As I am sure you’ve seen on TV and the Internet, Bitcoin, which is one of over 1300 Cryptocurrencies, reached an all time high of $20,000 USD per coin after starting out at mere cents, making many people millionaires (or billionaires in the case of the Winklevoss twins) and thrusting Crypto into the international limelight. Today I would like to show you what exactly are Cryptocurrencies, what Ripple is, how to invest in Ripple and other Crypto, and my personal feelings on where we’ll end up.
Disclaimer: This is not investment advice, please use common sense when investing, never risk more than you can afford to lose, and be aware that Cryptocurrencies are risky and volatile investments.
Common questions about Cryptocurrencies
There seems to be some confusion and misinformation around about Cryptocurrencies, so I will answer the most common questions here on FAQ format.
- Is Crypto real money?
- Yes, absolutely. Even though a Crypto’s value is based on speculation, there is so much excellent technology (Blockchain) behind it that it will revolutionize the Worlds’ money supply. And yes, you can convert Crypto to hard currency via a currency exchange (more on that soon)
- Do I need to know cryptography to invest in Crytpo?
- No, not at all. You can trade Crytpo easily and all you need to know is what price you wish to buy at. If you want to know more about the technology behind it, see Wikipedia.
- What is Crypto Mining and can I do it?
- Part of the technology behind Crypto requires difficult algorithms to be solved using fast computers (or dedicated ASICS units). As a reward for using your computer and electricity, you are given Crypto coins. I have personally looked into mining crypto and discovered that unless you have a cheap source of electricity, it’s not really worth it. Learn more about Crytpo Mining on Investopedia.
- Can I earn dividends like shares do?
- Yes and no. For most Crypto the answer is no, but there are some Crypto that do earn interest like Royalties and others that allow you to earn a passive income like SingularDTV, Decred, and NEOtoGas.
- Can I convert my Crypto to hard currency like USD?
- Yes! You can do this via your Crytpocurrency exchange which I will explain to you further below.
- What is a Crypto Wallet?
- A Crypto Wallet is software, hardware or website that you store your Cryptocurrency keys (private and public) in order to protect them from being stolen. It is extremely important to keep your private keys safe, and the safest way to do that is with a hardware wallet like Ledger Nano S which can store many different kinds of Crypto, but not all. Read more about Crytpo Wallets at Wikipedia.
- What is Blockchain?
- Blockchain is the technology behind Cryptocurrencies and is a continuous list of records called blocks, which are linked together using cryptography. Each block contains a hash pointer linking to the previous block, timestamp and transaction data. Read more on Wikipedia.
- How many Crytocurrencies are there?
- As of December 2017 there is over 1381 Cryptocurrencies available to trade, with dozens more coming online every month. Read more at Wikipedia.
What is Ripple and should I invest in it?
Ripple is a Crytpo that has gone up in value over 31,000% since it’s inception, making it the second most popular Cryptocurrency after Bitcoin by market capitalization. But, before I explain to you the huge opportunity that exists with Ripple, I want to go through a comparison between Ripple and Bitcoin…
|Bitcoin BTC||Ripple XRP|
|Takes up to 4 hours to settle a transaction||Takes 4 seconds to settle a transaction|
|Currently using as much electricity as the country of New Zealand to mine the coin||Ripple is not mined, it uses a consensus ledger which requires servers to confirm transactions|
|Bitcoin was the first iteration of Cryptocurrency, not designed for speed||Ripple was designed from the ground up to integrate and supplant the current SWIFT system used by international traders and banks to transfer money overseas, currently that market transfers over $155 Trillion dollars per year|
|Bitcoin has been extremely volatile, moving by $0.30c to $32.00 in 12 months, then back down to $2.00||Ripple has so far been a lot more stable and will likely continue to be so considering it’s being adopted by large international banks and institutions|
|Bitcoin has about 5,000 ATM’s around the world and small network of shops that allow customers to pay with Bitcoin||Ripple has forged relationships with the traditional banking sector and now has large multinational companies like UBS, Westpac, Santander, MUFG, American Express, Standard Charted and many more adopting XRP or integrating it into their platforms.|
As you can see from the chart above, Ripple is far superior to Bitcoin (and many other Cryptocurrencies) because it has been built from the ground up to be used for international trade. One of Ripple’s goals is to replace the current SWIFT system which takes 3 to 5 days for funds to transfer, Ripple takes just 4 seconds!
