy, and cheap.

With Wirex, you can buy Ripple (XRP) with the following payment methods:

  • Debit cards (GBP)
  • Credit cards (GBP)
  • UK bank transfer (via Faster Payments Service)
  • Other cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin (BTC) or Ethereum (ETH)

Unlike some other providers, Wirex don’t hide any fees in their cryptocurrency exchange rates. They provide you the best possible rate.

However, you will be charged a flat 1% fee when you buy Ripple (XRP). This is regardless of the payment method that you’re using to purchase.

This is an extremely competitive rate, especially if you’re looking to buy Ripple (XRP) with a debit card. Here’s how Wirex compares to alternatives which support buying cryptocurrencies with debit cards.

ExchangeDebit Card Fees (Approx.)
Wirex1%
Coinbase4%
Cryptopay4%
Uphold4%
Bitpanda5%

Yep, their most popular alternative (Coinbase) charges fees which are 400% more expensive when buying Ripple (XRP) with a debit card.

You can register with Wirex in less than 10 minutes. Then just follow the simple guide below to buy Ripple (XRP) with GBP.

To learn more about Wirex, read my full review here.

Add Funds (Link a Debit Card)

This is the process for the desktop client (as I can’t take screenshots on the mobile app), but the process is much the same.

If you’ve not registered with Wirex yet, click here to get your Wirex account.

  • On the Wirex dashboard, scroll down, find Ripple (XRP) in the Accounts section, then click on it.

  • On this page:
    • Select ‘Add Funds’
    • Scroll down to ‘Linked Cards’ and select ‘Link New Card’

  • You’ll see something like this. Add your debit card and link it your Wirex account.

  • Once you’ve done that, you’ll see a linked card option which prompts you to confirm the card.

  • In the top right corner, select the profile icon and click on ‘Preferences’.
  • Then you need to select:
    • ‘Linked Cards’
    • The local card you’ve just added, which will be under the ‘Unconfirmed’ section.

  • Scroll down and select the highlighted option.

  • You’ll see this message. To confirm your card, you need to top-up by a specific amount. In my case, I had to top-up £7.58.
  • Scroll down and click your GBP wallet.

  • Enter that specific amount and select ‘Confirm’.

  • Check the details, then click ‘Add Funds’.

  • You then need to wait for this transaction to show up on your debit card transactions. This can take 1-2 days. When it does, come back to the Wirex Dashboard and:
    • Select ‘Confirm Your Linked Cards’.
    • Select the unconfirmed card.

  • Select ‘Confirm Linked Card’ in the Manage Card section.

  • Enter the code shown on your statement, and then select ‘Confirm’.

  • Your card is now confirmed. Continue to the next section to see how you can now buy Ripple (XRP) with this debit card.

Buy Ripple (XRP) with GBP Debit Card

  • On the Wirex dashboard, scroll down, find Ripple (XRP) in the Accounts section, then click on it.
  • On this page:
    • Select ‘Add Funds’
    • Select your preferred payment method.

  • You’ll then see a page like this. I prefer to purchase in GBP, so I select ‘Calculate in GBP’.

  • Then you just need to enter how much you want to buy and select ‘Confirm’.

  • You’ll then be taken to a confirmation page like this. This shows you how much XRP you’ll get and the fee that you’re paying (1%).
  • If you’re happy, just select ‘Add Funds’ to complete the order.

  • You’ve just bought Ripple (XRP) on Wirex! Go to your Wirex account and you’ll see your new balance!

Buy Ripple (XRP) with BTC in the UK

Binance logo over their trading interface

Although it’s not as simple and convenient as Wirex, it does work out slightly cheaper to buy Ripple (XRP) with Bitcoin (BTC) via a cryptocurrency exchange like Binance.

Yes, it’s cheap – but it takes more time than just setting up a Wirex account and buying Ripple (XRP) directly with GBP. If you’re making large purchases, then the effort is 100% worth it.

