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Ripple reports lowest ever XRP sales

Blockchain continues to shift focus to over-the-counter sales

The cryptocurrency market has largely been able to weather the Covid-19 storm and seen an uptick in interest from institutional investors in 2020 thus far. Amidst all the competing cryptos, Ripple has set out on its own path.

With first quarter XRP sales totalling only $1.75m (£1.4m, €1.59m), Ripple reported its lowest ever quarter. This constituted of an 87 per cent drop from the previous quarter, which saw sales of $13.08m.

While such a plunge may take some aback, a drop in sales was expected. Since Q3 2019, Ripple has paused its sales to cryptocurrency exchanges and seen a decline in direct institutional sales.

Far from collapsing along with sales, XRP trading volume actually increased by 72 per cent in Q1, from $17.27bn at the end of 2019 to $29.68bn. While it did fall over 8.7 per cent in the past three months, XRP still stands up over 14 per cent on the year-to-date.

Eschewing direct sales to crypto exchanges, the blockchain payments firm has focused on over-the-counter (OTC) XRP sales “in strategic regions including Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia”.

Continued legal and regulatory trouble in the United States may explain the country’s omission from this list of targeted markets.

Regulators at the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) continue to ponder how best to define XRP. Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse has vehemently argued that the crypto is not a security.

Garlinghouse himself is embroiled in a class action lawsuit accusing Ripple of violating the Securities Act with its 2013 initial coin offering (ICO) and accusing the CEO of touting the crypto to investors while subtly liquidating his holdings.

Last week, Ripple sued YouTube, accusing the streaming service of failing to stop fake XRP giveaway scams on its platform.

Beyond the courtroom and regulatory squabbles the company has sought to emphasise its progress, stating: “Customers continue to see the value of XRP through significant cost-savings by eliminating the need to pre-fund international accounts.”

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