How to Buy XRP on Coinbase

Updated on January 7, 2024

At a Glance

  • XRP is the native coin of the Ripple blockchain platform for fast and affordable financial transactions.
  • Ripple is controlled by major banks and financial institutions, not a decentralized blockchain.
  • While not listed on Coinbase, XRP can still be purchased using U.S. dollars on the platform.
  • XRP’s legal status is uncertain due to an SEC lawsuit against Ripple Labs Inc, impacting its availability on certain exchanges.

One name in cryptocurrency that has gained a lot of attention in 2021 is Ripple. Despite regulatory challenges, many people are confident in the potential for XRP to gain value. If you are one of these people but are unsure where to buy the coin, read on and learn how to buy XRP on Coinbase.

What is Ripple (XRP)?

XRP is the native coin of the Ripple blockchain platform. The Ripple platform is designed to allow for fast and cheap financial transactions. The XRP coin and its blockchain are intended to be a way for investors to transfer large sums of money across national borders within a few seconds.

Ripple is different from many other blockchains in that it is not decentralized. Ripple is directly controlled by a consortium of major banks and other financial institutions. These organizations own the nodes (servers) that perform all the computations for the Ripple blockchain.

How to Buy XRP on Coinbase

Coinbase is one of the largest and most trusted crypto exchanges in the United States. In January 2021, Coinbase de-listed XRP from its exchange in response to a lawsuit brought against Ripple Labs Inc by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)

Since then, you can no longer buy XRP directly on Coinbase. However, you can still use your U.S. dollars to buy XRP using Coinbase. 

Details on the nature of the SEC lawsuit against Ripple Labs, Inc are given in more detail later on. But first, a few simple guidelines to show you how to buy XRP on Coinbase

Create an Account with Coinbase

The first part of the process of how to buy XRP on Coinbase is to create a Coinbase account, add USD, then buy a coin:

  1. Visit the Coinbase website
  2. Create a new account (if you don’t have one)
  3. Fund the account with U.S. dollars
  4. Exchange your USD for ETH or BTC (it doesn’t matter which).

Choose Where to Store Your Ripple

Once you have received your ETH or BTC, you must safely store it. It is generally considered best to store your coins and tokens in a crypto wallet that you control. You can choose any reputable hardware or software wallet to store your XRP. Below are some examples of crypto wallets that are compatible with XRP:

  • Ledger Nano
  • Toast Wallet
  • Edge Wallet 
  • Uphold Wallet
  • Ripple XRP Paper Wallet.

Hardware wallets are generally more secure than paper wallets, but also more expensive. If you can afford it, a reputable hardware wallet is a very good investment in the safety of your crypto assets. 

Many crypto wallets are compatible with multiple blockchains. This compatibility means you can store many different coins, tokens, and other assets without juggling many different wallets. 

If you don’t want to set up a crypto wallet, you can choose to keep your XRP in your Binance account after you buy it.

Buy XRP

Coinbase no longer sells XRP but Binance does. Binance does not allow fiat currency to XRP exchange but allows you to exchange Ether or Bitcoin for XRP. You can transfer the coins you bought on Coinbase to a Binance account and use those coins to buy XRP. Here’s how you do it:

  1. Visit the Binance website
  2. Create a new account (if you don’t have one)
  3. Transfer your coins from Coinbase:
    1. Click the Deposit icon, then select BTC
    2. Copy the address 
    3. In Coinbase, choose the option to Send BTC
    4. Paste the address from Binance
  4. Use your ETH or BTC to buy XRP
  5. (optional) Transfer your XRP to a crypto wallet.

Coinbase KYC

When you create a Coinbase account, you may be required to provide proof of your identity before you can use all the features of the platform, such as exchanging crypto for U.S. dollars.

To combat criminal activities like money laundering, many countries have KYC (know your customer) regulations. These regulations require financial institutions to record the identity and personal or business details of all the customers they do business with. 

This process allows government officials to trace the identity of account holders if a crime is committed.

Since they provide crypto in exchange for fiat currency (normal cash), centralized exchanges based in the United States and many other countries require you to provide some form of official identification before you are allowed to use the platform.