But if you’re looking to buy smaller chunks? I don’t think it’s worth the pain to bother with the extra steps.

To put this in perspective, check out the below table.

Purchase AmountWirex Fees (Approx.)Binance Fees (Approx.)
£100£1.00£0.10
£250£2.50£0.25
£500£5.00£0.50
£1000£10.00£1.00
£10000£100.00£10.00
£50000£500.00£50.00

Because there are more steps, this might be a bit much if you’ve never purchased cryptocurrency before too.

Still want to buy Ripple (XRP) with BTC?

If you want to buy Ripple (XRP) via Binance, then your first step is to buy Bitcoin (BTC) with GBP. Check out my popular guide which walks you through the cheapest ways to buy Bitcoin (BTC) in the UK.

Once you’ve bought Bitcoin (BTC), follow the steps in the guide below to buy Ripple (XRP) on Binance.

If you don’t already have a Binance account, click here to register.

Deposit Bitcoin (BTC)

FYI: Click any image to enlarge it.

Login to Binance. In the top bar, select Wallet > Spot Wallet

In the left sidebar, select ‘Deposit’ and then copy the Bitcoin (BTC) deposit address that you’re provided. If you want to transfer this from an exchange, you’ll want to find their withdrawal options.

It can take a while for the Bitcoin (BTC) to arrive in your Binance wallet. Check back in a few hours and it should be available to trade.

Exchange Bitcoin (BTC) for Ripple (XRP)

  • In the top bar, select ‘Markets’.
  • Once the page loads, select ‘BTC Markets’ and then type in ‘XRP’ in the search bar on the right side of the page.
  • Click the highlighted pair, labelled XRP/BTC.

  • On the page that loads up, scroll down to the highlighted box.

  • In the Exchange tab, select ‘Market’ and enter how much XRP you’d like to purchase. You can use the shortcuts below the box if you don’t want to spend your entire Bitcoin (BTC) balance. When you’re happy, select ‘Buy XRP’.

  • Congrats! You’ve bought Ripple (XRP) on Binance with Bitcoin (BTC)!

UK Ripple (XRP) Wallets: Keep Your XRP Safe & Secure

Once you’ve bought Ripple (XRP), it’s good practice to transfer it into a private wallet that you have sole ownership and control over. If you want to do this, then you have two options:

  • Transfer it to a hardware wallet, like the Ledger Nano S.
  • Transfer it to a software wallet, which you can install on your desktop or mobile.

Hardware Wallets Which Support Ripple (XRP)

Hardware wallets are well-recommended across the Ripple (XRP) community. They make owning and using cryptocurrencies simple, easy, and convenient.

If you haven’t come across them before, they’re small electronic devices which allow you to securely store and use cryptocurrencies like Ripple (XRP). Because of how they work, it’s much more difficult for your cryptocurrency to be stolen.

The Ledger Nano S is a popular and affordable hardware wallet, which allows you securely store Ripple (XRP) and hundreds of other cryptocurrencies. Check out the full list of supported cryptocurrencies here.

Here are three other hardware wallets which support Ripple (XRP):

Software Wallets Which Support Ripple (XRP)

If you don’t want to purchase a hardware wallet just yet, then there are numerous Ripple (XRP) software wallets that you can install on your desktop or mobile. For most people, this is a less secure option which leaves you vulnerable to computer or mobile malware infections.

If you’re taking this route, then I’d recommend you check out Atomic Wallet. Here’s why:

  • Supported on Windows, Mac, and Ubuntu desktops.
  • Available on the Google Play and Apple App stores.
  • You can manage the same account on your desktop and mobile.
  • Great interface, which is simple and easy-to-use.
  • It supports Ripple (XRP) and hundreds of other cryptocurrencies.

Check out the official website here.

Further Information

In this section, I look at what Ripple (XRP) is and all the essentials that you need to know about it.

What is Ripple (XRP)?

Ripple (XRP) is one of the largest and most popular cryptocurrencies. It has consistently had a presence in the top 5 listings and accounts for 4% of the overall cryptocurrency market’s value.

