With another quarter coming to an end it’s always interesting to pause and zoom out. Sometimes we focus too much on price action and daily news and forget to look at the bigger picture. This report focuses on doing just that. It begins with a detailed news flashback of this past quarter (January 1st 2019 – March 31st 2019), continues with an analysis and comparison with the previous quarter (October 1st 2018 – December 31st 2018) and ends with a few conclusions. The conclusions are merely my own interpretation of recent developments and are not financial advice.
January 1, 2019:
• CoinZeus, an exchange based in Seychelles, launched. XRP listed with BTC and ETH pairs.
January 2, 2019:
• Coinmetro exchange lists XRP with EUR pair.
January 3, 2019:
• Bitrue adds 5 more XRP-based pairs: TRX/XRP, XLM/XRP, NEO/XRP, GAS/XRP, OMG/XRP.
January 4, 2019:
January 6, 2019:
• Kuwait Finance House starts operating an instant cross-border remittance service using Ripple’s blockchain technology. The zero fees “Instant International Transfer” service is available in Saudi Riyal SAR where customers can make remittance transactions to beneficiaries at Al Rajhi Bank.
January 7, 2019:
January 8, 2019:
• Canadian exchange CCX makes XRP a base currency with BTC and ETH pairs.
• 1xBIT adds XRP to its gambling platform.
• Ripple announces 13 new customers and surpasses 200 customers worldwide.
Euro Exim Bank (Bank): UK
SendFriend (Money transfer): US, Philippines
JNFX (Trading): UK
FTCS (Payments): Sweden, Scandinavia
Ahli Bank of Kuwait ABK (Bank): Kuwait, Egypt, UAE
Transpaygo (Money transfer): UK, Austria
BFC (Money transfer): Bahrain
ConnectPay (Payments): US
GMT (Payments): Israel
WorldCom Finance (Money Transfer): Israel
Olympia Trust Company (Trust): Canada
Pontual/USEND (Money Transfer): US, Brazil
Rendimento (Bank): Brazil
JNFX, SendFriend, Transpaygo, FTCS and Euro Exim Bank will leverage the digital asset XRP to source liquidity on-demand when sending payments on behalf of their customers.
• XRP can now be received by WordPress users through Bitvolo plugins.
• Crypto Exchange Huobi Relaunches trading services in Japan. XRP is available in pairs with JPY and BTC.
January 9, 2019:
• XRP is now listed on the GBXDAX (Gibraltar Blockchain Exchange), the world’s first regulated and insured Digital Asset Exchange, owned by an EU Stock Exchange, with USD, EUR, GBP, BTC and ETH pairs.
• BankCEX exchange adds XRP with BTC, ETH, BANK and USDT pairs.
January 10, 2019:
January 11, 2019:
• Bitrue adds 4 more XRP-based pairs: HOT/XRP, NPXS/XRP, DNT/XRP, PRO/XRP.
January 17, 2019:
• XRP added on Korean exchange Bitzon with BTC and USDT pairs.
• MercuryFX makes its largest payments across RippleNet using XRP. 86,633 pesos (£3,521.67) from the U.K. to Mexico in seconds. UK-based Mustard Foods saved £79.17 and 31 hours on the transaction.
• Ripple partners with Chinese Tsinghua University to Launch the Blockchain Technology Research Scholarship Program.
January 18, 2019:
January 21, 2019:
• Australian exchange BTCExa has announced the addition of SHEEP. SHEEP has now become the 3rd XRP based pair on this exchange, after XLM and ADA.
• Koinex replaces BTC, ETH and XRP base markets with TUSD. 23 XRP based markets replaced with TUSD market.
January 23, 2019:
• Freewallet, a digital currency wallet with a built-in exchange for web, iOS and Android devices, has announced that it now supports XRP.
• Binance announces the launch of a crypto-to-crypto over-the-counter (OTC) trading desk.
January 24, 2019:
• Moontrade, a startup OTC Crypto Exchange to buy and sell both BTC and ETH, has just announced that XRP is now fully available on their platform for OTC trading.
• XRP/TRY added on new Turkish exchange BtcFinans .
