In 2023, how do you buy Ripple (XRP) in the UK?
The cheapest place to buy Ripple (XRP) with GBP in the UK is Kraken. You can register and get yourself verified quickly, then you can buy Ripple (XRP) at the real exchange rate with minimal fees (max 0.26%).
CoinJar is another way that you can cheaply buy Ripple (XRP) in the UK. There’s a fixed fee of 1%, but the exchange rate also seems to be about 0.2% to 0.5% above the real exchange rate (most days I’ve checked). You can access it via the web, or do everything through their simple mobile app.
In this guide, I’ll go through these two ways (and a few others) of buying Ripple (XRP) in the UK.
Best Ways to Buy Ripple in the UK
Kraken is currently one of the cheapest ways to buy Ripple (XRP) with GBP in the UK.
And without a doubt, it’s one of the best cryptocurrency exchanges available to UK residents.
Founded in 2011 after the infamous Mt. Gox breach, it launched in 2013 – making it one of the longest-running cryptocurrency exchanges around. At the time of writing, it’s also ranked by CoinMarketCap as having the 4th highest trading volume in the world.
It supports many of the largest and most popular cryptocurrencies – including Ripple (XRP), Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Chainlink (LINK), and many more. The notable exception is Monero (XMR), which UK residents can’t currently trade on Kraken.
Kraken supports UK bank transfers (via Faster Payments), debit cards, and credit cards. The cheapest payment method is a UK bank transfer – which is free to deposit GBP and will usually be processed and available to use on Kraken within minutes after sending. (Your first deposit might take a little longer though.)
Once your GBP is credited, you can then buy Ripple (XRP) at the real exchange rate on the XRP/GBP spot market. The maximum fee you’ll pay is 0.26%, which is among the lowest trading fees you’ll pay in the cryptocurrency space.
Just one thing: when you make your first GBP deposit into Kraken, there’s a temporary 72-hour withdrawal hold. You’ll be able to buy and sell as normal, but you can’t move anything outside of Kraken until that hold expires. You can read more about this here.
CoinJar is another place where you can cheaply and easily buy Ripple (XRP) in the UK.
You can currently deposit GBP with a UK bank transfer into CoinJar, or instantly purchase Ripple (XRP) and other supported cryptocurrencies with a debit card.
Faster Payments are supported, which means that – after your initial deposit – your GBP should be credited to your CoinJar account within just minutes. Although alternatives (like the Crypto.com app) support Faster Payments, not all of them are as fast as this.
CoinJar charges a fixed fee of 1% when you buy Ripple (XRP), or any other supported cryptocurrency, using their simple and intuitive interface. When I’ve previously checked, I’ve found that the exchange rate is usually about 0.2% to 0.5% above the best exchange rate I can find elsewhere.
But if you use a debit card to buy Ripple (XRP) on CoinJar, you’ll be charged a fixed fee of 2% instead.
If you want lower fees, CoinJar also has an exchange (CoinJar Exchange) where you’ll be charged a maximum fee of 0.1% for submitting a market order or 0% if you submit a limit order.
The Crypto.com app allows UK residents to deposit GBP using a UK bank transfer. You can then buy Ripple (XRP) using your GBP wallet balance without paying any explicit fees.
You can also use the Crypto.com app to buy Ripple (XRP) with a debit or credit card. For UK residents, it charges a fee of 2.99% to buy any cryptocurrency with a debit or credit card. Some people have reported that they’re unable to use their UK bank cards, but it still seems to be working for most users.
Unfortunately, I have noticed that the prices quoted on the Crypto.com app are higher than popular cryptocurrency exchanges (by more than 1%).
Compared to cryptocurrency exchanges like Kraken (which can be a little overwhelming at first), the Crypto.com app is a heck of a lot easier to use. However, it’s nowhere near as intuitive as the CoinJar mobile app.
Crypto.com has a lot more than they offer besides this though – including the Crypto.com Visa Card (which is currently one of the best crypto debit cards around). Check out my review to learn more.
Download Mobile AppCrypto.com Review
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, which is a dedicated device that helps keep your funds safe.
- 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 that 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 that 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.
What Is Ripple (XRP)?
Ripple (XRP) is one of the largest and most popular cryptocurrencies. It has consistently had a presence in the top 10 listings and accounts for about 3-4% 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.
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).
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.
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 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 previously included companies like Western Union and MoneyGram – however, MoneyGram and Ripple Labs ended their partnership in March 2021.
Will Financial Institutions Use Ripple (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.