For a network claiming to be the payment system of the future, getting started in Ripple is surprisingly difficult. The first step, at least, is quick: you can open an account at http://ripple.com/ by typing username and password. Then you get a ripple address – this looks something like this: rsM72g7rpX6SyXySKseuag1o6ShPURc96m – as well as a Secret Account Key, with which one can recover the Wallet, if one forgets the password. Unlike Bitcoin, there is no wallet you can save on your hard drive, just the online wallet on ripple.com. So easy.
The problem is: You can not use Wallet yet. You have to activate them. And to activate them, you have to receive a small amount of ripples, currently about 100. The question is: how do you get these?
The official Ripple Forum [ http://ripple.com/forum/ ] lists some options:
You know someone who already uses ripple and lends them some. This is not true for me and it is likely that the likelihood of other interested users currently less than 50,000 ripple wallets worldwide is still low.
Then the forum calls a giveaway, so a kind of virtual gift slingshot for members of the forum Bitcointalk. Unfortunately, this giveaway has not been active for half a year.
There are other giveaways. In the Ripple forum, there is even a subcategory for this. However, they are either already completed or you have to do strange things to get (maybe) some XRP, which are sometimes still not enough to activate the wallet: You have to rotate a video, click on links, post on other forums.
A few gateways lend the user the starting stake when verifying his identity. You would have to scan and send your identity documents.
You can buy at Bitstamp with Dollar Ripple. Since I own Bitcoins and have an old, not used account on Bitstamp, it seemed easy to exchange bitcoins for dollars and these against XRP. Only I would have to verify my identity, bringing us back to the previous point.
You can ask for admission to the PIF fellows in the Ripple Forum. These work on the principle of fraternity: a PIF gives you the ripples, and if you’ve activated your wallet and purchased more XRP, you give it to another fellow, allowing him to get started.
BitMit offers ripple starter packs for bitcoins. Rather, there was. Because the Bitcoin Ebay closed a few months ago.
The guide in the forum links to another thread in which someone offers to transfer the necessary XRP, if you transfer 0.05 Bitcoin. After a brief ripple, I reject this possibility because of screaming audacity.
Another thread offers a loan. Nothing is known about the conditions. Last stand here is that the lender since September 2013 is no longer active.
According to the guide in the forum, I have the following options: go begging in forums, get verified, join a novice connection or switch Bitcoins to a immoral course. Since none of this seemed really attractive to me, I continued to look around and found a cheaper option: At JustCoin [ http://justcoin.com/ ], a fairly small Norwegian Bitcoin exchange, you can swap bitcoins for ripples without identity verification. Finally.
The activated wallet actually works like a bitcoin wallet: you can send amounts by entering the ripple address in question, and you have an address with which you can receive amounts. There are two differences to the Bitcoin wallet: On the one hand, the wallet is multi-currency capable. It can send and receive any kind of currency. On the other hand, the function “Trade” is built into the wallet. So you can access some gateways like RippleIsrael directly from his wallet. For example, you can buy Israeli Shekel (ILS) on the aforementioned gateways, which I then tried. A few minutes after I purchased JustCoin XRP, I actually had a handful of shekels on my wallet. As proof, I took a screenshot:
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