The CEO of blockchain payment network Ripple says the company does not want to “dump” its associated XRP cryptocurrency despite selling huge amounts of it. In an interview with CNN on Jan. 5, Brad Garlinghouse added fresh contention to the debate about Ripple’s relationship to XRP, which has gained 10% in the past 24 hours.
“In the XRP community, Ripple is the largest owner, and the point I have made is we’re the most interested party in the success of the XRP ecosystem,” he told the network. On the topic of how Ripple manages that ownership, Garlinghouse stated:
“Yes, Ripple owns a lot of XRP, we’re very interested in the success of XRP, but the accusations of us dumping, that’s not in our best interests to do that […]. We would never do that and in fact, we’ve taken steps to lock up most of the XRP we own in escrows so we can’t touch it.”
The comments jar with Ripple’s own market moves in 2019 and before. The company has long been selling off XRP in bulk, with last year seeing it rid itself of more tokens than ever. At the start of 2020, the company released 1 billion XRP, worth around $200,000, from escrow as part of a planned operation. XRP itself meanwhile hit more than two-year lows in December, dropping below $0.20 and at one point trading 96% below its all-time high of $3.40. A recovery, including 9% gains in the past 24 hours, has since sent XRP/USD back above the $0.20 barrier.
Garlinghouse continued to surprise. Despite Ripple’s token share, he strongly denied the company could influence the XRP price. “Oh no,” he protested when asked about the possibility, likening the situation to major Bitcoin (BTC) investors:
“Ripple can’t control the price of XRP any more than the whales can control the price of Bitcoin.”
Nonetheless, he said, Ripple would not respond well to other major investors owning a significant share of the XRP supply. In what appeared as a wish to nevertheless influence the market, Garlinghouse positioned Ripple as the enduring major token holder going forward. “There are times when we work with institutional investors or might say, ‘Hey, we want to buy $10 million of XRP,’ and we would have lock-ups to prevent them from dumping on the market,” he continued. Concluding, the executive said that such interventions were nonetheless “hypothetical:”
“We don’t want some other party buying a whole lot of XRP and dumping it on the market, and so we would hypothetically have restrictions about what they could sell and how often, and usually those are based on volume in the market.”
Ripple’s Xpring Creates A Developer Relations Forum
Ripple’s Xpring will launch a community web page and forum referred to as “developer relations,” or DevRel, for its developer platform. Most of Xpring’s employees work on the engineering and product side of the table, explained a Feb. 1 blog post on the Xpring website. “We think of DevRel as the ears and mouth of Xpring,” the post reads.
Xpring originally functioned as Ripple’s investment branch. In October 2019, Ripple also launched an Xpring developer platform, giving creators a venue for digitizing money. Several months later, in December 2019, Xpring added features to its platform, including SDK, which added compatibility for programmers’ apps.
According to the blog post, Xpring mentioned communicating with builders via content, events and support. Xpring aims to present developers with helpful materials like sample code and tutorials. The blog post also mentioned hosting conferences, as well as giving technical support, all in an effort to engage the community around the Xpring platform. accordingly should a response come in.
‘I Think XRP Is a Scam’ Says Ben Askren Former UFC Star And Bitcoin Advocate
As regulatory concerns over XRP — the world’s third-biggest crypto asset — have intensified, some celebrities are stepping in to voice more FUD about the coin. Ben Askren, former UFC fighter and known Bitcoin (BTC) bull, has driven more scepticism toward XRP with a short tweet on Jan. 28: “I think XRP is a scam.”
Askren’s latest cryptocurrency verdict builds on a background of previous endorsements of other cryptocurrencies. The famous former Olympic wrestler is not only bullish on Bitcoin, but also supports Charlie Lee-founded Litecoin (LTC), the seventh biggest cryptocurrency by market cap as of press time. In January 2019, Askren was purportedly sponsored by the Litecoin Foundation as the mixed martial arts fighter for UFC 235 event. Subsequently, the UFC fighter appeared on his Instagram wearing a Litecoin-branded t-shirt. The celebrity has also promoted Bitcoin on his Twitter in October 2019:
“Just bought more BTC using @eToro was really easy, now all of you twitter geniuses can tell me Crypto is a scam while my assets go up!”
As Askren has been known as a shill for BTC and LTC for a while, a user on Twitter asked him a question: “The fact @Benaskren is staying quiet on XRP tells me its going to take it a long time if ever to moon.” Askren’s verdict didn’t take long, and a part of the crypto community on Twitter expressed some negative stance toward XRP, while the tweet has amassed over 2,000 likes as of press time.
Askren’s statement about XRP comes amid an already worsened situation around the coin as XRP dropped over 40% from $0.364 in 2019 to $0.183 in December, marking a two-year low. The situation has been exacerbated by rising concerns over the unclear regulatory status of XRP’s issuing company, Ripple, which faces a class-action lawsuit alleging that it held an unregistered sale of securities. Despite all this, CEO Brad Garlinghouse has recently hinted at an initial public offering for Ripple, which undoubtedly has some implications for the fate of altcoin. At press time, XRP is trading at $0.238, up over 1% over the past 24 hours, following a major green trend on crypto markets.
The CEO Of Ripple Drops A Hint About An IPO
XRP investors were surprised to hear Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse drop a bombshell comment during the World Economic Forum in Davos regarding the company potentially listing on the public markets in the near future. This comment came close on the heels of news regarding the company raising a whopping $200 million from private investors, as well as reports regarding their Q4 XRP token sales being the smallest seen in nearly three years.
Although it remains unclear as to what implications a Ripple public listing could have on XRP, investors in the embattled token don’t seem to be too enthused about the news. During a discussion at the Wall Street Journal’s “Journal House” panel in Davos Switzerland, the Ripple CEO made the comments regarding engaging in a public listing in the near future, telling the panel host that Ripple won’t be the first nor the last to go public, but that they will be on the “leading side” of blockchain companies being listed. He said, as reported by Asheesh Birla, the SVP of Product at Ripple:
“In the next 12 months, you’ll see IPOs in the crypto/blockchain space. We’re not going to be the first and we’re not going to be the last, but I expect us to be on the leading side… it’s a natural evolution for our company.”
This is certainly notable news, as it signals that the company’s recent $200m Series-C private capital raise might be their last round of fundraising before they undergo an initial public offering.
XRP has long been critiqued as simply a fundraising mechanism for Ripple, and the latest news regarding the company’s potential IPO has led some analysts and investors to note that the company may not need to build utility around XRP after they list on the public markets. Cantering Clark, a popular cryptocurrency analyst on Twitter, called Garlinghouse’s recent comments the “ultimate fade” on investors in the embattled token. He facetiously noted:
“[Brad Garlinghouse] just pulled the ultimate fade on $XRP holders… Oh, uh guys, yeah we are actually going to IPO now, and offer shares that carry equity..so,…uh….about those coins. (Obsolete)”
Of course, there’s no guarantee that a public listing will impact Ripple’s eagerness to build utility around the XRP token, but it will make it much easier for them to operate without having to add value to the XRP ecosystem.
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