January 25, 2019:
• New Ripple partner: SABB is one of the three banks approved by the central bank to test connections with Ripple for instant settlement of crossborder transfers using blockchain technology.
• Austrac registered exchange Infinite goes live. XRP listed with AUD, BTC and ETH pairs.
January 28, 2019:
• Bitrue adds VET/XRP trading pair.
January 29, 2019:
• RIGHTS, a Global Entertainment Platform demo is released – XRP will be used to purchase digital money.
January 30, 2019:
• XRP listed on Estonia based exchange Kriptomat and available to be bought with EUR.
• BitBill, an open source blockchain wallet founded in 2013, has released BitBill 3.3 for Android. With this latest version, XRP, XLM, BSV and ZEC support has been added.
January 31, 2019:
• BISON, a crypto trading app powered by Börse Stuttgart, Germany’s leading exchange for retail investors, goes live. Initially, BTC, ETH, LTC and XRP can be traded with EUR.
• Swyftx, an Australian cryptocurrency exchange, has officially gone live. XRP can be bought and sold with AUD.
February 1, 2019:
• Coingate, a payment gateway for blockchain payments based in Lithuania, added native XRP support for Coingate customers. XRP is now accepted as a payment method at thousands of vendors across the Net.
By March 20th, Coingate processes XRP for around 5,000 business.
February 2, 2019:
• Australian exchange BTCExa adds TRX/XRP pair.
February 5, 2019:
• Xpring invests in RISE (Raised in Space), an investment group guiding extraordinary founders in creating innovative solutions for the music industry. Raised In Space will leverage its partnership with Ripple’s Xpring to integrate blockchain and the digital asset XRP where it can most powerfully benefit and impact the music industry.
• Dharma Labs secures $7 million by 7 companies, including Ripple’s Xpring fund, to build Dharma Lever. Dharma Lever is a solution enabling loans for traders and large crypto holders. Dharma Level promises it will work directly from a trader’s wallet, without the need for a special extension, providing instant margin loans for cryptocurrency traders and high-volume investors.
• Blockscart, a P2P marketplace, adds XRP as a method of payment.
February 7, 2019:
• Ripple’s University Blockchain Research Initiative grows with 11 new universities.
• Brazilian exchange BitcoinTrade announced the addition of XRP trading on its platform, with Brazilian real (BRL) pair.
• Payment Earth completes its first XOF deal via Ripple. They now deliver international payments via Swift, Sepa, and Blockchain.
• CoinPulse exchange headed for indefinite maintenance. 3 XRP pairs no longer tradable.
February 10, 2019:
• Finablr announced that its brands “UAE Exchange and Unimoni will partner with US startup Ripple to offer cross-border remittances to Thailand via blockchain“. Finablr partnered with Siam Commercial Bank, one of the largest banks in Thailand (and also a Ripple partner), to provide the service on RippleNet. It plans to expand the service to other countries.
February 12, 2019:
• CCX, an exchange based in Canada that made XRP a base currency in early 2019, has added one more XRP-based pair TRX/XRP.
• BTCEXA, an exchanged based in Australia that offers XRP/USDT trading along with 4 XRP based pairs (ADA, SHEEP, XLM and TRX) has added XRP/BTC pair.
• Digycode, the prepaid cryptocurrency recharge service offered by Digital Service, is now offering the purchase of BTC, ETH, LTC, XRP and DASH all across France. Users can buy refills of €20, €50 and €200 at 10,000 tobacco offices and after a brief identity check convert it into crypto.
February 13, 2019:
February 14, 2019:
• Liechtenstein’s postal service offering BTC at the counter. Will extend service to XRP and other crypto.
• Bank Dhofar, a known Ripple partner, is taking its Ripple partnership to the next level by extending Ripplenet to its mobile app.
February 15, 2019:
• XRP gets its first pair to the Iranian rial (IRR) through its Nobitex listing. IRR becomes the 44th fiat currency to be tradable with XRP.
• Australian consumers to spend XRP at one million locations and withdraw money at 30,000 ATMs through MyCryptoCard and MyCryptoWallet.
• ChainFront, an API as a service company with a mission to help developers create useable, scalable, and secure blockchain applications, enabled support for XRP and ETH.
