Ripple, the San Francisco-based start-up behind the XRP crypto token, yesterday released its market update for the first three months of 2018. The company pointed to XRP’s record trading volume and its increased share of the total cryptocurrency market cap, as some of the highlights of the first quarter.
One of the most notable developments during the quarter was the 73% drop in the Ripple price (XRP/USD). As a result of a rally that began in Q4 of last year, Ripple started the year at $1.91 and hit an all-time high of $3.84 a few days later. However, the end of the quarter found XRP trading way below both of these levels at $0.51.
Ripple said that the fall reflected the performance of the larger crypto market in Q1, although some factors made XRP’s losses more exaggerated in comparison to other digital assets. For example, in early January industry tracker Coinmarketcap decided to remove South Korean crypto exchanges from its index prices due to their high premiums. Ripple explained that while this decision affected the valuations of all cryptocurrencies, the fact that a relative high share of XRP’s volume comes from Korea meant that “its displayed price dropped disproportionately versus other top digital assets”.
In Q1, Ripple posted a record quarterly trading volume of $160 billion and its share of the total market volume grew to 6.9%. According to the company, this was driven by 18 new venues listing XRP, bringing the total number of exchanges supporting the coin to over 60.
Ripple also revealed that its licensed money service business, XRP II, LLC, had sold $16.6 million worth of Ripple tokens directly to institutional investors. Additionally, XRP II sold $151.1 million worth of XRP in a series of small daily sales.
The company also said that 3 billion XRP had been released from its cryptographically-secured escrow in Q1, divided equally between the three months. However, 2.7 billion XRP was back put into new escrow contracts, Ripple said, adding that the “remaining 300 million XRP are being used in a variety of ways to help invest in the XRP ecosystem”.
In today’s trading, the Ripple price stood at $0.810, as of 15:15 BST. The Cryptocurrency has gained 0.8% in the past 24 hours, according to data from Coinmarketcap.
For further information on how to buy and trade Ripple, see our comprehensive Ripple guide.