- Most major cryptocurrencies, except Ethereum, are having a rough start to 2018.
- Ripple’s XRP token is trading at less than one-third it’s high set just after the new year.
The digital currency created by Ripple for international payments and money transfers fell below $US1 for the second time this year early Thursday, bottoming out at $US0.984. That’s a drop of more than 30% from its high of $US3.3153 on January 4, according to data from Markets Insider.
Most coins were under pressure Thursday after India’s finance minister said the government does not consider cryptocurrencies to be legal tender and “will take all measures to eliminate use of these crypto-assets in financing illegitimate activities or as part of the payments system.”
2018 so far has been marked by extreme volatility for all cryptocurrencies, with many tokens seeing swings as large as 10% in either direction, a swift departure from the previous year in which prices seemed to only go up.
XRP has maintained it’s slot as the third-largest digital currency, but it’s quickly losing even more ground to Ethereum, which was the only major cryptocurrency to finish January in the green. XRP now represents a total market cap of just $US39.75 billion, compared to Ethereum’s $US110.78 billion.
Asheesh Birla, the vice president of product for Ripple, told Business Insider earlier this year that the firm was speeding up plans for xRapid, an XRP-powered product that seeks to enhance cross-border payments for emerging markets. It has signed at least two payments companies on to use the product.
Despite January’s steep losses, XRP is still trading more than 3,000% above its $US0.15 levels from a majority of 2017.