Jed McCaleb, Co-Founder of Ripple and Stellar, Reportedly Stepping Up Sales of His XRP Holdings

Siamak Masnavi

According to a report published on Monday in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), Jed McCaleb, one of the co-founders of both Ripple and Stellar, has recently stepped up sales of the billions of XRP tokens that he is thought to own.

When McCaleb left Ripple in 2013, he had around nine billion XRP tokens as well as shares in Ripple.

On 21 May 2014, McCaleb said that he had given some of his XRP tokens to various charities, and that he was planning to sell the entirety of his remaining XRP tokens. According to Finextra, the news of this announcement caused the XRP price to drop by as much as 65% in the following 24-hour period. It is a clear that he wanted to send a message that he wanted to sever his ties with XRP as soon as possible.

On 14 August 2014, Ripple revealed that following "Jed's stated intention to sell his XRP, Ripple Labs reengaged Jed to ensure responsible distribution of his XRP stake in a way that helps grow the Ripple ecosystem" and that Jed had agreed "to lock-up terms for his XRP." Ripple explained that Jed was not allowed to sell more than:

  • $10,000 per week during the first year
  • $20,000 per week during the second, third and fourth years
  • 750 million XRP per year for the fifth and sixth years
  • 1 billion XRP per year for the seventh year
  • 2 billion XRP per year after the seventh year

However, starting in April 2015, Ripple started alleging that Jed and members of his family were in violation of the aforementioned agreement. This legal dispute was finally resolved in February 2016 with a settlement deal announced in a post ("Final Settlement with Jed") published on 11 February 2016 on the main Ripple forums. These were the terms of the new agreement reached with Jed:

Ripple will release any claim it has on the funds currently deposited with the federal District Court for the Northern District of California and Stellar will take possession of these funds. Jed will donate 2 billion XRP to a charitable donor-advised fund ("DAF") of his choice. The same limits are placed on the ability of the charity to sell the XRP as are placed on the Jed's ability to sell his remaining XRP.  All of Jed and his children's remaining XRP, approximately 5.3 billion XRP, will be placed in a custody account at Ripple. While Jed retains full title and ownership of his remaining XRP, Ripple will control the release of his XRP in a manner consistent with the settlement agreement. Specifically, Jed will be allowed to sell his remaining XRP in the following manner: - for the first year of the agreement Jed and the DAF will be able to collectively sell 0.5 percent of the Average Daily Volume of XRP for each day of the week, including weekends and holidays.*  - for the second and third years of this agreement, Jed and the DAF will be able to collectively sell for each day of the week 0.75 percent of the Average Daily Volume. - for the fourth year of the agreement, Jed and the DAF will be able to collectively sell for each day of the week 1.0 percent of the Average Daily Volume. for any time after the fourth year of the agreement, for each day of the week Jed and the DAF will be able to sell 1.5 percent of the Average Daily Volume.

In a blog post published on 12 February 2016, Jed explained how he felt about this new agreement:

I fully complied with the previous agreement but now I have better terms for the amount of XRP I’m able to sell. The new rate is a percent of daily volume. This results in a higher limit given recent trading volume and allows for significant increases in my selling ability as volume increases, something that was not possible before with the prior agreement’s flat dollar limit. To effectuate this, I have escrowed my XRP. I can finally donate 2B of my XRP to charitable causes, something I was unable to do under the prior agreement. This allows me to continue to fund more charities like Give Directly and MIRI which has been something I was actively doing prior to the previous agreement. As part of this settlement, I finally sold the rest of my Ripple equity. Ripple was required to find a buyer for me at a great price.

WSJ says that Jed's "continuing sales of the [XRP] token have dramatically risen over the past few weeks," and that "a founder’s increasing sale of XRP could be a negative for the token’s value, just as it would be if a CEO of a publicly traded company suddenly started dumping shares in the company’s stock." Apparently, after being contacted by WSJ, Jed wrote in an email: “I’m not selling more than I have agreed to with Ripple."

WSJ reports that, Jed, now in the third year of the agreement, was previously selling at or below the 0.75% of the average daily volume cap "according to the XRP Ledger and his publicly-known XRP address", but "starting in late August, his sales dramatically rose by the day."

More specifically, it claims that:

In July, Mr. McCaleb was selling 20,000 to 40,000 XRP a day. However, starting in August, according to a public clearinghouse of token trades, he started selling 499,312 XRP a day, and at one point sold 752,076 a day. In other words, each day he moved and sold about 35 times the limit outlined in his 2016 agreement with Ripple. For example, over six days ending Wednesday, Mr. McCaleb sold more than 500,000 XRP a day, or about $150,000. The average daily trading volume of XRP on the Ripple consensus ledger—which is how Mr. McCaleb’s cap is calculated—hasn’t changed considerably in recent months and not enough to account for the change in his daily sales.

Kyle Samani, co-founder and managing partner at Multicoin Capital, had this to say about the WSJ report:

According to data from CryptoCompare, XRP is currently trading at 0.45, down 12.23% in the past 24-hour period. 

Swift Underestimates Crypto, Calls It 'Useless and Unstable'

The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT) the world's most widely used interbank system has dashed cryptocurrency in a recent briefing.

According to FXstreet, SWIFT doesn't recognize cryptocurrencies or blockchain as posing any threat to the financial industry. Instead, SWIFT representatives called out cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin for its volatility:

They go down in value like a yoyo, they’re useless and unstable. And even if crypto companies do make is stable, it’s still a basket of currencies.

SWIFT didn't thwart all cryptocurrency initiatives; representatives noted that Facebook's incipient venture into the crypto industry holds some merit, and could potentially disrupt remittances in the short term.

Not So Swift

SWIFT is used throughout many of the world's banks, with 11,000 financial institutions running on their messaging system.

Nevertheless, there's a reason why SWIFT and other interbank communications are known as legacy systems. These outdated methods for sending information about finance are time-consuming and costly. SWIFT Representatives openly admitted to these inefficiencies:

If you want to send a payment [via SWIFT] from Australia to China after midday, you instantly have a 12-hour delay because of opening hours.

Incredibly, despite not being completely ignorant of their own shortcomings, SWIFT still doesn't see the benefits afforded by cryptocurrencies and blockchain.

By comparison, most cryptocurrency transactions are almost instantaneous, not to mention, near enough feeless. In fact, due to the innovation provided by the blockchain, many cryptocurrency companies are primed toward the disruption of legacy systems such as SWIFT.

Firms such as Ripple and its rival in the space, Stellar, are two such projects aiming to transform the remittances industry; and for the most part, they're gradually succeeding. This year, Stellar, via an accord with tech giant IBM, created Worldwire, a payment network that runs on the Stellar blockchain; allowing for the inexpensive global transfer of funds between regulated institutions.

Meanwhile, Ripple continues to sign banks up to its various cross-border payment solutions. Notably last month, Ripple nabbed banking giant PNC, who became the first bank in the US to use Ripple's payments network. 

Moreover, while not the fastest cryptocurrency around, bitcoin still stands as a significantly cheaper way to send funds than traditional methods; even when it's at a premium.

This week a $1 billion transfer was caught making its way through the crypto ecosystem. While this gargantuan figure was noteworthy enough, the fact that it cost a mere $700 to send grabbed much attention. As reported, this fee still stands as a premium, despite the fact that traditional methods would have cost a magnitude more. 

Featured image credit: photo via Pixabay.com.