This is a how to guide for buying and storing Ripple (XRP). I'm writing this guide for those who are very new to cryptocurrency, and I will take the time to expand on each step that is happening throughout the process. If you have any questions about any of the steps, terms, or process, please post up a response in this thread and I'll respond as I read them. And for general questions about anything related to cryptocurrency, please post those questions in the dedicated Cryptocurrency section of the forum. Setup 2 Factor Authentication with Authy As you're creating these accounts, you're also going to want to setup 2 Factor Authentication, which means after you login with your username and password to a site, an annoying third step will require you to provide a unique code, which will be generated from your 2 Factor Authentication app. Regarding 2 Factor Authentication, I recommend using an app instead of an SMS message being sent to your phone because in the event you ever lose your phone, your 2 step verification code generator will be recoverable. I recommend Authy, which is a free download for iPhone and Android. When using the Authy app, you don't need phone reception or Internet access on the device to generate codes - it all happens offline. Step 1 - Buy Bitcoin on Coinbase The first step is you need to convert your fiat money to digital cryptocurrency. This means you're going to take money from your bank account and use it to purchase Bitcoin. While there are other cryptocurrencies you can purchase, we are going to proceed with Bitcoin because it will be the easiest cryptocurrency requiring the least amount of steps to convert to Ripple. 1.1 - Create a Coinbase Account The first thing you should do is create an account on Coinbase, which is one of the easiest, safest ways to buy Bitcoin. They are a legitimate company and are US based. Here's a referral link - Coinbase When signing up for these cryptocurrency financial services, it's very important to use a unique, strong password. Make sure you've stored this password in a safe place, and under no circumstance, share your password with anyone. Giving access to these accounts is essentially giving access to one of your financial accounts. It's your responsibility to protect and safeguard your login credentials. Just like signing up for any bank account, Coinbase will ask for your name, address, contact information, and will require you to verify your identity with your Driver's License, SSN, birthday, etc. 1.2 - Funding your Coinbase After your profile has been created, the next step is adding a funding source, which can be any bank account or credit card. I strongly recommend only using your bank account because the fees to convert your fiat to Bitcoin will be the cheapest. When setting up your bank account, Coinbase may verify your account by making 2 very small transactions and ask you to verify those transactions. Most banks show pending transactions, so depending on your bank, login to your online banking and those 2 small transactions most likely will show up in your 'Pending Transactions' and you can immediately get verified with Coinbase. 1.3 - Buying Bitcoin on Coinbase Once your funding source has been setup, you're ready to buy some Bitcoin. Go to the Buy/Sell section, and here you can choose your cryptocurrency, funding source, and amount to purchase. You are not required to buy Bitcoin in whole numbers - you can choose a quantity with up to 8 decimal points. Coinbase only requires the transaction size to be a minimum of $1.00 USD. Coinbase will charge a small fee to convert your fiat to Bitcoin, which is based on your transaction amount. The only frustration you're going to encounter is a mandatory 7-day holding period for any Bitcoin you buy, meaning you're going to be required to wait 7 full days until your Bitcoin is available. The price of Bitcoin will fluctuate, but when you buy Bitcoin, you're locking in that price at the time you execute your transaction to buy. Regardless of Bitcoin's price increasing or decreasing during that 7-day waiting period, your price will not change for that individual transaction because you've already locked it in. This waiting period cannot be overridden, so keep this in mind when you're thinking about making future transactions and will need to buy more Bitcoin in the future. It's worth noting to take a look at your Coinbase Verification and Limits page because this is something that will change over time. As you make more transactions and your account ages, your limits and verifications will increase, and then you can progressively buy more. If you keep maxing out your weekly limits or are a high net worth individual, you can always manually apply for higher limits. On your Coinbase Accounts page, you will see a list of your Accounts, also known as Wallets. When it comes to cryptocurrency, your wallet is your individual holding account for a particular type of cryptocurrency. Wallets are unique to you, and wallets are unique to the cryptocurrency they've been assigned to. Bitcoin wallets can only store Bitcoin, Ether