California-based Ripple published its Q4 2018 XRP Markets Report in which the sales of the XRP token accounted for 0.24 percent of the global XRP volume.

Ripple’s XRP sales were done programmatically and via institutional sales.

Three billion XRP was released out of the firm’s cryptographic escrow, and as much as 2.4 billion were returned.

The firm programmatically sold XRP worth $88.88 million in Q4 last year.

In the same period, Ripple’s subsidiary, XRP II, LLC, a registered and licensed money service business (MSB) sold XRP worth $40.15 in institutional direct sales.

In total, the company sold XRP valued at $129.03 million in Q4 2018 in comparison to $535.56 worth of XRP sold in the whole of 2018.

Escrow and XRP Activity

Ripple released 1 billion XRP each month out of the escrow, but 2.4 billion XRP was returned and locked into new escrow contracts.

The unreturned 600 million XRP is used in many ways to support and grow the XRP ecosystem.

It is used to fund the RippleNet Accelerator Program and investment like Securitize, among other things.

The volatility of XRP in the quarter declined while the average daily volume for XRP increased significantly.

The report said:

“XRP’s volatility of daily returns was 5 percent – the lowest quarterly average since Q4 2016. Conversely, we saw the average daily volume for XRP increase substantially. The average XRP daily volume was $595.7M – the highest quarterly average since Q1 2018.”

XRP was listed by more than 30 new exchanges in the quarter, taking the total number of exchanges listing XRP to over 100 worldwide.

Nine exchanges also listed XRP as a base currency against one or more other digital assets.

The world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume Binance listed XRP as a base pair against two other digital assets – Tron (TRX) and Zcoin (XZC).

Ripple’s xRapid, which uses XRP for on-demand liquidity was commercially available in October and is used by institutions that include MercuryFX, Cuallix, and Catalyst Corporate Federal Credit Union.

Overall Market Commentary

The last quarter saw media attention shifting to stablecoins – digital assets pegged to physical assets and fiat currencies such as the U.S dollar, Japanese Yen, etc.

Tether received more media coverage after it was reported that the stablecoin was potentially solvent.

In the same quarter, the highly touted stablecoin Basis was shut down due to regulatory challenges.

The project raised $133 million in venture capital and is expected to return the remaining funds to the investors.

The report acknowledged that stablecoins are an interesting technology but warned that these coins “can introduce counterparty risk and trust back into the system and have the potential to undermine the entire thesis behind blockchains and digital assets.”

It was noted in the report that the number of enforcement actions against questionable crypto projects was on the increase in the quarter.

This is considered to be good because it weeds out the bad apples. In turn, “the market will naturally contract as legitimate projects thrive and experiments or scams disappear.”

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