February 16, 2019:
• BTCEXA adds 2 more XRP based pairs: ETH/XRP and LTC/XRP.
February 18, 2019:
• Instimatch Global, a Corda/Ripple solution coupled with the latest settlement API (R3 Settler/$XRP), on boarded to 50 banks. Solution in “pilot mode”.
February 19, 2019:
• Trader’sWay Forex adds XRP payment option.
February 21, 2019:
• Cinnamon announces video-streaming platform with exclusive content for Coil members.
February 22, 2019:
• OKEx crypto exchange adds XRP to C2C trading platform with GBP, CNY, VND, RUB and THB fiat pairs.
February 24, 2019:
• Catex, an exchange based in China, adds XRP with BTC, ETH and USDT pairs.
• Trippki, a blockchain-based hotel booking and rewards platform, announces its decision to allow customers to make online bookings using XRP.
February 25, 2019:
• XRP gets listed on Coinbase with XRP/USD, XRP/EUR, and XRP/BTC pairs.
February 27, 2019:
• Aave, a London based Fintech company, launches AavePay, an app to pay bills with XRP and other crypto.
February 28, 2019:
• TradeSatoshi, a Hong Kong based exchange, adds XRP with Bitcoin (BTC), Tether (USDT), Dogecoin (DOGE), Ethereum (ETH) and Litecoin (LTC) pairs.
• Xpring and Coil invest in Kava Labs, a company that provides Interledger solutions for blockchains, wallets, and exchanges. Kava’s solutions enable users to send and receive near-instant transactions, make cross-currency payments, and access liquidity on-demand.
• XRP added on Stronghold trading with USD and BTC pairs.
• Thailand announces 4 cryptocurrencies eligible for investment in ICOs and base trading pairs, XRP is one of them.
March 1, 2019:
• XRP listed on Coinhako, a Tim Draper-backed Singapore-based cryptocurrency exchange, with SGD, IDR and VND pairs.
• Ripple security lawsuits: Zakinov et al vs Ripple Labs Motion to Remand back to state denied. A great thread summing up the case and how it may proceed in the future by lawyer Jake Chervinsky.
March 4, 2019:
• BookMauritiusHotels, a travel platform for booking hotels in Mauritius, accepts XRP (amongst other crypto) as a payment method.
March 5, 2019:
• Antalya Homes, a real estate company in Turkey, accepts XRP and other crypto as a payment method.
March 6, 2019:
• Huobi launches XRP OTC trading on its platform.
• CCX, a Canadian exchange that uses XRP as one of its base currencies adds one more XRP based pair: ADA/XRP.
• The International Association for Blockchain Trusted Applications (INATBA) was incorporated in Brussels, Belgium. Ripple was one of the 105 companies, amongst other start-ups, governments, and international organizations, that joined as a founding member.
March 7, 2019:
• Bitrota exchange lists XRP with USD, TRY and EUR pairs.
• BitBounce announced the addition of XRP on its exchange, CredoEx. Users can now trade their earnings from paid email ads into XRP.
• RB Global launches its own exchange. XRP listed with BTC pair.
• Ripple announces a $1 million grant to Tipping Point to fight poverty in the Bay Area and help individuals and families struggling to meet their basic needs.
March 8, 2019:
• Trezor wallet announces support for XRP on the Model T following its latest firmware updates.
• QB, an exchange based in Hong Kong that started its operation back in 2013, has announced the addition of XRP on its trading platform with BTC, ETH and USDT pairs.
March 11, 2019:
• Grand Capital LTD, a forex broker based in Moscow, adds XRP and USDT as means of deposit and withdrawal on Grand Capital accounts.
March 12, 2019:
• Forte, a company dedicated to accelerating the adoption of blockchain technology in the games industry by equipping developers with easy-to-use technology and tools that lay a new foundation for player-driven game economies, has partnered with Xpring and Ripple. The plan, which features a $100 million fund for developers, could remake the gaming industry by creating a new way to create in-game marketplaces for digital goods.
• Blocktrade exchange adds EUR pairs, XRP/EUR included.
• Trust wallet, Binance ‘s official wallet, now supports XRP.
