Over the last few months I've become fascinated by Crypto-currency. I wrote about Bitcoin earlier this year and more recently I've had my eye on Ripple. I'm now trading Ripple (or more precisely XRP), and currently things are looking very rosy indeed.
What is Ripple anyway?
The concept with Ripple is to create a new global payments network. You know when you want to send money somewhere, whether it be to the bank across the street, or somewhere on the other side of the globe? Well that process (currently) requires a network of banks, and it's slooooow, and costly.
Ripple works with banks to transform how they send money around the world
I noticed this morning that to deposit USD into my trading account will take 2-5 business days to complete, and they'll take 0.05% of my deposit (min US$7). The Ripple network plans to disrupt this by offering an alternative which is much faster, and cheaper.
How to trade it
When trading Ripple, you are actually trading the crypto-currency they have created called XRP. Currently I know of two places you can go to trade XRP - Poloniex, and Bitstamp. Signing up is relatively straight-forward, getting money into your account is where it gets interesting. You can always just deposit funds, but that costs a fair bit as I mentioned above. The other option is to find a local exchange where you can deposit money using a standard national bank transfer, which in Australia is free, and I'm guessing elsewhere would also generally be free.
Once you have transferred money into this local trading account, you can buy Bitcoin, and transfer the Bitcoin to your Bitstamp or Poloniex account - this is how I got started.
So that's the basics and should give you enough to get started with Ripple trading. Let me know how you go!