Two weeks ago we wrote an introduction to Ripple, which is an open source platform for sending and receiving money.
Quite a few people read that introduction and had some questions on how to get started with Ripple.
Ripple have just released their new downloadable RippleClient, so we decided to create a tutorial on how to get started.
We're going to show you how to create and fund a Ripple Wallet. A Ripple Wallet is just like your physical wallet, except it's virtual. It stores your money and other important financial information.
Step #1. Secure Your Computer
If you're planning on making any transactions using Ripple, you need to make sure your computer is secure. If your computer is not secure (for example, if it has malware on it), then your Ripple Wallet is not secure either.
Here are two useful tools that you can use to check for malware:
Step #2. Install the Ripple Client
- Go to http://download.ripple.com/ and download RippleClient for your computer's operating system.
- Once downloaded, double click on the installation package and go through the install procedure.
- Launch RippleClient using the shortcut that was created for it or by using the search feature in your operating system.
Step #3. Create a Wallet
When you're first getting started, you'll want to create an empty account (i.e. create a wallet).
- "Open existing account" is for people who already have accounts with RippleClient.
- "Create a new account with a secret key" is for people who are transferring their Ripple Wallets from the web client (or another client) to the desktop client. We can cover this in our next tutorial.
- You'll then be presented with a popup to download the wallet. Be sure to change the name and location to something that you'll remember and be able to find later.
- Create a strong password with letters (including capitals), numbers, and symbols that you'll be able to remember or that you'll write down and store for safe keeping.
Congratulations! You've just created your Ripple Wallet!
You're now presented with your information. Everything should be kept secret from others, except for your Ripple Address.
- Your passphrase is your password to access your account.
- Your Ripple Address is what you can share with others. It's what they'll use to send you funds. It's similar to your bank routing number and your email address.
- Finally, there's your secret key. With it, anyone can access your money, so be sure to keep it safe. Store it in a safe location that only you know about and have access to.
Once that's done, click on "Yes, I saved my secret key" to continue.
Step #4. Fund Your Wallet
Now that you have a wallet, it's time to get some funds into it.
In our introduction too Ripple, we covered XRP which is Ripple's native currency. It acts as an intermediary between other currencies (when needed), and plays a role in security (ex: protecting against spamming).
We'll need at least 25 XRP to activate our account. This is done by receiving XRP through your Ripple Address.
Anyone can send you the XRP to get started. Unfortunately since Ripple is still new and growing, getting XRP can be a little tricky.
At the time of this writing, here are some approaches you can take:
- Gateways: Gateways help facilitate moving money into and out of the Ripple protocol, and thus into and out of your wallet. Generally, what's involved is sending money from your bank to the gateway, then the gateway sends it to your wallet and vice-versa. Each gateway might have a slightly different process, so check with each individual gateway. Depending on your location, there might not be a gateway that can interact with your banking system and/or currency. As Ripple continues to grow, we'll start seeing more and more gateways that offer varied options. For more information on gateways, please see Ripple's guide .
- Participate in XRP giveaways: Ripple Labs, the creators of Ripple, occasionally post XRP giveaways. Currently, the only one available is with SnapSwap Gateway. If you sign up at SnapSwap and deposit $10 or more, you'll get your full deposit plus 500 XRP for getting started with them. There is a 0.99% fee as well. So if you deposit $10, you'll have to pay a penny transaction fee and you'll get your $10 and 500 XRP within your Ripple Wallet.
- Grassroots Initiatives: You can participate in grassroots initiatives of Ripple users help others get started. For example, some members of the Ripple Forum started the Pay it Forward initiative and some members of the XRPtalk forum started the Got Jed giveaway. Both help new users to get their accounts activated.
- Ask a Friend: If you have a friend already using Ripple, you can ask your friend to send you some XRP to get started. You might do a friendly trade (via another method) for something else in return.
Next Tutorial: Trading
This concludes our second article in the Ripple series. Our next tutorials will be on Setting up Trusts and on Trading within the Ripple network.