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Ripple: Getting Started Guide

By now, you may have already heard of Ripple, the new decentralized cryptocurrency project that has been making waves (pun intended) in the Bitcoin community. While Bitcoin allows anyone to hold, send and receive bitcoins over a decentralized network to and from anywhere in the world with extremely low fees, Ripple seeks to allow anyone to do the same thing with any other currency as well.

In order to get started with Ripple, you will first need to open a Ripple wallet. Just like Bitcoin in 2009, there is currently only one Ripple client available, the official one at ripple.com, although it is much more powerful and much easier to use than BitcoinQt – the client is a web interface, no software downloads required. The process is as simple as creating an account at any other website; simply click “Start ripple” followed by “Create an account” and go from there.

Once you have an account, the next step is to activate it. Unlike in Bitcoin, you cannot simply create as many Ripple accounts as you want simply by generating new private keys; you also need to make an initial deposit of 50 XRP, Ripple’s internal currency, in order for the account to become usable. At this point, there are two ways to get this initial deposit. First, OpenCoin sometimes makes free XRP giveaways, handing out generous quantities of XRP to as many people as it can reach. For now, the company is targeting the Bitcoin community, and so its first major giveaway required users to post in a forum thread on [Bitcointalk](http://bitcointalk.org), a popular Bitcoin forum. Later on, giveaways based on Facebook accounts and cell phone numbers are both likely to take place. If you are not lucky enough to spot a giveaway, or too impatient to wait for one, you can find someone else to buy XRP from. The largest Ripple communities right now are at https://ripple.com/forum/ and http://reddit.com/r/ripplers; if you have BTC to trade, you can easily find someone to give XRP in exchange. If you want to buy more XRP later there is also a “decentralized exchange” inside of Ripple that allows you to exchange any other currency within the Ripple system for XRP, but it requires you to already have 50 XRP in your account to use.

The process for sending and receiving in Ripple is the same as with Bitcoin; in the “Receive” tab of the Ripple wallet, the interface provides you with a Ripple address, which looks exactly like a Bitcoin address with the exception of starting with an “r” instead of a “1″. To send a payment to someone, you simply enter their address, the currency and the amount you wish to send in the “Send” tab. The process can be used to send any currency that you have in your Ripple account, although if you and the recipient are not linked through a chain of trust the only currency that you will be able to convert is XRP.

Once your account is loaded with at least 50 XRP, you will likely want to get some money in other currencies (eg. BTC or USD) into your account. In order to do this, you will need to open an account at a gateway. There are two options for gateways so far: WeExchange and BitStamp. The process with WeExchange works as follows. First, sign up and create a WeExchange account. Login to WeExchange and go to Funds -> Add Funds -> BTC to get a Bitcoin address that you can deposit your bitcoin to (fiat currencies can be deposited too but, as usual, Bitcoin is by far the easiest). Once WeExchange confirms your deposit, go to Funds -> Withdraw Funds -> Ripple. At the bottom of the page, you will see a list of addresses you can trust. Open your Ripple wallet and go to the “Advanced” tab. Click “Trust”, and add the BTC address to your trust list, entering a trust amount at least as large as what you are depositing. This creates a credit line between you and WeExchange that allows WeExchange to send you BTC – or, more precisely, an IOU for BTC, through the Ripple network. Then go to the “Receive” tab and copy your Ripple address. Back in WeExchange, select “BTC” as the withdraw currency, enter the deposit amount and paste in your Ripple address. And, there you go, you have BTC in your Ripple account.

In order to convert the BTC into another currency, once again in Ripple go to the “Advanced” tab and click “Trade”. At the top of the trade interface, select the “BTC/XRP” option if it is not selected already, and click on “change issuer”. Copy in the same Ripple address that you entered into your trust list to set WeExchange as the currency issuer for BTC. Then, through the trade interface, sell your BTC for the other currency just like you would trade BTC for fiat currency at an exchange like MtGox or BitStamp. Unless you decided to make an offer above the current “bid” price in an attempt to secure for yourself a better deal, the trade should process quickly and, voila, you have the currency of your choice.

As for where you can spend your Ripple funds, so far there is only one merchant accepting Ripple for payment: Private Internet Access. Private Internet Access currently only takes XRP – no Ripple USD or BTC transfers yet, and the XRP payment option is, for now, fairly expensive compared to the USD or BTC price of $39.95 per year since XRP does not yet have a clear market price. Note that when Private Internet Access provides the address for you to send the XRP, the address that it gives includes a numerical token at the end – something like r9EUYx41zx3audeARUwpkDF7VuwcmbwYTU?dt=2399767994. Make sure to include the full address, with the token, when making your payment – the token is included in the Ripple transaction, and tells Private Internet Access which order the payment is for.

Hopefully, soon more merchants will start accepting Ripple for payment, and even before that happens there is always the option of buying goods or labor over-the-counter on https://ripple.com/forum/ or http://reddit.com/r/ripplers. For now, good luck exploring the latest and greatest that cryptocurrency has to offer!

BTC: 1FxkfJQLJTXpW6QmxGT6oF43ZH959ns8Cq

LTC: LaBhvWiAP7msku6w8QSQ5G7omVWMF3uxJC

By

Vitalik Buterin is a co-founder of Bitcoin Magazine who has been involved in the Bitcoin community since 2011, and has contributed to Bitcoin both as a writer and the developer of a fork of bitcoinjs-lib, pybitcointools and multisig.info, as well as one of the developers behind Egora. Now, Vitalik's primary job is as the main developer of Ethereum, a project which intends to create a next-generation smart contract and decentralized application platform that allows people to create any kind of decentralized application on top of a blockchain that can be imagined.

