Ripple co-founder Jed McCaleb has begun ripple firesale

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After a couple weeks of silence, Jed McCaleb, a Ripple co-founder, came forth with a public post on XRP Talk confirming the fact that he’s started to sell his nearly 9 billion XRP.

By the time McCaleb’s done selling, he will have more than doubled the amount of XRP that’s on the market. I’ve argued that means ripple prices should fall by half or more.

“I have started to sell,” McCaleb wrote on Saturday. “I announced I was going to start to sell so that I could do so with the community’s knowledge and not behind the community’s back.”

McCaleb also provided an update on his secret bitcoin-related project: “The new project isn’t ready yet. I should have more information for you guys hopefully before the end of the month. … Programming projects always take longer than expected though and the cryptocurrency space has its own unique challenges. Please be patient.”

Since McCaleb’s sale began late this week, I’ve been following one of his confirmed ripple accounts. On June 6, the account held more than 27 million XRP worth more than $100,000. As of this writing two days later, the account holds 19.1 million XRP and $40,000 (USD). McCaleb’s been selling slowly to maximize the value he’s getting rather than forcing the price of XRP down quickly. Still, that should force the price of XRP down substantially over time without a large influx of buyers.

“Why would anyone invest in this environment?” asks AntiJed on XRPTalk. “There is a guaranteed steady stream of sales that could last many months if not years, as well as the possibility of sporadic massive dumps.”

“I think I’m burnt out on cryptos for a bit,” Dzthagz chimes in. “I sold when he announced he was selling, lost a lot of money (which is fine because I knew the risks) and now can’t buy back in because Jed looks like he’s only committed to selling a tiny bit at a time which will probably keep the market depressed for a loooooong time. I’m surprised anyone at all is still buying XRP right now.”

I have to admit, I can’t figure out where the buyers are coming from either unless it’s a major investor or Ripple Labs itself. Buying in the face of such a huge sell-off presents enormous downside risk and very small upside potential. To see prices rise substantially, we’d need a huge announcement from Ripple Labs (i.e. ripple adoption by a major bank or a new round of venture capital funding). The upside will come eventually, but it’s not going to come while Jed’s liquidating 9 billion XRP.

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