March 13, 2019:
• Zipmex, a fully licensed Singapore-based digital asset exchange, has announced the addition of XRP on its trading platform with USD and BTC pairs.
March 14, 2019:
• FinanceX exchange lists XRP with VND, IDR, BTC, FNX and USDC pairs.
March 15, 2019:
March 17, 2019:
• South Aftican exchange Ovex goes live. XRP listed with BTC pair. XRP/ZAR to be added within the next few weeks.
• SchlaubiDev, developed MoneyMessage, an AddIn for Microsoft Outlook which allows users to append money in form of XRP and send it to any mail receiver. The amount is deposited in XRPTipBot which allows the receiver to withdraw at any time
March 18, 2019:
• Coinberry, a Toronto-based, FINTRAC-registered, cryptocurrency trading platform, announced the addition of XRP.
March 19, 2019:
• PayGlobal, an FCA regulated e-money agent based in the United Kingdom, has added XRP support.
• Swiss online marketplaces Digitec-Galaxus, now accepting bitcoin and other select cryptocurrencies, including XRP, as a means of payment.
• XRP added on Bittrex partner exchange VALR with BTC and ETH pairs.
March 20, 2019:
• Bahrain-based Shariah compliant cryptocurrency exchange Rain lists XRP with BHD, SAR, KWD, AED, OMR and USD pairs. XRP is now paired to 48 fiat currencies. Rain mentions that it is in the process of getting an opinion on Sharia compliance on XRP.
March 21, 2019:
March 24, 2019:
• Bitrue adds 3 more XRP-based pairs: DASH/XRP, BAT/XRP and STORM/XRP.
• Bahrain-based Shariah compliant cryptocurrency exchange Rain that listed XRP on March 20th, obtained Sharia compliance certification for XRP from their partner the Shariyah Review Bureau.
March 25, 2019:
• Bitfi, a hardware crypto wallet that offers a different approach to other wallets by not storing private keys, announced that it will be supporting XRP soon.
March 26, 2019:
• OMGFIN, an exchange based in Estonia, announced the addition of XRP on its trading platform with BTC, ETH, USDT, and UQC pairs.
March 27, 2019:
• Bitrue adds 4 more XRP based pairs: ZIL/XRP, IOST/XRP, GNT/XRP and ICX/XRP.
March 28, 2019:
• Federal Bank Ltd, an Indian private bank, has entered into a partnership with Ripple, for cross border remittance through its network. This partnership will help Federal Bank to explore new corridors where Ripple is aggressively pursuing new partnerships.
March 29, 2019:
• Singapore based exchange Tokenize lists XRP with BTC, ETH, USD and SGD pairs.
• Huobi launches XRP crypto contract trading.
• Coinvest Plus adds XRP with BTC, ETH, GUSD and COIN pairs.
• MoneyMessage is extended to Gmail through a Browser extension which allows users to append money in form of XRP and send it to any mail receiver. Similarly to Outlook, the Gmail extension utilizes the XRPtipbot to receive or withdraw the XRP.
Analysis – Comparison to Q4 2018:
News items: 109 (129 last quarter)
Average: 1.21 per day (1.38 last quarter)
• January: 36
• February 33
• March: 40
• Monday: 11
• Tuesday: 22
• Wednesday: 16
• Thursday: 30
• Friday: 21
• Saturday: 2
• Sunday: 8
• Exchanges: 55
• Recharge service: 1
• Postal service: 1
• Crypto card: 1
• Forex: 2
• API: 2
• Hotel booking: 1
• Travel platform: 1
• Real estate platform: 1
• Plugins: 4
• OTC: 4
• Entertainment platform: 1
• Wallets: 6
• Universities: 2 (12 new universities)
• Payments: 4
• Marketplace: 2
• Crypto loans: 1
• Gambling site: 1
• Ripplenet: 2
• New Ripple partners: 4 (16 partners)
• xRapid: 1
• Xpring investment: 5
• Regulation: 1
• Legal: 1
• Compliance: 1
• Association: 1
• Charity: 1
Exchanges added XRP as base currency: 1
Pairs removed due to exchange closure or change of policy: 26 (CoinPulse and Koinex)
New fiat listings: 37
• 7: EUR
• 6: USD
• 2: AUD, CAD, JPY, SGD, TRY, VND
• 1: AED, BHD, BRL, CNY, GBP, IDR, IRR, OMR, RUB, SAR, THB, KWD
Total new crypto to crypto pairs: 75
The amount of news concerning exchanges and XRP seems to have cooled down slightly this quarter. 55 XRP exchange news (1 every 1.63 days) compared to 74 in Q4 2018 (1 every 1.24 days). Only 1 exchange has made XRP a Base currency this quarter (CCX) compared to 9 exchanges last quarter. The amount of new XRP crypto pairs has dropped significantly (75 compared to 161 last quarter) but the amount of new fiat listings has slightly increased (37 compared to 36).
