Are you an institutional investor or a company interested in making cross-border payments and plan on using the Ripple network? Or maybe you’re just a retail trader who wants to give this coin a go and see whether you’ll like it?
Our guide will give you all the information you need on purchasing Ripple in the UK. We’ll start with the best platform to buy it from and then talk about the Ripple company, their mission, current accomplishments, and future goals.
As far as online platforms are concerned, you need to find a crypto exchange that supports Ripple and the payment method that you want to use. It won’t make a difference whether you’re a novice or an expert, our recommended exchange is perfect for both!
Where to Buy Ripple
The platform that we have in mind is CEX.io, a UK crypto exchange headquartered in London that has been offering its services for almost 7 years. To earn the trust of customers around the world, the exchange was registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK.
CEX.io follows their regulatory framework and adheres to their rules. They’re very careful about performing a routine Know Your Customer (KYC) check to new customers and verifying their identity before activating their account, using two-factor authentication, and storing customer funds in cold storage.
Apart from Ripple, CEX.io supports a decent number of coins. The list includes Ethereum, Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Tron, Stellar, Dash, BitTorrent, MetaHash, and ZCash. CEX.io is a fiat to crypto exchange so you can buy any amount of XRP with GBP without a problem.
The accepted payment methods include bank transfers and credit or debit cards. However, the platform charges for the convenience of its services and the high liquidity with hefty transaction fees – by adding a 7% service fee to the coin’s market price.
CEX.io has an intuitive and user-friendly interface that appeals to crypto beginners but doesn’t come short of advanced trading features like margin and cross-platform trading to stimulate the more adventurous.
What is Ripple?
A lot of people get confused with the name Ripple as it can be used to refer to the whole online network for making cross-border payments and the company that designed and developed the platform. Plus, to keep the network running, the team launched a digital coin under the same name, as a safety net against DDoS attacks.
What makes Ripple different from other blockchain-based networks and digital coins is that the company wants to revolutionize the exchange of value on a larger global scale, a concept known as “the Internet of Value”.
Let’s get into more detail on how they plan to achieve that.
What Are Their Future Goals?
At the turn of the century, the invention of the World Wide Web completely changed the way we communicate and share information. We can find out what’s happening in other countries in the world or hear from our relatives living abroad within seconds, no matter how far they are.
Lots of businesses have expanded internationally. There’s no need for an international office because as long as you manage your social media and website, your customers will have access to your products and be able to purchase them at all times.
What’s even more interesting is how market globalization has brought next to zero changes to the global payment system. So far, we’ve only made baby steps towards having a fast and cheap way to conduct international money transfers. Wondering why is that so?
If developers want to get support for such a project, global financial institutions and banks should be one of the main investors. However, if we exchange money as easily as information, banks will stop making money from the high service fees they get from us. As a bank that makes millions of dollars out of these fees only, this doesn’t sound appealing to you, does it?
Most of the time, cryptographers working on these projects avoid including any kind of financial regulators. Ripple wanted to try a different approach altogether. Why not work together and try to find a common solution.
For the time being, around 300 financial institutions have already supported their project. In the future, they’re planning to improve their cost-effective payment system and work on creating means to include the underbanked population as well.
Who Created Ripple?
Back in 2004, Ryan Fugger, a Canadian software developer, was working on an online payment system similar to Bitcoin’s blockchain launched 5 years later. His system was supposed to allow users to create their own digital coins.
In 2011, he was approached by Jed McCaleb, a programmer and entrepreneur who had already worked on major crypto projects like eDonkey, Overnet, and even Mt.Gox, the world’s most famous crypto exchange back then. Together with Chris Larsen, an angel investor, they made Ryan an offer to join their forces and create an improved payment system.
This system was envisioned to use a different consensus mechanism from Bitcoin’s proof of work method, where users reach a consensus in what’s known as a “Proof of Correctness”. Ryan agreed and in 2012, they founded OpenCoin, later renamed to Ripple Lab, Inc. Even though McCaleb left Ripple soon after, the company continued working on their innovative protocol.
Ripple is next in line after Bitcoin and Ethereum in terms of market capitalization. So far, it’s potential has been recognized by leading banks and notable investors such as Westpac, NBAD, Andreessen Horowitz, Accenture, Santander, Yes Bank, Axis Bank, Union Credit, CME Ventures, Core Innovation Capital, Tetragon, Standard Chartered, Santander Group, and Seagate Technology to name just a few.
Who Is It For?
It’s only natural that banks and payment providers are taking their time to experiment with the Ripple protocol before announcing they’re ready to adopt the system in its entirety. This approach guarantees fewer mistakes and losses.
Apart from financial institutions, Ripple is recommended to larger companies that have made their way into the global market and need to make international payments on a weekly, if not daily basis. We’re thinking of companies like Amazon, Apple, etc. This will help them reduce transaction costs and save time on paperwork.
Initially, the company planned on promoting its native token XRP and encouraging banks to use it in their money transfers. However, as the coin was quite new back then, and hadn’t accumulated enough value, banks quickly switched to other currencies upon realizing XRP are not compulsory.
That’s why at first, Ripple used to offer three different services on its website: xRapid, xCurrent, and xVia. Customers using xRapid had to convert their funds to XRP during the transfer. As of October 2019, the platform removed all three, introducing RippleNet only and allowing customers to choose whether they want to use XRP or not.
Ripple’s Pros and Cons
What gives Ripple edge over other similar platforms, ones that also rely on blockchain technology is that they promise to lower the marginal costs of these transactions and introduce a protocol that’s going to reduce unnecessarily long waits.
Their blockchain outperforms Bitcoin’s blockchain which can only handle up to 7 transactions per second, as opposed to the XRP ledger which can process as much as 1,500 transactions per second!
The only substantial drawback that we could spot is the fact that Ripple Lab has the role of a central authority in XRP transactions and the network’s protocol to some extent. In the beginning, Ripple Lab had around 80 billion XRP tokens in its possession. The company refutes such criticism by claiming that even if Ripple Lab were to go bankrupt tomorrow, traders will still be able to exchange XRP.