The vision behind Ripple (XRP) is to replace existing cross-border payment systems and, essentially, help financial institutions move money around the world like information. Why? The people behind Ripple (XRP) just don’t think existing systems are good enough: they’re slow, expensive, and have an error rate of 3-5%.

High volume and efficient corridors (e.g. USD to EUR) aren’t being targeted. Instead, Ripple (XRP) is looking to improve the lower volume and inefficient corridors (e.g. EUR to INR).

Critics of XRP’s Calculated Market Capitalisation

Some critics argue that Ripple’s (XRP) market capitalisation is incorrect, as the total supply of Ripple (XRP) which exists sits at 99.99bn. Excluding Ripple (XRP) which are held by the company behind Ripple (XRP) but not actively circulating is the equivalent of ignoring the Bitcoin (BTC) held in Satoshi’s wallets. It still exists, even if it’s currently dormant.

You can read more about this here.

Quick Facts About Ripple (XRP)

  • Ripple (XRP) was created by Ripple Labs in 2013.
  • Ripple Labs is now known as Ripple. It employs more than 200 people.
  • Ripple (XRP) products are aimed at financial institutions (like banks or payment providers).
  • 100bn Ripple (XRP) were originally created (i.e. pre-mined). No more Ripple (XRP) will be created.
  • 61% of the total Ripple (XRP) supply is owned by Ripple.
  • You cannot mine Ripple (XRP). It achieves consensus without proof-of-work or proof-of-stake.
  • Ripple (XRP) transactions are validated very fast (within 5 seconds).
  • Ripple (XRP) fees are extremely low (less than $0.01).

Ripple (XRP) Products

Ripple (XRP) has three core products: xCurrent, xRapid, and Via.

I’ll explain what xCurrent and xRapid are below.

xCurrent

This is a replacement for the SWIFT messaging system used by financial institutions. It allows for faster, more transparent, and more efficient messaging between banks.

With xCurrent, banks are able to:

  • Message each other in real-time (two-way protocol).
  • Confirm details of the transaction prior to initiating it (e.g. confirm costs).
  • Confirm delivery of the funds.

While it might not be immediately clear to some, xCurrent doesn’t actually leverage Ripple (XRP). It also only works well when there’s an existing bilateral arrangement (i.e. trust) between banks.

While that might not sound great for the cryptocurrency, this is how Ripple (XRP) gets its foot in the door with financial institutions. It paves the way for the implementation of xRapid, which builds upon the groundwork laid by xCurrent.

xRapid

xRapid allows financial institutions to access on-demand liquidity pools of digital assets, which means that there’s no need to hold “nostro” accounts in destination currencies.

Let’s translate that: making payments into some countries requires pre-funded accounts denominated in the local currency (i.e. nostro). After some recent changes, the opportunity cost of supporting such cross-border payments has increased. With xRapid, banks will be able to use Ripple (XRP) to enable payments into and out of countries without holding nostro accounts in those countries. This would free up more than $27tn which is sitting idle in nostro accounts.

Unlike xCurrent, xRapid requires the use of Ripple (XRP). There a number of companies that have tested, or are using, xRapid. This includes companies like Western Union and MoneyGram.

Will financial institutions use XRP?

Here’s an interesting quote, cited by TwoBitIdiot in this post, from someone with hands-on experience of RippleNet:

“Ripple’s approach with XRP has been to get it listed on a bunch of exchanges and ‘infer’ but never explicitly say that banks are using it for settlement. We (and all the global players that I work with) are not. We wouldn’t touch it.”

Here’s another comment from P4man on CoinDesk:

“…banks currently control Swift. How likely is it they would relinquish control to a small startup and allow themselves to become beholden to its private currency, that they have no need for? I just don’t see that happening.”

There seems to be some strong scepticism that Ripple (XRP) will be adopted by banks. Some argue that banks will use something else which does everything that Ripple (XRP) does, and perhaps more.

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