Moreover, last term we saw the most “popular” fiat currencies dominating the new listings (USD 11, EUR-BRL 4). This quarter currencies like VND (Vietnamese dong), AED (United Arab Emirates dirham), BHD (Bahraini dinar), IRR (Iranian rial), OMR (Omani rial), SAR (Saudi riyal) and KWD (Kuwaiti dinar) got paired to XRP, which is important for liquidity and the use of XRP for cross border payments across the most exotic corridors.
It’s interesting to notice that at the beginning of the quarter on XRParcade XRP had:
269 Fiat markets
557 Crypto markets
across 255 exchanges
A total of 826 markets
At the moment of writing XRP has:
332 Fiat markets (23% increase)
640 Crypto markets (15% increase)
across 311 exchanges (22% increase)
A total of 972 markets (18% increase)
Another interesting aspect is the increase of the amount of exchanges offering OTC (Over The Counter) trading for XRP. Last but not least, last quarter I had predicted that more xRapid partner exchanges would pop-up. Despite the fact that no announcement was made from Ripple, many additional exchanges declared their active interest in becoming xRapid exchanges this quarter: Bitrue, Binance, Gobaba, Quidax, eToro, Uphold, Coinfield, SBIVC and Artis Turba. I expect a new Ripple announcement to come some time in the next few months, adding a couple of xRapid exchanges to the existing 4 (Bitstamp, Bittrex, Bitso and Coins.ph).
This quarter we have seen a total of 16 new partners announced (although we were aware of 2 of them, SendFriend and GMT), a significant increase to the 9 from last quarter. The new partners were:
Euro Exim Bank (will leverage XRP)
SendFriend (will leverage XRP)
JNFX (will leverage XRP)
FTCS (will leverage XRP)
Ahli Bank of Kuwait
Transpaygo (will leverage XRP)
Olympia Trust Company
Federal Bank Ltd
Five of these 16 customers will leverage XRP, with the most active so far being Euro Exim Bank, who participated actively in the Ripple Regional event in London. MercuryFX has also been actively using XRP within the UK – Mexico corridor with plans to open new corridors with the Philippines, the Middle East, and Canada. As Alastair Constance (Founder and CEO of MercuryFX) mentioned at the Ripple Regional event in London:
The exciting thing is that we are in production, as you say, so the testing phase is behind us, and roll on. Its two countries today, it could be ten in the middle of the year and what stops it being any more than that. We are 100% behind Ripple on getting the job done.
Little information has surfaced this quarter concerning the usage of xRapid by other companies that had plans to use it like: Catalyst Corporate Credit Union, Cuallix, SADAD, IDT, Viamericas, SendFriend and SBI Remit. It is only natural that money transfer companies will use XRP more easily due to the lack of regulatory clarity. These are the known money transfer companies that are testing or using Ripple products. We should see some of these using XRP in the near future.
Note: This is not an official Ripple document.
You can also view the full Ripple ecosystem at XRParcade.
After reaching the milestone of 1000 nodes on December 5th 2018, the amount of nodes seems to have stabilized at 1050 (1059 at the time of writing). Moreover, since Ripple’s “dominance” of the Network dropped to 27% in November, it has remained unchanged.
The XRP circulating supply has increased from 40,794,121,066 on December 16th to 41,706,564,590 on March 17th. That is an increase of almost 1 billion XRP in 3 months and it is similar to last quarter’s increase. In the same three month period (December 16th – March 17th) the total XRP supply was reduced by 71,388 XRP, about 10% higher than the previous three month period (64,739). With more institutional players coming into the game and XRP being used for cross border remittances, it only makes sense that the circulating supply will continue to increase and the total supply will start to get burnt at a faster rate.
