Footsteps of Bitcoin and CryptoCurrency Whales III. — XRP Whales
Ripple (XRP) is one of those cryptocurrencies that is raising two opposing reactions on social media: people are either wildly enthusiastic over it and are ready to invest or totally distrust it. With a very probable addition of XRP to Coinbase, XRP may gain greater backing, some even believing a displacement of Bitcoin by Ripple will in fact damage the freedom and independence of cryptocurrency holders.
In an interview with CNN, Bradley Garlinghouse CEO added further confusion to Ripple’s policy on XRP, which it has sold en masse for years. He said that the company does not want to “dump” its associated XRP cryptocurrency despite selling huge amounts of it. Here is the exact statement from Garlinghouse, stating that they cannot control the price of XRP.
“Yes, Ripple owns a lot of XRP, we’re very interested in the success of XRP, but the accusations of us dumping, that’s not in our best interests to do that […]. We would never do that and in fact, we’ve taken steps to lock up most of the XRP we own in escrows so we can’t touch it.”
Meanwhile, co-founder Jed McCaleb’s token selling habits in recent times adds further pressure on the cryptocurrency and may also suggest that it will continue facing significant weakness in the months and even years ahead. Many investors claimed that XRP’s incredibly poor performance throughout 2019 on Ripple’s quarterly token sales is due to the significant amount of selling pressure they placed on the token. These sales have indeed since been halted by the company, new data shows that Ripple’s estranged founder, Jed McCaleb, has been offloading roughly $400,000 worth of XRP each day.
McCaleb’s enormous selling was first reported by TheCryptoAssociate. They tracked outgoing transactions from his wallet address and discovered that he sold 1.8 million XRP per day in April. The pressure placed on XRP by McCaleb’s daily token sales comes as its technical strength begins degrading. At the beginning of May 2020, XRP is trading down marginally at its current price of $0.218, down from highs of nearly $0.24 that were set earlier in the first week of the month.
Top whale wallets of XRP
Ripple does not have a blockchain like Bitcoin, therefore, it’s a bit more difficult to scour the ledger for a wealth distribution. But at the moment, there are very few new small Ripple wallets. Most of the coins, already significantly appreciated, are held in large wallets. Up to 13% of wallets hold more than 1 billion in XRP. Because of the low price of the coin, XRP is still concentrated in a few hands. So the up and coming entrance of small retail investors may spread the wealth, or it may hurt the newcomers who buy at a much higher price.
Less than 2,000 accounts hold vast storages of XRP coins. At the same time, there are hundreds of thousands of small addresses with up to 100 XRP. At least initially, this unbalanced picture of old accidental “Whales” and newcomers with a few coins may create a risk for small-scale buyers just entering the world of cryptocurrencies.
XRP billionaire and the Ripple Lockdown Fund
The founders of Ripple also hold enough XRP coins, outside of the lockdown program, to swerve the market. Presently, Chris Larsen has around 5.19 billion XRP coins, valued at more than $15 billion and rising, putting him on the list of the top 100 richest billionaires. The Ripple project also has 55 billion XRP coins in escrow, with a scheme to release up to 1 billion coins per month on the free market. Additionally, there is a holding reserved for free distribution for testing purposes by banking entities.
Restrictions for buyers
In the above mentioned interview, the CEO also stated that Ripple would not respond well to other major investors owning a significant share of the XRP supply. In what appeared as a wish to nevertheless influence the market, Garlinghouse positioned Ripple as a major token holder going forward in the long run.
“There are times when we work with institutional investors or might say, ‘Hey, we want to buy $10 million of XRP,’ and we would have lock-ups to prevent them from dumping on the market,”
And, as a conclusion, he also added the following:
“We don’t want some other party buying a whole lot of XRP and dumping it on the market, and so we would hypothetically have restrictions about what they could sell and how often, and usually those are based on volume in the market.”