An incredible 84 billion XRP, out of a total 100 billion, is held by Ripple Labs, the Ripple board or former members of the Ripple board, new extensive data reveals.
Another three billion is held by a Japanese holder. While “ordinary” individuals hold only around 8 billion XRP, 3 billion of which is held on exchanges.
Jed McCaleb alone, Ripple’s founder, holds around 5 billion XRP, while Chris Larsen, co-founder and executive chairman of Ripple, holds some 6.7 billion XRP.
The crypto detective suggests a number of the big holding addresses trade between each other, indicating potential wash trading.
The data appears to be authentic, and perhaps even immaculate, although we have not undertaken extensive verification.
Who compiled them is unknown, but they have clearly undertaken extensive research to in effect map out as good as all of XRP’s holdings, especially by Ripple Labs or its current/former staff.
That suggests XRP’s real market cap is far lower than we have been led to believe, standing realistically at around $8 billion, as opposed to the current suggested $60 billion.
That’s because the current market cap calculation accounts for a circulating supply of 38 billion, when such supply appears to be only around 8 billion, with the rest locked in contracts or in escrow, thus not sellable or buyable save for very slowly over months/years acting as inflation.
Moreover, this extreme concentration of supply might increase the risk of sharp price falls when new supply is added or threatened.
As happened with Jed McCaleb in 2014, who after falling out with the rest of Ripple Labs and went off to start Stellar – an XRP copycat of sorts – threatened to sell all his holdings at market rate, sending XRP’s price tanking to less than pennies.
Ripple Labs then froze McCaleb’s holdings, but an agreement was eventually reached between the two with McCaleb not allowed to sell more than $10,000 worth of XRP per week for the first year.
At the time he apparently held around 9 billion XRP. That has now fallen to around 5 billion, suggesting supply concentration was even higher back then, compared to the still extremely high concentration as the data reveals today.
Update: The author of the datasheet, who claims to be named Adam Quinn, told trustnodes:
“I firmly believe that there is at least 20% of the XRP in existence in public hands.
From my research I believe that only the escrow and the ripple companies XRP stores (~61billion) are excluded from the market cap, whereas ripple board members (past and present, inclusive of Jed and Chris) are included in the circulation supply, even though these large holders of XRP are limited in the amounts that they can sell via contracts.”