If you thought bitcoin was hot, maybe you should learn about ripple. It's another crytocurrency that's been rocketing in popularity lately.
While it was trading at around $0.20 a few months ago, it's now worth more than $2.25 per coin. Ripple is a little different than many other popular cryptocurrencies because it was created by a private, for-profit company that is still the biggest individual owner of the currency.
But ripple isn't as easy to buy as bitcoin or other popular cryptocurrencies, since it isn't available in popular apps such as Coinbase.
That means you need to jump through a few hoops to buy it. I tried several methods and think I've come up with the easiest:
Only some of ripple's recommended exchanges include support for buying Ripple with the U.S. dollar, which would be the easiest way. Unfortunately, after trying several and running into technical issues or login problems, I settled on an exchange called Bitsane. (Update: Bitsane has been experiencing server overload problems. You can also try using Binance.)
Setting up an account is easy, and the main page has all sorts of information on current exchange prices for trading between various cryptocurrencies. It also lets you send and receive currency from other apps, such as Coinbase, which we'll get to in a moment.
Now you'll need to buy another cryptocurrency: either bitcoin or ether (the cryptocurrency associated with the Ethereum blockchain).
It's annoying that you need to do this extra step, but unfortunately it's the easiest way to move forward.
I used Coinbase to buy ether and bitcoin. It's easy to use and you can buy it using the U.S. dollar, either through a linked bank account or debit card. Follow our guide on how to buy bitcoin and ethereum for this step.
In this case, I'm buying $200 worth of ether.
Next, you're going to move the ether you own in Coinbase over to the Bitsane platform so you can use it to buy ripple. I know it sounds complicated, but it isn't.
Now that your ether is in your Bitsane account, you can use it to buy ripple.
You can see how much ripple you now own under balances. Here we can see I ended up with about 45.88 full ripple coins.
Now, since I can't really spend ripple anywhere, I can just sit on it and see what happens. As with most cryptocurrencies, you're taking a bet here on whether the value is going to increase or decrease. But unlike bitcoin, you can actually buy several of these at once without spending too much money.