Ripple sold nearly $92 million of its XRP digital currency in the fourth quarter of 2017, according to news from CNBC.
The company, which is developing a payments system for banks based on the blockchain, sold $91.6 million worth of XRP during the quarter, capitalizing on a 29,631 percent price surge in 2017.
Over a year, trading volume jumped from $2.28 million a day in the fourth quarter of 2016 to $807 million during the fourth quarter of 2017 — an increase of more than 35,000 percent.
“XRP markets ended the year with a statement — one that will likely be remembered as a defining milestone in XRP’s history,” the company, which owns about 60 percent of all XRP currency, said.
Booming interest in cryptocurrencies — including XRP — has tremendously benefited the company’s balance sheet. In all, XRP sales brought in more than $180 million for Ripple in 2017 — and the company didn’t have to give up any equity ownership.
The sales will provide a cash cushion for Ripple as it markets its software to financial institutions — and will provide some protection if the value of XRP crashes.
At the beginning of 2017, XRP was priced at $2.30 and spiked to a high of $3.84 on Jan. 4. Ripple was priced at $1.36 at 3:17 P.M. on Wednesday (Jan. 24), according to CoinDesk.
Like many cryptocurrencies, some experts are saying that Ripple’s value is not sustainable. “The reason Ripple is surging so much is it’s a bubble,” said Erik Voorhees, CEO of digital asset exchange ShapeShift. “Testing crypto with banks doesn’t make sense. The whole idea of crypto is you don’t need banks.”
Still, Ripple’s Co-Founder and Executive Chairman, Chris Larsen, has seen his wealth grow with the company’s — and currency’s — success. He was among the top five richest people in the U.S. at the beginning of January after a surge in XRP.
According to a report in CNBC, citing Forbes, Larsen held 5.19 billion of Ripple’s XRP digital coin and a 17 percent stake in the company. When XRP hit $3.84 Thursday (Jan. 4), his stake was worth around $59.9 billion.