Binance does not require full KYC disclosure for small, irregular crypto exchange transactions. 

One of the reasons so much attention has turned towards the Ripple project has been the attention the company has received from U.S. financial regulators. In December 2020, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed a lawsuit against Ripple Labs Inc, the company that developed the Ripple blockchain.

The subject of the lawsuit is the way Ripple raised money to develop the blockchain. Ripple released an Initial Coin Offering (ICO). An ICO is when a company creates and sells a cryptocurrency to fund its operations. 

The idea of an ICO is based on the idea of an Initial Public Offering (IPO). In an IPO, a company that was privately held sells shares of itself to the public for the first time, usually on a stock market. If investors believe in the company they invest their money by buying shares.

Financial regulations regarding IPOs are very strict. Since crypto is so new, there are no explicit regulations about ICOs. The SEC believes that Ripple’s ICO was in effect an IPO conducted without proper procedure.

This lawsuit is the reason many U.S.-based exchanges, including Coinbase, do not currently allow XRP trading.

The ultimate consequences of the SEC lawsuit for Ripple Labs and people who hold or want to trade XRP are still unclear. It may take months or years before the lawsuit concludes. Whatever the outcome, it will most likely affect all cryptocurrencies, not just XRP.

Frequently Asked Questions on Buying XRP on Coinbase

Can I buy XRP on Coinbase?

As of my last update, Coinbase had suspended trading of XRP due to regulatory concerns. It’s important to check the latest updates on Coinbase’s website or app for the current status of XRP trading on their platform.

How do I buy cryptocurrency on Coinbase?

  1. Create a Coinbase Account: Sign up and verify your identity.
  2. Add a Payment Method: Link your bank account, debit card, or use wire transfer.
  3. Purchase Cryptocurrency: Navigate to the ‘Buy/Sell’ section, select the cryptocurrency you want to buy, enter the amount, and confirm the transaction.

What are the alternatives to buy XRP if it’s not available on Coinbase?

If XRP is not available on Coinbase, you can look for other reputable cryptocurrency exchanges that list XRP, such as Binance, Kraken, or Bitstamp.

How do I choose a secure and reliable platform to buy XRP?

Choose a platform that has a strong reputation, offers robust security measures, is compliant with relevant regulations, and provides good customer support.

Are there any fees involved in buying XRP or other cryptocurrencies on Coinbase?

Yes, Coinbase charges fees for buying cryptocurrencies. These fees vary based on the payment method and the size of the transaction.

How long does it take for a cryptocurrency purchase to complete on Coinbase?

The transaction time can vary depending on network activity and the payment method used. Typically, purchases made with a debit card or Coinbase wallet are almost instant, while bank transfers can take several days.

Can I store my XRP directly on Coinbase?

If XRP trading is available on Coinbase, you can store your XRP in your Coinbase wallet. However, it’s generally recommended to use a private wallet for enhanced security.

What should I consider before buying XRP or any cryptocurrency?

Before buying XRP or any cryptocurrency, consider the volatility of the market, do thorough research on the asset, understand the risks involved, and consider your investment goals and risk tolerance.

How can I keep my XRP investment secure?

To keep your XRP investment secure, use reputable exchanges for transactions, enable two-factor authentication, and consider transferring your assets to a private, offline wallet for long-term storage.

Is it possible to buy XRP with fiat currencies?

Yes, it is possible to buy XRP with fiat currencies on exchanges that offer this pair. You will need to check the specific exchange listings for available trading pairs.

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Final Thoughts

XRP is the native coin of the Ripple blockchain. Ripple Labs is the subject of a lawsuit brought by U.S. financial regulators, alleging financial wrongdoing. Many U.S. crypto exchanges, including Coinbase, have restricted or stopped trading in XRP as a result. However, despite this situation, you can buy XRP with USD using Coinbase and Binance in combination.

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Frank Gogol

I’m a firm believer that information is the key to financial freedom. On the Stilt Blog, I write about the complex topics — like finance, immigration, and technology — to help immigrants make the most of their lives in the U.S. Our content and brand have been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and more.