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Tag Archives: Virtual wallets




Like me, you’ve probably read about the couple who invested when Bitcoin was a nickel and cashed out when it skyrocketed,  and now they’re millionaires, and you’ve heard sound bites about Google Ventures investing in “Ripple” — whatever Ripple is.

The black-market slash Silk Road chatter is dying down and this thing looks like it might become legit, and might take off.  The Wall Street Journal headline reads Bitcoin Startups Begin to Attract Real Cash. And, Forbes, Kashmir Hill writes about living on Bitcoin for a week or Bitcoin 2.0: Can Ripple Make Digital Currency Mainstream?

Think if you will an updated more efficient Paypal account whereby you can now buy select goods from Etsy members or buy a Pizza from a local Bitcoin merchant, or whereby “BitPay is [now] integrated with Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), so you can accept BTC payments on your website, and automatically have Amazon ship the merchandise.”

You’re ready to try it. You’re intrigued but none of it makes sense because you’re not going to buy a $2000 dollar ASIC Bitcoin Miner to get a Bitcoin to experiment with. You want to date Bitcoin not marry it. After all this is a blind date. And we’ve heard about those.


There are  less expensive ways to understand crypto currency before you commit to it than mining. Then if you get hooked on Bitcoin, and are one of the very few who immerse themselves into the culture, then Bitcoin mining is an exciting, James Bondish way to increase your wealth.

The easiest way I’ve found is to open an account at Ripple open wallet and fund the account at Ripple Union Gift Card Exchange. Open wallet for Ripple is free, it’s activates immediately. Ripple Union Gift Card Exchange is an inexpensive way to fund  your first wallet.

The gift card should be at least the amount of the gift card plus the $2.00 fee. My first gift card was for $5.00 ($2.00 fee included), you can purchase, which will give your account more than enough Ripple XRP to grant a trust, so you can begin trading. RippleXRP can be exchanged for Bitcoin once you have accumulated enough Ripple XRP, US dollar, Euro, or currency of your choice. You are now in a position to see how Bitcoin and Ripple work in your world.

“The concept, community, and [Ripple] technology are from 2004. The new implementation and creation of a start-up company all happened earlier this year.” 

Ripple is still in beta. It’s been described as one of the least risky Bitcoin APIs, but Ponuleus on reddit said it best, “NEVER keep excessive amounts of funds in any of such payment processor systems.” That said, OpenCoin  is the firm behind the Bitcoin exchange Ripple, and Google is putting their money behind Ripple.

If you need more reassurance, you might like to read about OpenCoin the firm behind Ripple at Google Ventures invests in OpenCoin, the firm behind Bitcoin exchange Ripple or  Now Backed By Andreessen & More, OpenCoin Looks To Build A Better Bitcoin — And A Universal Payment Ecosystem, OpenCoin | 2020Here’s another helpful link on how Ripple works.


RippleUnion Gift Card Exchange is a user friendly site that I use that allows me to fund a Ripple account with gift certificates. I buy an gift card certificate for myself, and I email the card’s code to RippleUnion Gift where I exchange it for RippleUnion CAD IOUS, which I can use to buy XRP or anything else. (I email the gift code to along with the address for my Ripple Open Wallet account.) My wallet address is public, I share it with the world. Your Ripple address will look like the address below.

You can view my transactions at Ripple Live at wallet address: 


 To see what transactions look like between Ripple Union Gift Card Exchange and my Ripple account go to the Ripple Live page. In the upper left corner of the site where the address box is, copy and paste my Ripple address from above into the box and click GO.

You can see all my transactions with Ripple Union Gift Cards gateway including our first transaction. If you like, after you get your Ripple XRP you can send me 1 XRP (value less than 1 penny today) to this address. I’ll return it to you. This is a check to help you see how it’s working for you. You can then go to the Ripple Live page, paste your Ripple address into the box, and you can see the genesis of your Ripple ledger.

 You can exchange as much as $25.00 gift card every ten days. At this time RippleUnion will add 500 Ripple XRP to an empty account, and return any money due in Canadian dollars. Or if you already have a few Ripple XRP in your wallet, then it will top it off to 500 R-XRP, and credit your account with the change in Canadian dollars, which you can convert to US dollars if you like.

Weber: Ripple, like the traditional banking system, is a system for tracking debt between parties.  You trust some entity to borrow cash from you (just like you loan your money to the bank when you deposit it there), and in return you get a balance that can be traded with anyone else who also trusts that entity.  Ripple takes this one step further, allowing you to trade this so-called “IOU balance” to anyone who trusts someone who trusts the entity, etc, so that people all around the world can be paid as long as there is a path for liquidity between them and you


Ripple Union Gift Card Exchange is the brilliantly crafted, easy to use gateway service that Stephen Paul Weber  and Jonathan Lamothe launched to help the Ripple community catch on.

Weber, who is singpolyma on Reddit says, “My partner and I are long-time Ripple users (I’ve been using Ripple since about 2004, maybe 2005).  When the new one launched, we knew there was going to be a demand for gateway-like services, so we just kept our eyes on the community for ideas of what would work. Ripple as a technology is already seeing great strides in this new incarnation.  A lot more exposure (mostly because we never tried to do any marketing on the old system, since we all were waiting for a distributed version to get built by someone).

I interned with a startup called AideRSS (later PostRank) for the whole life of the company, which was then sold to Google, where I worked for 4 months.  After turning down a full-time offer from Google I moved on to, where I am currently a partner.

My partner at RippleUnion, Jonathan Lamothe, has been with Ripple since 2010ish.  He works in low-level systems automation programming and services, having worked up through the ranks from a line worked at the same firm (he lacks a degree, but makes up for that by being more awesome than a lot of people who have degrees 🙂 ).”


Maybe you’ve wandered over to reddit, maybe someone there explained Bitcoin in a thousand words or less, and maybe it’s still not clear, maybe you’re as mystified as you were to begin with. Then a redditor suggests that the best way to understand Bitcoin is to try it, so just for shite & giggles, you open your first virtual (crypto) wallet, its a either a Block Chain or a Ripple wallet, and it doesn’t look a thing like anything you’ve experienced before. Below are sample wallets.

Two wallets are especially good for beginners as well as for pros: Ripple and Block Chain. Of the two wallets, ripple is the one I recommend to beginners. Both wallets are free, and do not require cash or credit card information. They do require an email address. If you like you can set special email address to use for this account only, one up especially if you are trying out ripple.

Step 1 How to Set Up Virtual Wallet (RIPPLE Or BLOCKCHAIN)
Step 2 How to Back Up Virtual Wallet (RIPPLE OR BLOCKCHAIN – DROPBOX)
Step 3 Two Simple and Inexpensive Pathways to Fund a Ripple Wallet
a. Fund Ripple Wallet From A Friend for Free
b. Fund Ripple Wallet From A RippleUnion Gift Gateway – $5 – $25.00 (scroll down page for step-by-step illustrated guidelines)


Ripple Union Gift Card Exchange is located in Ontario Canada. If you’d like to read more on Canadian law for Bitcoin exchanges, see Canadian regulators welcome US Bitcoin refugees with open arms. Also, interesting is the FINTRAC letter that’s discussed in this story,  Canada becomes bitcoin-friendly FinTRAC does not see the need to regulate several Bitcoin exchange models at Pokerati.