The International payments system transfers about $155 Trillion dollars every year, with SWIFT and other old, slow payment systems handling most of it. Enter Ripple with super-low transaction fees, incredibly fast transaction times of 4 seconds, you can imagine how eager traders are to start using it for money transfers!
With all these aspects going for it, it’s no wonder Ripple has increased in value so much so quickly, but the question is, will it keep on gaining in value? In my humble opinion, yes, and I personally have put a lot of my savings into Ripple, and will continue to do so. Whether Ripple is right for you to invest in, that is entire up to you and your budget. Never invest more than you can afford to lose.
So where will Ripple end up? Considering Bitcoin is currently sitting on USD$15,000 per coin, and Ripple having so many advantages over Bitcoin, it’s hard to imagine it won’t get to $1,000 per coin eventually (2 to 3 years) which is what I am betting on. I am also in Ripple for the long term (2 to 3+ years) so current volatility (2018-01-16) does not concern me much.
How to purchase Cryptocurrency
I have put together this large list of Crytpo Exchanges where you can buy Cryptocurrencies from around the world. Some require that you are a resident of the same country as the exchange, some don’t, but to be honest you’re better off using an exchange in your own country, or one of the big guys in US or Hong Kong. I have highlighted in yellow my recommended exchanges.
|U.S.A, CANADA, MEXICO|
|Coinbase||U.S||4||Trades Bitcoin, Etherium, Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin|
|Bittrex||U.S||271||Tons of currencies including Ripple, Bitcoin, Etherium|
|Poloniex||U.S||99||Currencies including Ripple, Bitcoin, Etherium, Dash, Dogecoin|
|GDAX||U.S||10||Trades Bitcoin, Etherium, LiteCoin and BitCash|
|Kraken||U.S||47||Trades Ripple, Bitcoin, Dash, Etherium|
|GEMINI||U.S||3||Trades USD, Bitcoin and Etherium|
|Bitquick||U.S||1||Trades Bitcoin only|
|PAXFUL||U.S||55||Lots of payment methods available, trades Bitcoin|
|QuadrigaCX||Canada||10||Lots of payment methods, trades Bitcoin, Etherium, LiteCian and Bitcoin Cash|
|CoinSquare||Canada||14||Trades Bitcoin, Etherium, LiteCoin|
|TUXExchange||Canada||19||Trades Bitcoin, PepeCash, LiteCoin, Counterparty|
|ALLCOIN||Canada||1+||Still in Beta testing, trades Bitcoin and others|
|BITSO||Mexico||8||Trades Bitcoin, Ripple, Etherium and others|
|EUROPE, WORLDWIDE and UNKNOWN|
|HitBTC||Norway||431||Trades many currencies including Bitcoin, Ripple, Dash, LiteCoin, Bitcoin Cash|
|BitPay.net||Poland||19||Trades Bitcoin, Lisp, Litecoin, Dash, Etherium, Bitcoin Gold and more|
|Tidex||Russia||185||Trades Bitcoin, Ether, Waves, SONM, Kolion, CryptoPing, Dragon, Dogecoin, Snovio, MSD, PrimalBase, Etherium and more|
|LocalBitcoins.net||Finland||71||Many ways to fund you account, trades Bitcoin|
|Stocks.exchange||Ukraine||143||Trades Bitcoin, Ether, NXT, STEX, EACoin, Ardor, BitcoinZ, Dogecoin, Fonero, Zeny, Aerium, Ellasim and more|
|Bitonic||Netherlands||1||Trades Bitcoin, several methods of funding|
|BL3P||Netherlands||1||Trades Bitcoin, several methods of funding|
|BitMarket||Poland||5||Trades Bitcoin, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin Gold|
