Uphold, a US-based digital money platform, has enabled its customers to directly purchase and sell Ripple’s native cryptocurrency XRP from its wallet.

Uphold claims to be the “first and only platform” in the US to offer general access to XRP, which is valued at more than $22bn.

Ripple’s cryptocurrency can be traded with seven other cryptocurrencies, 23 fiat currencies and four precious metals already supported by Uphold.

As an introductory offer, users will be allowed to purchase the first five million XRP free of charge.

In the next phase of launch, Uphold plans to integrate with the XRP ledger, enabling deposits and withdrawals of XRP. This phase is expected to start in the coming weeks.

Uphold CEO Adrian Steckel said: “There has been huge demand for XRP and Uphold is one of the first platforms to make XRP easily accessible. Uphold was first with Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin Gold, and we are again responding to interest from our members in establishing a first with XRP.”

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Ripple head of XRP markets Miguel Vias added: “The XRP ecosystem is diversifying and growing rapidly. The listing of XRP on Uphold, a strong retail platform that offers customers easy access to digital assets, underscores the significant increase in interest for XRP.”