In Q3 2018, Ripple sold $65.27 million worth of XRP programmatically. This represented 0.172 percent, or 17.2 basis points of the total XRP volume traded globally in the third quarter.
In addition, XRP II, LLC — a Ripple subsidiary that is a registered and licensed money service business (MSB) — sold $98.06 million worth of XRP in institutional direct sales. In total, the company sold $163.33 million worth of XRP in Q3.
XRP volatility was light throughout most of the quarter, then jumped in the last two weeks of the quarter as the price also increased.
In Q4 2017, Ripple locked up 55 billion XRP in a cryptographically-secured escrow account. Ripple created the lockup to create certainty of XRP supply at any given time. Due to that lockup, Ripple has access to only 13 percent of the total XRP in circulation. Ripple’s sales were a tiny fraction of that amount.
In Q3 2018, 3 billion XRP was again released out of escrow (1 billion each month). 2.6 billion XRP was subsequently put into new escrow contracts.
The remaining 400 million XRP not returned to escrow is being used in a variety of ways to help support the XRP ecosystem.
ICOs and Regulation
Q3 saw a pullback in initial coin offering (ICO) issuances on the heels of a report by ICORating that said 55 percent of initial coin offerings failed to complete their crowdfundings in the second quarter.
In addition, U.S. regulators took a number of actions throughout the quarter in an effort to support healthy markets:
- ICO promoters were a particular target. On Sept. 11, the SEC filed its first case arguing that an unregistered broker-dealer sold digital tokens. La Jolla, California-based “Crypto Asset Management” raised $3.6 million from 44 investors in 15 states last year and had $37 million under management by year end. The firm was censured and agreed to pay a $200,000 penalty.
- In its first cryptocurrency action, FINRA charged a Massachusetts man who announced “HempCoin” to induce investment into his “worthless” company “Rocky Mountain Ayre.” FINRA exerted jurisdiction citing Ayre’s previous registration as a broker-dealer.
- The Securities and Exchange Commission rejected a Bitcoin ETF application by Cameron and Tyler Winkelvoss. “A substantial majority of Bitcoin trading occurs on unregulated venues overseas that are relatively new and that, generally, appear to trade only digital assets,” the SEC said in a lengthy filing. Further, the SEC found that Bitcoin “is not demonstrably resistant to manipulation.”
- In a closely watched decision, in September a federal judge in Boston ruled that the Commodity Futures Trading Commission sufficiently alleged that a virtual currency named My Big Coin met the definition of a commodity and fell under the CFTC’s purview.