wallets can only store Ether, Litecoin wallets can only store Litecoin, etc. After your funds have cleared, Coinbase will credit your wallet with the amount of Bitcoin you purchased. And you're now the owner of that Bitcoin, and it's being store in your Coinbase wallet. Step 2 - Buy Ripple on Poloniex 2.1 - Create a Poloniex Account Poloniex is a US based cryptocurrency exchange, allowing anyone to actively trade cryptocurrencies in real time. Signing up on Poloniex is very straightforward. All you need is an email address and you're essentially ready to start trading. You can send as much money as you want into Poloniex, you can store as much money as you want in Poloniex, but you're limited to a daily withdrawal limits. Everyone starts out with Level 1 Verification, but you're required to provide more information to increase your withdrawal limits. After your account is setup, I also recommend you setup 2 Factor Authentication and Enable Withdrawal Verification Emails. This will expedite your withdrawals, because Poloniex will require both. If you do not have 2 Factor Authentication setup, your withdrawal transaction will go under review and will require a support ticket to verify your identity. You can avoid all of this by setting up 2 Factor Authentication and Email Verification, and your withdrawals will be extremely fast. 2.1 - Funding your Poloniex With your profile setup, now it's time to fund your account. Poloniex is an exchange that only deals with cryptocurrency, meaning you cannot send fiat money. It's time to send some Bitcoin from your Coinbase (hosted wallet) to your Poloniex (exchange wallet). Sending cryptocurrency funds from one wallet to another wallet is super easy, however there is absolutely zero room for error. I cannot stress this enough. From one account, you're sending funds or making a withdrawal. From the other account, you're receiving funds or making a deposit. Those accounts are identified by unique wallet addresses, which is a long series of alpha-numeric characters. Your wallet address must be 100% correct, otherwise you've lost the funds you're trying to send. Of equal importance, make sure the wallets you're sending/receiving funds are both associated with the same cryptocurrency. Again, there is no room for error here. You can only send Bitcoin to a Bitcoin wallet, Ether can only be sent to an Ether wallet, Litecoin can only be sent to a Litecoin wallet, etc. If you prefer, feel free to send a small amount at first to see the transaction go through successfully, and follow it with a larger amount once you feel comfortable. There is a very small fee charged every time you send funds from Coinbase to Poloniex, but it's incredibly small. To receive Bitcoin to your Poloniex account, you're going to need the wallet address to send it to. Go to your Deposits & Withdrawals page, where you'll find a list of all your wallets. Each wallet is unique to your account and assigned to a specific cryptocurrency. To receive Bitcoin, go to your BTC (Bitcoin) wallet and click Deposit, and here you'll find your Bitcoin Deposit Address. This is the account number that will receive the Bitcoin. To send to this address, go to your Coinbase account to send the Bitcoin over. When logged into Coinbase, go to the Send/Request page, and this is where you send your Bitcoin. For the Recipient field, enter your Poloniex Bitcoin wallet address. For the amount, choose how much Bitcoin you want to send from your Coinbase wallet to your Poloniex wallet. Verify the Poloniex wallet address is 100% correct, and click Send. Coinbase will probably ask you for your 2 Factor Authentication to verify the Send Funds request. It could take a few minutes to a few hours for your transfer to show up in Poloniex. At any time, you can go into your Coinbase dashboard and see if the transaction is pending or completed. And on Poloniex, going to your Deposits History page will show your deposit history. 2.3 - Buying Ripple on Poloniex Now that you're Poloniex account has been funded with Bitcoin, it's time to trade your Bitcoin for Ripple. Bitcoin has a ticker symbol of BTC, and Ripple has a ticker symbol of XRP, which means we want to trade on the BTC/XRP market. In the Markets section, you'll see 4 tabs. Choose the BTC tab on the far left, scroll down within the section and click on the XRP line. You should now be on the XRP/BTC page. Now it's time to place your trade, where you will sell your BTC (Bitcoin) in exchange for XRP (Ripple). Scroll farther down the page, and you'll some buy/stop/sell modules. Within the Buy XRP module, you'll see how much BTC you have and the lowest asking price. If you click those numbers, they will auto populate the fields below. The Price field shows the price you're paying, the Amount field shows the amount you're receiving, and the Total field shows the total cost of the trade. Clicking Buy will place the trade. Poloniex will charge a small fee for the trade after it executes. Depending on the quantity of your trade request and what's available on the market will dictate the amount of time to