Hey, so I assume you've heard of Bitcoin and you're interested in getting into the crypto-coin world. Maybe you've heard of "Ripple" (XRP) and you're curious about how to buy some. But, it seems overly complicated (as of this writing it is) but you'd still like to do it and want a simple(ish) guide to doing so. Well, I'm here to help.
If you want to just BUY Ripple with Cash (US Dollars) jump to the bottom (Buy Ripple with Cash). But if you have Bitcoin or want to buy Bitcoin to do the exchange continue on:
DISCLAIMER - if you signup for Coinbase using any of the links in this post and then spend $100 buying things there we will both receive a $10 bitcoin credit. Basically, the Coinbase links are referral links. If you don't want to use a referral link you can use this one: Non Referral Coinbase Link
Convert BitCoin to Ripple in Four Steps
Here are the quick steps (TL/DR):
- Buy Bitcoin (BTC) on Coinbase
- Transfer that digital asset to GDAX
- Transfer that digital asset from GDAX to Gatehub
- Exchange that digital asset for Ripple (XRP)
You want to transfer from Coinbase to GDAX first to help avoid some expensive fees.
Here are some more details on each of those steps.
Buy Bitcoin on Coinbase
Coinbase is easy to use though validating your identity can be tricky at times. I prefer to try to use my debit card/credit card to buy these things so I suggest you verify your identity so you don't have to attach your checking account to Coinbase.
Using your card makes the transaction happen A LOT faster too. If you use your bank account it takes about 7 days. If you use your bankcard you get "credit" right away but you don't actually get the coin until the transaction is verified. That could happen in 10 minutes or 24 hours depending on how busy the network is.
The final destination site, Gatehub, only supports a few digital currencies so you need to make sure you only buy one they support; of those Coinbase currently sells Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) are the only two Gatehub supports; but the transfer to GDAX goes easier if you buy BTC.
Once you have the digital coin on CoinBase you have to send that to GDAX. For the rest of this article I'm going to assume you bought some BTC.
NOTE: It is actually cheaper to buy the BTC on gdax.. You would basically deposit cash to CoinBase then transfer it to GDAX instead of bitcoin.
Transfer to GDAX
If you're on the same computer and you're already signed into Coinbase then a GDAX account will be easy. Just click on sign-in (I think) and it will automatically create your account tied to your Coinbase account. You have to agree to something legal but then you can proceed.
Once you're in GDAX took to the top left of the page. There you'll see a "BALANCE" section and under it is a grey link for "DEPOSIT" click on that. A dialog pops up and on it you can click on the "Coinbase Account" tab. From there change the dropdown to make sure it says "BTC Wallet" and then set the amount to however much of the BTC you bought you want to transfer.
Transfer to Gatehub
This is maybe the trickiest part. Go to Gatehub. You'll have to create an account. You'll probably have to do some identify verification again. Sorry, but banking laws make these sites jump through a lot of hoops to help identify money laundering so you have to jump through hoops too.
Once you're identity is verified and your account is created fully you can click on the "wallet" icon on the left menu. From there You can click on 'Deposit/Receive" at the bottom. Then click on the "BTC" tab and then "Connect a Gateway". You'll have to enter your Gatehub password then agree to the Gateway it suggests.
You'll then get a list of "Gateways". Ignore those and go back to the bottom and click "Deposit/Receive" again. Then click on the "BTC" tab again and this time click on "Generate BTC Address"
NOTE: Make sure you only ever try to send BTC to a BTC Address. If you try to send Ethereum or some other currency to a BTC address you will almost certainly lose your digital coins. BE CAREFUL! It's your money.
Once you have the BTC address click the clipboard icon and it will copy that address (it will even tell you "copied!". Now go back to GDAX.
At GDAX click "Withdrawal" over in the "Balance" menu on the left again. Then click on the "BTC Address" tab in the dialog. Next put your BTC address from Gatehub in the BTC Address field. Pick the amount of BTC you want to send to Gatehub. Finally, enter your two factor authentication code (if it is required). And finally, click "Withdraw Funds"
Now, wait for your money to appear at Gatehub.
Exchange your BTC to Ripple (XRP) on Gatehub
Go back to Gatehub and click on "Exchange" in the first dropdown pick "BTC" and in the second pick "XRP". Under the BTC dropdown specify how much you want to spend and it will auto-fill the XRP field. Then click the "Exchange BTC to XRP" button.
Buy Ripple with Cash
If you don't have bitcoin or dont want to deal with other digital currencies you can go through the whole process on Gatehub to buy XRP with cash. You just have to add a USD gateway and then fully verify your account there.. Then deposit cash, then go to the "Trade" section and you can just straight up buy Ripple without doing any kind of exchanges. This may be more expensive as I have heard you can only "wire transfer" cash there which is expensive.
Another option is to buy XRP on Bitstamp which is relatively easy. You do have to verify your identity but then you can use your debit card to buy it. Your bank may flag it as a fraud transaction so you'll have to confirm it then try again if that happens. Your bank may also charge an international transaction fee because Bitstamp is based in the UK.
Congrats. You have Ripple.