XRP’s share of the industry’s total market capitalization doubled in the first quarter of 2018. This was one of the many positive highlights of Ripple’s XRP Q1 report released via a blog post by the San Francisco-based company on April 25. XRP’s share of the overall market volume also increased, driven by listings on 18 new platforms. The report, compiled by Ripple’s head of XRP markets, Miguel Vias, was not all positive, as it also reflected the great drop in the value of XRP by over 70%, which has been among the greatest drops in the market, as well as other challenges.
The Good And The Very Good
While the market capitalization of the crypto industry has gone down since the beginning of the year, XRP’s share of the market cap more than doubled over the first three months of the year. From 3.56% in Q4 of 2017, XRP’s share increased to 7.57% as of the time the report was compiled. This is despite XRP being among the biggest market losers, having shed 73% of its value since the year began. Having begun the year at $1.91, XRP finished the quarter at $0.50. However, since the report was compiled, XRP has risen in value, and it’s currently sitting at $0.84.
XRP’s share of the market volume also increased from 5.3% to 6.9%, buoyed by XRP’s inclusion on 18 new platforms in the first quarter. These platforms include Anycoin Direct, Abra, and Uphold, which has made it easier and more convenient for XRP enthusiasts to acquire XRP tokens. The volume of XRP traded in the quarter was $160 billion, the highest ever.
As stipulated by their smart contract escrows, Ripple acquired 3 billion XRP tokens in the quarter from their escrows. The company, however, only used 300 million tokens, and the remaining 2.7 billion were placed in new escrow accounts which will only become accessible in months 56, 57 and 58. The escrows can only release a maximum of 1 billion tokens per month, which makes it 55 weeks before the new escrows will be accessible to Ripple.
Market participants purchased $16.6 million directly from Ripple, the report further indicated. This was done through XRP II LLC, Ripple’s licensed money services business. The company also made XRP sales worth $151.1 million, which in comparison to the overall market volume was an insignificant percentage. With a market volume of over $160 billion, Ripple’s XRP sales only amounted to 0.095%.
XRP’s popularity as a transfer medium increased significantly, boosted especially by the enlisting of five new corporates into the xRapid product, which utilizes XRP for transfers. The new clients are MoneyGram, Western Union, Mercury FX, IDT, and Cambridge Global Payments.
There Were Challenges Too
The quarter was also not without its challenges, the first being the continued enforcement of stringent rules for the crypto industry that have given investors the jitters. One of the most significant has been in South Korea, where XRP enjoys a huge following. South Korea’s importance to XRP was highlighted when crypto indexing site CoinMarketCap.com announced a decision to exclude data from South Korean crypto exchanges from their calculations. With other cryptos taking an average market cap hit of 7.2%, Ripple’s hit was 19.1%, almost thrice the size.
XRP also took a hit from factors that affected the market as a whole. One of these was the banning of cryptos by some major financial institutions, which excluded a significant group of people from participating in the buying and selling of cryptos. Around the same time, the head of the Bank for International Settlements attacked bitcoin, calling it a combination of a Ponzi scheme and a bubble. With XRP, and Ripple by extension, being geared towards the remittance and international settlements segment, this was bound to affect it.