|CCEX||Russia||393||Many ways to fund your account, trades Bitcoin, LUX, Etherium and many more|
|IDEX||WorldWide||1006||Trades hundreds of cryptos against Etherium including Bitcoin and all the majors and tons of minor currencies too|
|ShapeShift||Swizerland||2556||Trades Bitcoin, Ripple, Ether, NEO, Litecoin, Dash and hundreds more.|
|Abucoins||Poland||31||Trades Bitcoin, Ripple, Saicoin, Etherium and many more|
|KUNA Exchange||Ukraine||13||Trades Bitcoin, Bitcoinc Cash, Ether, Waves|
|VirWox||Austria||1||Many ways to fund your account, trades Bitcoin, Linden Dollar|
|OpenLedger||WorldWide||62||Trades Bitcoin, Bitshares, Dash, Waves and many more|
|NovaExchange||Sweden||2077||Trades many cryptos including Bitcoin, StarCash, Tajcoin, Bitcoin Cash Scrypt, Surge, Asnc, Bitpluscoin and many more|
|BitKonan||Croatia||2||Trades Bitcoin and Litecoin|
|Coingi.com||Unknown||12||Trades Bitcoin, Dogecoin, Litecoin, Dash, and others|
|NLexch||Unknown||267||Trades Bitcoin, Zetacoin, Guldincoin, Litecoin,|
|YoBit||Russia||6045||Many ways to fund your account, trades Bitcoin, Etherium, Dash, Dogecoin, YOVI, LSK, Litcoin and many many more|
|Lykke||Swizerland||95||Many ways to fund your account, trades Bitcoin, Etherium, LKK and others|
|LiteBit.eu||Netherlands||51||Many ways to fund your account, trades Bitcoin, Ripple, Etherium, Waves, NXT and dozens more|
|Liqui||Ukraine||177||Trades Bitcoin, Etherium, Litecoin, Waves and many more|
|Bitstamp||U.K||5||Trades Bitcoin, Ripple, Litecoin, Ether and Bitcoin Cash|
|EXMO.com||U.K||46||Many ways to fund your account, trades Bitcoin, Ripple, Tether, Etherium, Waves, Kick, Litecoin and many more|
|Livecoin.net||U.K||468||Many ways to fund your account, trades Bitcoin, Ether, Lisk, Litecoin, Dash, Dogecoin and many many more|
|CEX.io||U.K||27||Many ways to fund your account, trades Bitcoin, Ripple, Etherium, Bitcoin Cash, Dash and more|
|MERCATOX||U.K||174||Many ways to fund your account, trades Bitcoin, Etherium, Kin, Dash, Dogecoin, Litecoin and more|
|Mixcoins||U.K||6||Trades Bitcoin, Etherium, Lisk, Bitcoin Cash and others|
|Bitsane||Ireland||37||Many ways to fund your account, trades Bitcoin, Ripple, Etherium, Litecoin and others|
|DSX||U.K||23||Many ways to fund your account, trades Bitcoin, Etherium and more|
|Coinfloor||U.K||4||Many ways to fund your account, trades Bitcoin, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, Etherium, Litecoin and others|
|TradeSatoshi||U.K||1012||Trades Bitcoin, Dogecoin, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash and many more|
|Cobinhood||Cayman Islands||8||Trades Bitcoin, Etherium and Cobinhood|
|CryptoDao||U.K||102||Many ways to fund your account, trades Bitcoin, MillionBitcoinCash, BitConnectCoin, Dash, Dogecoin and many more|
|Bittlicious||U.K||75||Number of ways to fund your account, trades Bitcoin, Dogecoin, Dash, Bitcoin Cash, Belacoin and others|
|Bitlish||U.K||21||Many ways to fund your account, trades Bitcoin, Litecoin, Bitcoin Gold, Dash, Etherium, Dogecoin, Monero and ZCash|
|CoinMate||U.K||1||Several ways to fund your account, trades Bitcoin|
|Globitex||U.K||2||Trades Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash|
