Nearly all of the most popular cryptocurrencies have soared in price in recent weeks. Bitcoin briefly hit $12,273 last night and Ethereum’s briefly touched $400. But then in the wee hours of the morning both coins crashed. Bitcoin, which peaked at $12,273, fell to $11,235 in five minutes. And Ethereum, which peaked at $411, dropped to $373.
But Ripple (XRP), the third-largest cryptocurrency by market cap, has marched on unimpeded. It hit a peak of $0.322561 at about 5.30am, only retreating slightly to $0.293835 (with each XRP still worth a fraction of ETH and BTC, all the decimal points counts). It has jumped 42% over the last week, per CoinGecko, and 9.6% in the past day, per CoinMarketCap.
According to CoinMarketCap, Bitcoin declined by 3.5% in the past 24 hours; Ethereum increased by 4.89% despite its crash and XRP rose by 9.6%.
Etherum’s drive was admittedly more ambitious. It hit a two year high, while XRP hit its highest price since mid-February. But the joke’s on Ethereum today after its price fell off a cliff (how long for is less certain). XRP is the only major coin that still beams with pride, even if the current price is still 91% off the all-time high of $3.40 set in January 2018.
As pointed out by Cryptoglobe, XRP has seen the largest price growth in the past week out of the top 20 cryptocurrencies, as ranked by total market capitalization (XRP is #3).
XRP reached $0.25 on Friday—a much-anticipated price point seen as a barrier of psychological resistance for members of the XRP Army, the militant but dwindling Ripple fanbase. Then, $0.3 was the next barrier, one it hit—if briefly.
While XRP Army members new and old are surely pleased about the rising price of the coin, there’s some concern that dumping will diminish that momentum. As seen on Whale Alert, Ripple moved a total of 1 billion XRP from its escrow wallet—which it routinely does once per month—and then locked 800 million of that back into escrow.
What about the remaining 200 million XRP? As of this writing, Whale Alert has shared large transactions from Ripple for about 86 million of it in total so far, between the Ripple OTC Distribution wallet and unknown wallets.
The other lingering question mark is Ripple co-founder Jed McCaleb, who was owed 9 billion XRP as part of his settlement with the company after departing. Another transaction yesterday showed 56,330,248 XRP moved from a settlement account into his personal wallet.
As part of his agreement with the company, McCaleb is allowed to sell a percent of XRP’s daily volume, and he has been selling about 2 million XRP each day.
However, if McCaleb were to sell a much larger sum at once to take advantage of the rising price, it could put a damper on this pump. The XRP faithful are already bickering across social media about such a possibility.