Features – Benefits of Blockchain Technology and Cryptocurrencies
Blockchain technology has a massive range of benefits and cryptocurrencies are utilising this technology in order to push forth the adoption of digital currency. The original goal of Bitcoin for example was to make transactions a lot faster and much cheaper than traditional forms of payment. Ripple is one of those digital currencies that has gained a lot of traction in recent times and it is currently the 3rd largest cryptocurrency in the world in terms of market cap.
Many in the cryptocurrency community are hopeful that digital currencies can take over from traditional fiat currencies such as the US dollar. Whether this is in the form of one definitive global currency or just numerous different cryptocurrencies, there are clearly many advantages associated with adopting this model. It would allow for decentralisation whereby no central authority had control over the supply and value of their currency. Many believe that Ripple or XRP will be the answer to many of the issues that are countered in the traditional financial system. Ripple is a settlement system that acts in real-time, as well as being a currency exchange and an instantaneous network for remittance. The full name is the Ripple Transaction Protocol (RTXP) as it has been created on the back of an internet protocol which is open sourced, with a transparent ledger system and a digital currency called XRP.
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Network Focus – Main target market
The network was initially launched back in 2012 by a group called Ripple Labs and their main goal when launching was to allow for secure payments in all financial transactions across the world, without regarding the size of the transaction and without having to deal with issues such as chargebacks. There is support on the network for all tokens which are representative of conventional commodities, currencies or any other types of value units. Effectively, Ripple has been focused on aiding financial institutions such as banks in making their services a lot more efficient. The shared public ledger is the key to how Ripple works as it allows everything to work congruently in a transparent manner on the network.
Because it is a decentralised network, there is no need for anybody to be monitoring this network, which can be a costly expense. It also cannot be shut down by any specific entity. There is currently a lot of inefficiency in the world of international payments. XRP is often used now by banks in order to find liquidity in real-time and can also allow payment providers to get involved with new markets as a result of their ability to now have quicker payment settlements and cheaper foreign exchange costs.
Features – Why does Ripple stand out from the crowd?
There is a lot of opportunity out there for Ripple because the international payment processing system is well behind the rest of the world. You are still unable to send money to a friend or family member without having to deal with significant processing fees and slow transaction times. The technology for quick and easy payment across the world is available, but banks haven’t been adopting it. Perhaps they enjoy the trillions of dollars they can generate from these fees so they are in no rush to change this system. While many cryptocurrencies want to completely destroy the centralised system, Ripple is looking to work alongside the likes of banks. Each year there is almost $155 trillion moved over borders.
Using PayPal as an example, they charge 2.9% for every transaction that is made. This is a higher fee than would be seen with other payment processors of course, but applying this to the global sum of payments, this would see fees worth almost $4.5 trillion going towards PayPal. This is in addition to still having slow processing time despite these fees. Ripple is looking to change this and they are already a business that is making profits, unlike the majority of digital currency-related products. They already have deals and relationships in place with more than one hundred financial institutions that have a place on their network, including banking giants like BBVA, Banco Santander and Standard Chartered Bank.
Features – What differentiates Ripple?
The main differentiation Ripple has compared to other digital currencies is their RTXP. This acts as a digital portal which financial institutions, company and governments utilise in order to become part of the Ripple network. Once a group has joined the network, they are able to use Ripple’s gateways (like a global ledger which has private blockchains). They are then able to make transactions with other gateways for a minimal cost and much faster times. RTXP also allows for these groups to accept payments from any form of cryptocurrency or fiat currency. Therefore, Ripple is ideal for an entity which often sends large sums of money across borders. The likes of Amazon for example are sending billions of dollars across borders on a regular basis.
The Ripple Network is also able to act as a currency exchange for all different types of fiat currency. To achieve this, they have to guarantee liquidity. That’s what XRP is used for. This digital asset provides liquidity at source for banks, market makers and payment providers. Compared to Bitcoin, Ripple can handle a tremendous amount of transactions every second. Bitcoin only processes around 15 transactions per second, with XRP being able to deal with over 1,500 transactions every second. Ripple is mostly suited towards larger corporations and institutions rather than average consumers. There is not much benefit to be gained by smaller parties using it.
