How many XRP coins are there? Counting the ripples
XRP has a fixed total and maximum supplies – but what are they?
Ripple’s XRP cryptocurrency is one of the oldest cryptos around, having a history which dates back to 2012, positively ancient in cryptocurrency terms. But how many Ripple coins are there today? Let’s see if we can find out.
The number of XRP coins
Ripple has a maximum supply of 100 billion XRP coins, of which around 47.74 billion are in circulation. The limited supply contrasts it with the likes of DOGE, which has, at least in theory, a limitless supply of coins that can be minted. At present, there is a total supply of 99,989,798,601 XRP, just over 10 million coins short of the maximum, indicating that some coins had been burned or otherwise disposed of at some point. This answers the question ‘how many XRP coins are there?’ quickly. But there is more to the situation than that.
The process of obtaining XRP differs from the method used by the likes of BTC. While bitcoin relies on the Proof-of-Work consensus, in which computers solve increasingly complex equations in order to add blocks to a blockchain, XRP allows servers to send transactions to the network in order to be verified. In turn, nodes, or computers, on the network give these transactions their mark of approval, which helps move things along. Ripple releases around a billion XRP from its escrow account (more about that later) to itself every month, and some of this is put onto the market, with the rest returning to escrow. As of the end of January 2022, there were 46.5 billion XRP in escrow.
Supply and demand
The larger supply of XRP means that its individual price will almost certainly never reach the levels that bitcoin enjoys. This is because, with a total supply of 100 billion, there are going to be a larger number of XRP coins in the cryptocurrency ecosystem than BTC, which has a maximum supply of 21 million.
In addition, the majority of coins are, in effect, controlled by Ripple, the company behind XRP. This large but limited supply has the potential to serve as the worst of both worlds for investors. People might look at the price, which is comparatively low, and then look at how many coins there are, which is comparatively few, and decide there is more chance of profit elsewhere.
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Ripple also has an ongoing court case to deal with. The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has accused Ripple of operating an unregistered security. The legal action is ongoing and the lack of certainty provided by the hearing means that there is a likelihood that potential investors have stayed away from XRP as a result. On the other hand, if and when the case is resolved in Ripple’s favour, then that could boost the price of XRP.
The purpose of XRP
XRP is designed to allow people to send money internationally without having to worry about conversion and commission fees. User A could convert their fiat currency into XRP and send it internationally to User B, who would then be able to convert it into their local money at a fraction of the cost associated with traditional money transfers. What is particularly useful is that, since XRP can be linked to any fiat, it can make exchanging currencies that would normally not be traded for each other a lot quicker, cheaper and more convenient for any currency, anywhere in the world, at least in theory.
Burning and escrow
Ripple does not burn XRP coins in an attempt to maintain or even raise prices, as some cryptos do. That said, Ripple’s CEO, Brad Westinghouse, said in 2021 that he would not rule out the idea of doing so at some point. This came after comments from Ripple’s CTO, David Schwartz, that there was nothing he or his company could do to stop XRP users from burning the coin themselves. It is likely that this accounts for the 10 million difference between the maximum supply and the total supply in terms of how many ripple coins exist right now.
The XRP that are not on the open market are controlled and owned by Ripple. A lot of this money is in escrow, meaning it can be paid out when certain conditions are met, making it not entirely unlike crypto tied up in Ethereum-based smart contracts.
Yes. There is a maximum supply of 100 billion XRP.
As of 3 February, there were 47.74 billion XRP in circulation, which meant that there were just under 52.25 billion coins from the total supply still to come into circulation. If Ripple continues to release around a billion XRP every month from now, that should mean that the supply will be exhausted in the summer of 2026. That said, a good chunk of that figure will be in escrow.
Since the majority of XRP is yet to come into circulation, then the person or organisation with the most XRP is Ripple.