XRP wallets are in many ways just like any other cryptocurrency wallet and can act as a manager for one or several addresses on the XRP blockchain. While there are many different types of services available, some are more popular and trusted than others. Furthermore, depending on an individual’s needs, different wallets (online wallets or offline wallets) could be ideal for different use cases. That’s why BeInCrypto has created a useful guide for choosing the best XRP wallet for you, and how to use it safely.
In this Article:
- What is XRP?
- Where to Buy XRP
- Where to Store XRP
- XRP Hardware Wallets
- XRP Desktop and Mobile Wallets
- XRP Web Wallets
- XRP Paper Wallets
What is XRP?
If you aren’t already familiar, XRP is a cryptocurrency created by a company called Ripple, though the titles are often used interchangeably. Much like how Ethereum is the name of the project and network, but Ether is the actual currency on the blockchain, here the idea is very similar. That being said, how XRP works and what it is designed for are a little different than many other currencies, so it’s worth it to mention it here.
- Unlike decentralized, open-source projects like Bitcoin and Ethereum, XRP is effectively a product being offered by Ripple. It runs on a permissioned network, and all the XRP ever to exist has already been created, with the vast majority still being controlled by the company.
- XRP is primarily targeted to banks and other financial institutions, in order to create a means for fast, cheap global cross-border payments. It has seen some notable success in this arena, and to this day is pushing to establish itself as the best solution for legacy finance.
- This runs against many of the philosophies that abound in cryptocurrency, but proponents argue that there is no real reason not to take this technology and package it in a way that is useful to institutions. Right now, Bitcoin and in fact most popular digital assets are unregulated and generally not ready for mass adoption. By controlling a centralized network, Ripple can offer speeds for value transfer that are currently hard to match by decentralized blockchains.
- By offering a refined product, Ripple is more likely to attract big business, who are obviously going to be more comfortable with a curated system than with the “wild west” environment that still dominates many cryptocurrency products.
Ultimately, it is up to each investor to decide where they stand philosophically and make their purchasing decisions accordingly. So, assuming that after reading that you still feel like XRP may be right for you, let’s touch on where to get some.
Where to Buy Some XRP
Frankly, there isn’t too much to say here due to the fact that a great many of the major exchanges already offer XRP on their platforms. Coinbase, Binance, Bittrex, Stormgain, Kraken and KuCoin all offer XRP buying and trading options, and this is really just scratching the surface. Some of these sites will allow direct fiat purchases of XRP using either a credit card or bank deposit, but be aware that they will virtually all enforce Know-Your-Customer (KYC) policies before allowing you to make a fiat purchase or possibly move the money off of the exchange.
What this means is you will likely need to verify an email, phone number, physical address and some form of ID with the site. While some users don’t care for this, it is a common practice that the big name sites generally have to do to stay within regulatory frameworks. If an exchange doesn’t enforce KYC for fiat purchases that is often a big red-flag for the legitimacy of the service, but this will have to be assessed on a case-by-case basis.
Most exchanges will also support (and some require) that you can simply deposit Bitcoin that you already possess and then use that to purchase XRP. This is not uncommon, and you may well find less red-tape surrounding it, but again it will vary from service to service. It is also plausible that KYC procedures will come into play when you try and move the funds back off of the exchange, at least for larger amounts.
Where to Store XRP
Let’s say you’ve purchased your first XRP on an exchange. Unless you are planning to actively trade with it, you should really store it privately as soon as possible. Even honest exchanges can be vulnerable to hacks and other internal errors, and they certainly aren’t government insured the way banks usually are. Hence, personal assets that are just being held for long-term appreciation need a higher degree of control and security. To that end, there are many solid options available for storing XRP personally and safely, and we’re going to cover some of the most popular wallets available out there in just a moment.
A Quick Note About XRP Wallet Base Reserves
While a full exploration is outside the scope of this article, you should be aware that XRP wallets need to have a certain minimum deposit called a “Base Reserve” before they become active for moving funds. Currently the base reserve is 20 XRP, though this could change in time. The technical details concerning why this is the way XRP works can be explored here, but what you basically need to know is that any non-custodial wallet (and some custodial ones) will require this 20 XRP to be in the wallet before it is truly functional. Furthermore, the balance of the wallet cannot drop below 20 or it will become effectively deactivated, though it can be reactivated by further funding it. In essence, creating a working XRP address requires a base payment that cannot be extracted afterward, so be aware of this before sending any funds to a newly generated address. Now that you understand that, let’s explore some of your top options for XRP storage.
XRP Hardware Wallets
While hardware wallets can be a little pricey and advanced for beginners, they also offer some of the best security and ease of use when employed correctly. Put simply, a hardware wallet is a small USB device that acts as storage for cryptocurrency private keys, and it makes it impossible to access your funds without the physical device as well as a pass-code. In this way, users can create an effective “cold storage” solution that is also fairly convenient for quick access.