|CoinCorner||Isle of Man||1||Many ways to fund your account, trades Bitcoin|
|Cryptox||U.K||5||Trades Bitcoin, Byteball, Dash, Litecoin and more|
|Cryptonit||U.K||6||Many ways to fund your account, trades Bitcoin, Etherium and others|
|Bitssa||Isle of Man||1||Several ways to fund your account, trades Bitcoin|
|SpaceBTC||U.K||9||Trades Bitcoin, Etherium, Litecoin and others|
|IndaCoin||U.K||7||Many ways to fund your account, trades Bitcoin, Etherium and others|
|GOC.io||British Virgin Islands||2||Trades Bitcoin and Litecoin|
|Binance||Hong Kong||235||Funding by crypto only, trades Bitcoin, Ripple, Litecoin, TRON, Etherium and many more|
|Bithumb||South Korea||12||Trades Bitcoin, Ripple, Qtum, EOS, Monero, Etherium, ZCash and others|
|Bitfinex||Hong Kong||66||Trades Bitcoin, Ripple, Litecoin, Iota, NEO, Status, ZCash, Golem and many more|
|Quoinex||Japan||48||Many fiat currencies supported to fund your account, trades Bitcoin and many others|
|CoinOne||South Korea||9||Trades Bitcoin, Ripple, Qtum, Bitcoin Cash, Etherium, Litecoin, IOTA and Bitcoin Gold|
|CoinCheck||Japan||12||Trades Bitcoin, Ripple, Lisk, Etherium, Dash, Bitcoin Cash and more|
|KuCoin||Hong Kong||159||Trades Bitcoin, Dragon, Etherium, NEO, Dash, Dogecoin and many others|
|Korbit||South Korea||5||Trades Bitcoin, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, Etherium, Remittance, Monero, ZCash and others|
|Bitflyer||Japan||9||Trades Bitcoin, Etherium and others|
|WEX||Singapore||47||Many ways to fund your account, trades Bitcoin, Etherium, HShare, Dash, Bitcoin Cash and more|
|itBit||Singapore||3||Trades Bitcoin and others|
|BXinth||Thailand||24||Trades Bitcoin, Ripple, EVX, Etherium, Dash and others|
|LakeBTC||China||24||Many ways to fund your account, trades Bitcoin|
|Bitcoin.co.id||Indonesia||21||Trades Bitcoin, Dogecoin, Lumen and others|
|BitBank||Japan||8||Trades Bitcoin, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Etherium, MONA and others|
|Zaif||Japan||17||Trades Bitcoin, XEM, MONA and others|
|GateCoin||Hong Kong||58||Number of ways to fund your account, trades Bitcoin, TRON, Etherium and many others|
|BTC38||China||47||Trades Bitcoin, Ripple, Litecoin, Etherium, Dogecoin, Ardor, Bitcoin Cash, XEM and many more|
|OKCoin||Singapore||5||Trades Bitcoin, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash and others|
|QRYPTOS||Japan||47||Trades Bitcoin, Etherium and many more|
|ANXPRO||Hong Kong||12||Many ways to fund your account, trades Bitcoin, Ripple, Litecoin, Dogecoin and Stellar|
|CoinEx||Hong Kong||5||Trades Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Etherium and Litecoin|
|BTCC||Hong Kong||1||Trades Bitcoin|
|CoinSwitch||India||1327||Trades Bitcoin, Ripple, Dogecoin, Verge and many many more|
|Vircurex||China||88||Trades Bitcoin, Dogecoin, Litecoin and others|
|DCEx||India||21||Many ways to fund your account, trades Bitcoin, Yashcoin, ZenCash, SAC and others|
|OKEX||Hong Kong||3||Trades Bitcoin, Etherium, Litecoin and others|
|AUSTRALIA, NEW ZEALAND|
|CoinSpot||Australia||69||Number of ways to fund your account including BPay and POLI, trades Bitcoin, Ripple, Dogecoin, Stellar, Etherium, DigiByte, FunFair, Monero, TRON and many others, highly recommended|
|Cryptopia||New Zealand||1621||Trades Bitcoin, Litecoin, Dogecoin, Etherium, Ark and many many more|