complete your trade. Scrolling farther down the same page, you'll see a My Open Orders section, which shows your trades that have not completed. This is real time, so if part of your order is filled, it will continue to show the remaining order that is waiting to be filled. At any time, you can see all of your open, unfulfilled orders by going to the My Open Orders page. If the market is moving strongly in a particular direction while you're trying to make your trade, you can try to fill as much as you can, cancel the remaining order, and create a new order to trade with the current market demands. If you only want to buy at a certain price point, you can manually change the price field, how much you want to buy, and submit the order and let it wait as an open order until it gets filled if/when the market reaches that price marker. When you're in Poloniex, going to your Deposits and Withdrawals page will always show you a complete overview of your account balances. Checking the box 'Hide 0 Balances' will make it easier to see exactly what you have. Assuming your order was fulfilled, you should see your XRP (Ripple) position here. Step 3 - Store Ripple on Gatehub Generally speaking, hosted wallets should be for long term holding of your cryptocurrency, and exchanges should be for short term trading of your cryptocurrency. I do not recommend storing your long term positions on the Poloniex exchange. It's ok to hold funds in your exchange wallets because you can make immediate buy/sell trades in real time, but exchanges store your funds differently than a dedicated hosted wallet service and security should be a priority if you're not actively trading short term positions or swing trading on a regular basis. 3.1 - Create a Gatehub Account There are different hosted wallet services. Coinbase is a hosted wallet, however they don't currently offer Ripple wallets. For a hosted Ripple wallet, Gatehub is currently the best option. They are European based and are connected/backed by Ripple. Go to Gatehub and sign up for an account. You're going to want to go through the verification process, where you provide your name, address, and verification documents. After you have submitted everything, the verification process can take a day or two for approval. Once you're fully approved, Gatehub should credit your Ripple wallet with 30 XRP. This is very important, because Ripple requires a one-time 30 XRP deposit within the wallet to activate the wallet address. If for some reason you've been verified and your Ripple wallet still shows a zero balance, contact Gatehub's support and they should credit your Ripple wallet with 30 XRP to activate the wallet address. 3.2 - Transfer Ripple from Poloniex to Gatehub Once you're verified with Ripple, and your Ripple wallet is showing 30 XRP, you can send Ripple from your Poloniex wallet to your Gatehub wallet. To receive Ripple to your Gatehub account, you're going to need the wallet address to send it to. When you're logged into Gatehub, go to the Wallet page to see your Ripple wallet/balance. Click the Deposit/Receive button and a Deposit Funds module will be displayed. Choose the Ripple option on the far left, and here you'll find your Ripple wallet address. This is the account number that will receive the Ripple. To send to this address, go to your Poloniex account to send the Ripple over to Gatehub. Within Poloniex, go to the Deposits & Withdrawals page, where you'll see a list of your wallets and positions. To send Ripple, go to your XRP (Ripple) wallet and click Withdraw, which will expand allowing you to send Ripple. For the Address field, enter your Gatehub Ripple wallet address. For the amount, choose how much Ripple you want to send from your Poloniex wallet to your Gatehub wallet. Verify the Gatehub wallet address is 100% correct, and click Withdraw. Poloniex will ask for your 2 Factor Authentication and verify the withdrawal via email to complete the transaction. Poloniex will charge a very small fee to send the Ripple. You can see the status of your withdrawal by going to your Withdrawal History page. If you do not have 2 Factor Authentication and Email Verification enabled, Poloniex may review the withdrawal transaction and create a Poloniex support ticket to have you manually verify, therefore I recommend setting these things up so withdrawals from Poloniex complete within minutes. Keep in mind that Poloniex has daily withdrawal limits, based on your profile verification status. You can store more than your limits within your Poloniex account, but you're limited to daily withdrawals. If you purchased more Ripple than your daily withdrawal limit, you will need to login to Poloniex every day to continue withdrawing until you've transferred everything to your Gatehub wallet. When you login to your Gatehub wallet, you should see your Ripple deposit sent from your Poloniex wallet. Your Ripple is now being stored, safely and securely, within your Gatehub wallet. Questions For questions, comments, feedback, or general thoughts, post up a reply within this thread, and I'll respond as I read them.