Fortunately, XRP users can choose either the Ledger Nano S or X, as both offer support for the asset. The benefits are not only the security and convenience aspects outlined above, but also the fact that the Ledger Nano series offers support for many other projects all on the same device. Hence, if you’re into more than just XRP and want secure, long-term storage, this may be a one-stop solution.
XRP Desktop & Mobile Wallets
We’re grouping desktop and mobile categories together because two of the best desktop wallets also happen to have some of the best mobile wallets.
First off we have Toast, which has been one of the community’s favorites for many years now.
Pros of Toast Wallet:
- Toast is open source, non-custodial (meaning you control your own private keys), straight forward, and prides itself as being “a truly cross-platform XRP wallet that’s simple enough for your grandma but safe enough for a Swiss banker”.
- While it doesn’t sport an excess of options, everything is clearly labelled and should be accessible even to relative newcomers. One thing that is great about Toast is that it is available across virtually every major mobile and desktop OS, so you can potentially have access to your funds at home or on-the-go.
2. Atomic Wallet
In that same vein, there is Atomic Wallet. Atomic Wallet is also available across all the popular OS’s, and offers support for literally hundreds of different cryptocurrencies.
Pros of Atomic wallet:
- Atomic Wallet is also non-custodial, which is generally considered a solid choice by most cryptocurrency enthusiasts.
- There are options for exchanging currencies built directly into the wallet interface, and you can export and back-up all of your private keys at any time, meaning that you don’t have to simply trust that the app will keep being supported to trust it with your money.
- The wallet is regularly updated and seems to have a pretty healthy community surrounding it.
One more popular option worth including here is Edge. While Edge is only available on iOS and Android, it offers many of the attractive features of Atomic Wallet.
Pros of Edge Wallet:
- Edge puts the user in control of their account with no third-party access, it is also open source, allows for exchanges within the app itself and supports many other currencies on top of XRP.
- If being able to access funds across different platforms isn’t something important to you, then Edge could be a solid mobile storage solution.
XRP Web Wallets
Web wallets are great because they can be accessed from any supported web browser and don’t require that you install anything on your device. Their security features vary, but a good one should still allow you to be in complete control of your keys. Know that since you are accessing your money over the internet through a browser, you could be susceptible to malware should there be any present on your device. That being said, when dealing with cryptocurrency it is always advised that you work to make sure that any device you access finances from is clean, so this isn’t exactly any more or less true for web wallets.
One highly popular and simple web-based wallet is Exarpy. This is another example of a wallet that focuses on simplicity and security.
Pros of Exarpy wallet:
- It is an XRP only wallet.
- Great if you’re concerned about security as it actually demands that you disconnect your device from the internet before generating a wallet.
See, most cryptocurrency wallets can be generated entirely without internet access, as long as you have the correct code for the creation process. True, you cannot send any money from an offline wallet, but by using this method you have virtually 0% chance of your private keys being exposed as part of the generation process. You can simply run the website’s code in an an offline browser, generate the keys, store the private one safely away, and even use the public key to fund the address, all without ever exposing the device used to create the wallet to the internet. This practice is actually pretty common across most cryptocurrencies, and should be seriously considered, especially if you are concerned about security for your holdings.
The next contender is a bit of a mix between a web wallet and exchange, but many XRP fans use GateHub for both purposes.
- GateHub supports XRP, USD, EUR, BTC and ETH pairings, so it isn’t as verbose as some exchanges, but it also offers a pretty effective wallet for storing your assets. It should be noted that like most exchanges, GateHub is custodial, so you don’t truly own your XRP until you move it off of the exchange, but for small amounts and/or for trading, this could be just the solution for many users.
XRP Paper Wallets
One final option to consider, which is similar to but unique from most web wallets, is what is known as a paper wallet. A paper wallet is pretty much literally what it sounds like. You get an image, intended to be printed and stored physically, that has your private and public keys printed in text, as well as corresponding QR codes. Since your private key is visible both clear as day and in scan-able form, it is imperative you never reveal this image to anyone. Here is what a paper wallet looks like, and feel free to steal this private key, as obviously no funds have ever been sent to it (though you’d be a fool to use it yourself anyway):
There are, in truth, many more exchanges and wallets that you can test for storing your XRP. Still, this guide should have given you the basic means to go out there and begin exploring your options, and to do so in a reasonably safe manner. Like with any cryptocurrency, XRP has its own personality and caveats, so understanding these can help you have an enjoyable experience whether you are trading or just storing your asset. There is no shortage of further documentation available, especially from Ripple themselves. With just a bit of education, practice and following these tips, you’ll be an XRP pro in no time.