|ACX||Australia||6||Trades Bitcoin, Etherium, HShare, Bitcoin Cash, UBTC and Fuel|
|BTC Markets||Australia||9||Trades Bitcoin, Ripple, Dogecoin, Litecoin, Etherium, Eth-Classic and Bitcoin Cash|
|Independant Reserve||Australia||9||Trades Bitcoin, Etherium and Bitcoin Cash|
|Kiwi Coin||New Zealand||1||Trades Bitcoin|
|NZBCX||New Zealand||1||Trades Bitcoin|
|Brighton Peak||Australia||1||Trades Bitcoin|
|BitMEX||Seychelles||11||Trades Bitcoin, Ripple, Etherium, Monero and ZCash|
|LUNO||South Africa||2||Trades Bitcoin and Etherium|
|The Rock Trading||Malta||15||Many ways to fund your account, trades Bitcoin, Ripple, Litecoin, Etherium, Peercoin, Zcash and more|
|zyado||Portugal||1||Number of ways to fund your account, trades Bitcoin|
|useCryptos||Portugal||1+||Trades Bitcoin and others|
|BTCTurk||Turkey||3||Trades Bitcoin and Etherium|
|Bit2c||Israel||3||Trades Bitcoin and Litecoin|
|Bleutrade||Brazil||132||Trades Bitcoin, Etherium, Mooncoin, HTMLcoin, Dogecoin, Litecoin, Reddcoin, Dash and many more|
|Mercado Bitcoin||Brazil||3||Many ways to fund your account, trades Bitcoin, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash|
|Foxbit||Brazil||1||Many ways to fund your account, trades Bitcoin|
|BitInka||Peru||14||Many ways to fund your account, trades Bitcoin, Ripple, Etherium, Dash, Litecoin and others|
|BitcoinTrade||Brazil||1||Many ways to fund your account, trades Bitcoin|
|BitcoinToYou||Brazil||1||Many ways to fund your account, trades Bitcoin|
|SouthXchange||Argentina||81||Many ways to fund your account including PayPal, trades Bitcoin, Verge, Mint, Etherium and many more|
|SuperBTC||Chile||7||Trades Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash and others|
|BrazilIEX||Brazil||22||Trades Bitcoin, Etherium, Litecoin and others|
|FlowBTC||Brazil||4||Many ways to fund your account, trades Bitcoin, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash|
|ARENA Bitcoin||Brazil||1||Many ways to fund your account, trades Bitcoin|
|WallTime||Brazil||1||Many ways to fund your account, trades Bitcoin|
|Havelock Investments||Panama||6||Trades Bitcoin and others|
|CryptoCambio||Brazil||68||Many ways to fund your account, trades Bitcoin, Blackcoin, Clams, Monero, Etherium, Maidsafe, Lisk and others|
The future of Cryptocurrencies, Summary
A lot of people, mainly stalwarts that don’t like change, say that Crypto is just a "fad and won’t last", I couldn’t disagree more. The momentum (and money) behind Crypto, along with the moral and ethical principals so lacking in our current monetary system, makes Cryptocurrency the future of money and is creating a new, fair and equitable paradigm for us all. Yes there are some teething problems, like the amount of resources it takes to create Bitcoin, but this has already been dealt with effectively, the same way that all technology improves over time (something a lot of people just don’t get).
I think the future is very bright for Crypto and we’ll continue to see it rise, and rise to new heights and eventually replace our existing monetary system.
I hope my tutorial has gone someway to clear up and teach you how, what and where Cryptocurrencies are, and given you some good resources to enter the market.