Investing – How to Buy Ripple with Credit/Debit Card?
One of the main issues that people face when they are looking to buy Ripple is how they can do so with a debit or credit card. Of course, there are many different crypto trading strategies. There are not too many platforms out there which cater for fiat to cryptocurrency transactions by using your debit or credit card. Most of the time, you are going to have to first buy Bitcoin and then have it converted into XRP. This means that you are going to be losing out on some value because this is a double transaction, rather than simply buying XRP with your fiat currency.
There will be a fee charged for buying Bitcoin (BTC) with your USD and then a fee for exchanging your BTC for XRP. If you are going down this double transition route, there are a number of different steps you are going to have to take. There are a few popular fiat-to-cryptocurrency exchanges that you can deal with, with Kraken being one of the most popular options. Kraken is a cryptocurrency exchange that is based out of the United States and it has operations in the likes of Japan, US, Europe and Canada. They are one of the best when it comes to crypto broker comparisons. In terms of euro transactions, they account for the largest volume of bitcoin transaction via this fiat currency for BTC in the world.
Investing – Kraken
Kraken is the provider of BTC pricing to the Bloomberg terminals which are used in financial institutions across the world and are usually seen as the gold standard for obtaining financial data. It was in April of 2017 that Kraken first started to allow fiat funding options for the world’s major government issued currencies such as USD. They did experience performance issues throughout 2017, largely due to having a congested network due to the massive increase in demand for buying cryptocurrencies. They are one of the best in the sector when it comes to processing times for the likes of transfers.
To buy your Ripple through Kraken you will first have to sign up for an account with the exchange if you do not already have one. Some exchanges will have long waiting periods for signups, but you will usually be able to sign up for an account with Kraken instantly. You will be sent an email from Kraken once you have filled out the signup form. You need to click the link that is contained in the email in order to activate your new account. You can also copy the activation key that can also be found in the email and paste it in the appropriate section in the account activation page on Kraken.
You are able to have your account verified by going to the section ‘Account – Get Verified’. The level of verification you will have to go through depends on what your desired deposit and withdraw options are, with certain levels having limits on the amount of you can deposit and withdraw, as well as what services you can access. If you are looking to just open a basic account with Kraken, which is the 1st tier, there are only a few things you will be asked, such as your full name, date of birth, country of residence and your phone number.
However, in order to have access to fiat depositing, you need to be at least on the 2nd tier. This means that in addition to the above information, you need to have your address verified. Depending on what country you are in, you will have to be in the 3rd tier of verification in order to get access to fiat funding, which means that in addition to the above information, you will have to also upload a copy of a government-issued photo identification. Once you have verified your account to the necessary level, you can then deposit funds to your account.
Method of Deposit
You need to choose what method of deposit you are going to use. In this case, you will be using either a debit card or a credit card. Depending on the level of verification you have, there will be a limit on how much you can deposit in a given time period. When using a credit card or debit card, your funds will be deposited almost instantly. You then need to place an order for XRP by going to the ‘Account – Trade – New Order’ section.
Choose the currency pair you want to buy alongside what the fiat currency you have deposited is. If you choose the XRP/USD pair, and you select the buy option, this means that you will be selling your USD to buy XRP, which is what you want to do if you are looking to buy Ripple. Enter how much XRP you wish to purchase. You are able to choose whether you buy it at the current market price or you can place a limit order in order to try getting a price that is closer to what you are willing to pay (this means that you are not guaranteed to have your trade executed if the price does not decrease to this level).
Buying Ripple with Credit Card
As you can see, there are many benefits that Ripple holds when compared with other cryptocurrencies. It is better suited to larger groups who send a lot of money across borders throughout the year, as they can benefit from greatly reduced fees and quicker processing times.
The procedure for buying XRP with fiat currency utilising a debit card or credit card is fairly straightforward when you are dealing with an exchange like Kraken which allows for easy fiat to cryptocurrency trading. This is certainly one of the best crypto brokers out there. There may be limits on the amount you can purchase while starting off depending on your level of verification. Using your debit or credit card to buy cryptocurrency is one of the quickest methods, but you do need to be careful, especially when using a credit card that you don’t spend more than your means.