We love to see that the XRPL is gaining traction with developers and that there are many new projects popping up. As one of the oldest businesses with a focus on the XRPL we have seen impressive growth over the past few years but there are still some concepts that cause some confusion. In this blog we aim to clear up some of the most frequent questions about particular features of the XRPL and wider.

Let’s dive in!

XRP Reserves

The XRP Ledger is one of the few blockchains that requires a base balance in order to operate a wallet. The main reason is that the full state of the network is reflected in every new ledger (unlike blockchains where new blocks only feature new transactions). Only addresses with a balance appear on each ledger.

The base reserve serves to prevent spamming the Ledger with new accounts and thus making it unnecessarily large.

The reserve requirements were lowered from 20 XRP base reserve and 5 owner reserve to 10 and 2 respectively.

warning_amberReserves are NOT spent.
The base reserve is permanently locked until the address is deleted on the Ledger which consumes a part of the reserve. Similarly, owner reserves are locked until the item that is owned (like a trust line or offer) is fulfilled, closed or expired.

Base reserve

A base reserve is required to feature a public address on the ledger. If an address does not hold any funds it does not exist on the Ledger but that does not mean that it can’t be used.

  1. A valid address that does not hold any funds can be funded and will appear on the Ledger.
  2. A valid address and its private key can be used to sign transactions by a different address via the regular key functionality or multisignature.

An empty address is only allowed to receive an amount equal to or more than the base reserve (10 XRP). After that, the account is considered active and can be used to transact funds but can never send an amount that would make it hold less than the base reserve amount.

Owner reserve

An owner reserve is locked for each object that an address owns on the ledger. An address can own different objects like escrows, trust lines and trade offers. On GateHub users can create offers and open trust lines.

Using your wallet on other services like XUMM can enable you to create other objects with your wallet. This will not necessarily be reflected in your GateHub account but your wallet will behave according to the rules of the XRPL.

The exceptions are your first two objects. These do not require the owner reserve, but as soon as you create the third object, the full reserve will be required. This effectively means, you can hold 10 XRP in your account and open two trust lines without requiring an additional 4 XRP. If you create a third trust line, 6 XRP will be required and locked temporarily.

The owner reserve serves the same purpose as the base reserve. By requiring a reserve unnecessary objects are less likely to be created and potential attacks are thus more expensive.

Recap of XRPL reserves

In the past XRP reserves were already reduced from 1000 XRP to 200, then 20 and now 10 XRP.

Here’s what you need to know:


Reserves are NOT spent, just locked temporarily. Deleting a wallet will consume a part of the base reserve.


If the reserve requirements are not met, some of your transactions will fail and you will need to add more XRP to your account to transact.

Tune in next time to learn more about trust lines.