Sales of Ripple’s XRP token fell a huge 80% to a record low in the fourth quarter of 2019, according to the latest market report published by the crypto firm earlier this week.
The blockchain payments company sold a total of US$13.08 million of XRP tokens between October 1 and December 31 of last year, compared to US$66.24 million in the previous three months. The startling drop off in sales has been attributed to a decline in direct institutional sales as well as the fact that Ripple has paused all programmatic sales, which are XRP sales to cryptocurrency exchanges.
The declining sales do not come as a surprise to Ripple after announcing its intention to pause programmatic sales back in June, saying, “In the short term, this means Ripple’s sales of XRP in Q2 2019 will be substantively lower (as a percentage of reported volume) than in the previous quarter—with our stated target of 20bps for programmatic sales of XRP volume likely dropping to less than 10bps. Longer-term, by being more demanding about our expected standards for market structure and reporting, we hope to begin raising the bar industry-wide.”
Programmatic sales made up the majority of Ripple’s sales volumes in the second quarter, coming in at US$144.6 million, before falling to $16.12 million in Q3 as the firm retreated from selling to exchanges. However, global trading volumes also fell slightly in Q4, from $18.23 billion to $17.24 billion on a quarter-over-quarter basis. With the Q4 figures coming in as the lowest the company has posted in three years, XRP has also seen its value decline by 22% in the quarter.
XRP is the world’s third-largest cryptocurrency by market cap, behind only Bitcoin and Ethereum, and currently trades for $0.22. It is worth noting that Ripple did not create XRP, but was rather “gifted a portion” of the 100 billion units of XRP in 2012 when it was founded.
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