In January 2020, XRP price surged 27.3% as it went from $0.190 to $0.242. This increase has been despite founder and former CTO of Ripple Jed McCaleb selling a portion of his XRP, 19 million to be exact in the month.
McCaleb sold 1.05 Billion between 2014 and 2019
McCaleb claims to have received 9 billion XRP as part of his compensation for his role at the San Francisco-based technology company. McCaleb’s holdings were worth around $45 million in May 2014, which was when he first announced his intent to sell XRP.
In its research, Whale Alert managed to track about 8 billion XRP to McCaleb’s personal and settlement accounts from where he actively sells the digital asset.
They tracked the sales of 1.05 billion XRP between 2014 and 2019, almost exclusively through crypto exchange Bitstamp, at an average price of 0.129 cents. This puts the total sale amount at $135 million USD.
To date, McCaleb continues to sell his portions of XRP.
4.7 billion XRP Still left to be Sold
The profits made from these sales have also been found to be cashed out directly through the exchange with Whale Alert not finding any evidence of it being reinvested into the crypto market.
As of now, McCaleb still has an estimated 4.7 billion XRP — about 5% of total existing XRP supply — worth over a billion dollars left with him that he will continue to dump on the market.
“At the current rate it would take him around 20 years to sell all of it, however his activities have been limited by the settlement agreement with Ripple, which is likely to expire sometime in 2020,” wrote Whale Alert.
McCaleb has also donated at least 140 million XRP to various charities. A significant portion of his assets has also been sent to Ripple for unknown reasons.
Economic power & consequences of whales cannot be ignored
Now comes the big question of whether the whale selling XRP affects the price of the digital asset.
In comparison to XRP’s total trading volume per day, Whale Alert found that the amount McCaleb is selling is “insignificant.”
But volume is not a good indicator of how much the market can absorb. It is likely that a significant part of the volume on cryptocurrency exchanges comes from comparable traders and the net change of XRP on the market is much lower, said WhaleAlert.
So, how much effect do this McCaleb’s XRP sales have on the net amount of XRP available in the market?
“Because he is exclusively selling XRP, he is adding to the net amount available,” says Whale Alert based on the data available which is not enough.
Overall, this XRP whale doesn’t have much of an effect on the price but with the limitation on the amount to be removed soon, it could change. Also, with another co-founder Arthur Britto holdings billions of XRP in escrow to be expired in the future, pressure from the supply side could affect XRP price at that time.
And as Whale Alert states, the “economic power and consequences of whales cannot be ignored.”