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  • Pingback: Introducing Ripple | Bitcoin Magazine

  • EeWw

    Fail xrp

    • http://www.facebook.com/tony.maroney.9 Tony Maroney

      Hi,

      Can anyone send me 300 to get started please??

      rHaXnG8JL2zMsE5VmHD59jhAJ1zdTTEPYT

      thanks

  • nemecis rojas

    complemento para Bitcoin

    • Mitts

      rnQZxFhA2cU23s79o94YSGDLPS3MkVQcMP

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000354889246 Julia May

    Sent

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000354889246 Julia May

    Sent, zguy…and you’re welcome.

    If anyone else wants to share the wealth and throw a hundred or two my way, please send to
    rUuBXGGxHUDDtU3dripL7zwEmcUWfh8R33

  • Mickey

    Can someone please be kind enough to send me 300 XRP? I would love to get started with ripple, thank you!

  • Mickey

    Yikes, forgot to post my address. rHcL1p77TmmGFcnxRxNjr7xSgbZZ34bop3 thanks again, I appreciate your kindness.

  • Patrick Binder

    Yeah, I didn’t get that either, and why 10k XRP and 0 for everyone else, so nobody but Bitcointalk posters (as I have been reading for a while) can get XRP to play with?

    rhzPa2Tu64GHK1V8MmqeE9ikCtNFmSh7Tc

  • Aidan Bunce- Waters

    rMh8MJAu1JYUJTpYnTNFFTUWDfpkLvUhJX
    If I don’t ask, I don’t get :-D Thank you to anyone who’s feeling kind enough to help me reach 300 XRP! :-)

  • http://www.facebook.com/lenghadirectcom.lenghadirect LenghaDirectcom LenghaDirect

    rJKDV7XMq35KG8G9A2fT7oD5T4HK1HU7L5

    Hello any one who would be kind enough to give me 300 ripples to get me started would be ever so grateful of you. Thank you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tony.maroney.9 Tony Maroney

    Hi,

    Can anyone send me 300 to get started please??

    rHaXnG8JL2zMsE5VmHD59jhAJ1zdTTEPYT

    thanks alot

  • Arne Norman

    Need You help – tree hundred to the start – can You make it for me? Thanks a
    LOT!!
    rDsFpVw5pyagtpvvrbEFCMAMdaRmtSGtoT

  • http://twitter.com/Working4coins Working4coins

    Hi,

    I’d like to try Ripple. Can someone send me some XRP to rNbcXWLWw5JSoFMkbACDF6CznWLDJzevq6

    Thanks

  • quantumextreme

    Trying to make some test…can anybody donate some ripples? Thankx

    Address: rUvhZkdX5R411zQYWWTmb4DWZR4k15BE1V

  • http://www.facebook.com/richard.boase Richard Boase

    XRP is not a decentralised currency if they’re generated by a single private company who’re then handing them out at their own discretion. Seems to me Ripple Inc. is a centralised authority who are continuously devaluing the currency as they give it out.

    If their adoption model is to give it out to people who promote it in forums, then the system is clearly flawed, because no one honest is going to promote a currency which they know is going to fall in value as more units enter the economy.

    Bitcoin is not just superior, bitcoin and crypto-currencies are actually valuable. Fuck XRP

  • Arne Norman

    Need You help – tree hundred to the start – can You make it for me? Thanks a
    LOT!!
    rDsFpVw5pyagtpvvrbEFCMAMdaRmtSGtoT

  • http://www.matthewmarcus.com/ Matthew W. Marcus

    But who is controlling the XRP currency system? The thing that makes Bitcoin so interesting, appealing and possible is that no government or single entity owns/operates the currency. In the case of Ripple, it seems like one person(s) is kicking back and owning it all. That just won’t fly if it is the case…

  • Tom

    I just opened a wallet in Ripple only to find I need Ripple before I can get started. What is the best way to obtain XRP Ripple inexpensively?
    Wallet: r4xWPYCPmdafpQ9erTrKo7BVbyEXsmdLW

  • Andrea Fratton

    rwHc5kVkW9hZFHkV3hDfP7TtBVJ1GCktMZ
    Someone can send me 300 ?

  • Dukk

    Hi,

    Can anyone send me 300 to get started please??

    rKsbbvt5FR4eiisrb3vaNMV1D9tiYbjKvM

    thanks

  • Dicey

    Ripple
    coin is NOT decentralized as stated in this article, it is centralized,
    controlled by one company and they make it clear that they will ‘monetize’
    their ripple holdings when it reaches a value they deem sufficient, sufficient
    to cash in and be rich that is. Ripple Coin (or Ripple Con as we should call it) was all pre-mined too. Ripple Coin is a scam plain and simple, it’s everything crytocurrencies are not supposed to be.

  • Juhani From Finland

    I am a new user. Could someone to fund me to 300 in order to get beginning. Thanks.

    ratJ2vPZfG1pJazC9KMHAuw7mceMAn9xFE

  • Michael

    RIPPLE is backdoor funded by George Soros (A NWO neo-con control freak) who knows very well the Bitcoin and others are a great threat to him and all his banker buddies. They invented Ripple to try and minimize the Bitcoin threat with an attempt to pull Bitcoin people away from Bitcoin. It will fail hard core, and Bitcoin will win in the end.

  • glen parrish

    I’m begging for some XRP… I joined the world community and hoping it’ll be used for good not evil lol.

    Here is my address: rGtkAgZbWEmW1Ru9fsgQpkjipRxGG7v9aL

  • HL

    Please fund rL5kdmEiLwyPcHP3JDEwxiNmotYWazCqA4 by sending some xrp. Thank you!