The total volume of XRP traded on Coinmarketcap for this quarter was 53,575,397,154, compared to 54,816,806,967 during Q4 2018. Of course, these numbers by CMC can not be trusted since a lot of this volume is fake.
Meanwhile, the XRP ecosystem has grown considerably this quarter with various platforms supporting XRP (Hotel bookings, travel, real estate, entertainment, marketplaces, gambling, wallets, etc). The XRP community has also been as active as ever adding new plugins and extensions, allowing XRP to be sent via email or used for commerce. You can view a detailed list of the XRP ecosystem on XRParcade.
In my opinion, the most important developments this quarter were:
Exchanges: Coinbase, Rain (BHD, SAR, KWD, AED, OMR and USD pairs) and Nobitex (IRR) listings. SBI delay to July.
Ripple: 13 new customers to surpass 200, Ripple regional in London videos, Xpring announcements.
XRP: MercuryFX using XRP.
Community: XRP via email, XRPL Labs Xpring funding.
Regulation: Zakinov et at motion to remand denied. Rain exchange obtains Sharia compliance certificate for XRP. Ripple a founding member of INATBA.
FUD: Frances Coppola, Forbes, bitcoin maximalists, JPM coin and twitter bots FUDing XRP.
Hype – fake news: Santander using XRP, India running a validator, SBI delay not real.
Scam: Arbitrage bot.
Xpring at full throttle
Since Ripple announced its Xpring initiative back in May 2018, this quarter has been the most vibrant. Xpring is an initiative by Ripple that will invest in, incubate, acquire, and provide grants to companies and projects run by proven entrepreneurs. Every entrepreneur will use the digital asset XRP and the XRP Ledger, the open-sourced, decentralized technology behind XRP, to solve their customers’ problems in a transformative way. In Q4 2018, Xpring invested in SendFriend and Securitize. This quarter we have witnessed Xpring invest in 5 projects:
• Raised In Space (RISE): Music industry
• Dharma Labs: Crypto loans
• XRPL Labs: Tech company
• Kava Labs: Open payment system for cryptocurrencies built on the interledger protocol
• Forte: Gaming
Meanwhile, Cinnamon also announced that it will be using Xpring’s Coil on its video-streaming platform.
This quarter may seem to have been a slower one compared to Q4 2018. In reality, I believe we are witnessing the completion of certain achievements for Ripple and XRP:
- Ripple’s dominance of the XRP network has been reduced enough so that the network is now decentralized.
- XRP is listed on a vast number of exchanges (311 that we know off) and can easily by purchased or sold.
- Ripple’s products (xCurrent, xVia and xRapid) are complete and commercially available.
According to this quarter’s news, the focus seemed to be on:
- Finding new use cases for XRP via Xpring and expanding the ecosystem (remember this tweet?)
- Working with regulators to bring regulatory clarity to the space (Stuart Alderoty joined Ripple as General Counsel on January 30th), Ripple a founding member of INATBA.
- Continuing to expand Ripplenet with new partnerships.
- Focusing on smaller companies to use their products and bring out their benefits.
- Getting XRP listed on exchanges that trade fiat currencies, especially the ones that will be used for xRapid transfers.
Even though this quarter there were less news items, compared to last quarter we have seen:
More Ripple customers announced.
More new XRP-fiat pairs added on exchanges.
Actual XRP usage from a money transfer company, that is gradually using XRP with more volume and in more corridors.
XRP ecosystem continuous expansion with addition to more platforms.
Xpring investing in more companies, thus creating new usecases for XRP.
Even though some people don’t like it, I consider the fact that XRP is connected (but not dependent) to Ripple an advantage. A company has the resources and the know-how to delegate, emphasize on different areas, and adjust. In the past few months we have witnessed Xpring and Ripple focusing on funding companies to create new use cases for XRP and grow the XRP ecosystem. The foundations of the XRP ecosystem are being built and soon we will start seeing the actual structure take shape. Until then, let’s enjoy the ride.