Ripple just unlocked one billion XRP – worth $192 million – from escrow to ring in the new year.
The San Francisco-based payments startup, which owns more than half of the approximately 100 billion XRP in existence, locked 55 billion tokens in escrow in late 2017.
Ripple then set up a schedule that releases one billion XRP at the start of every month, making the cryptocurrency available for Ripple to sell to third parties.
By the end of the month, Ripple takes whatever portion of the one billion XRP that it doesn’t sell and locks it back into escrow. The routine is designed to demonstrate Ripple’s stated policy that it will never sell all of its holdings at once.
Ripple sold a total of $66.24 million in XRP to crypto exchanges and institutions in the third quarter of 2019. In the previous quarter, it sold $251.51 million worth of XRP.
Ripple says it stopped selling XRP to crypto exchanges midway through the third quarter, focusing entirely on selling XRP over-the-counter instead.
“In fact, part way through Q3, we decided to pause programmatic sales altogether, and focus our over-the-counter (OTC) sales on a few strategic partners, who are building XRP utility and liquidity in regions that are strategically important to our growing global business, including EMEA and Asia.”
Ripple has not revealed whether it resumed selling XRP on crypto exchanges in the fourth quarter of 2019, or whether it plans to sell XRP on the open market in 2020.
The company’s report on its Q4 sales is expected to be released soon.