- XRP, the cryptocurrency created by Ripple for cross-border payments, plunged to its lowest levels of the year on Thursday.
- Most cryptocurrencies were also down, continuing a year that has been marked by heavy losses.
- You can track the price of XRP in real-time here>>
Ripple’s XRP cryptocurrency plunged to its lowest levels of 2018 early Thursday morning, down as much as 7.8% to $0.525 per token on a day when most major coins also saw heavy losses.
The last time XRP, the third-largest cryptocurrency by market cap, was trading this low was December 2017, according to historical data from CoinMarketCap.
Bitcoin, still far and away the largest and most prominent cryptocurrency, was down 5.2%, below what the London Block Exchange said was below a “key support level,” that appears to be denting sentiment across the board. Ethereum, the second-largest cryptocurrency, also declined to a 2018 low on Thursday.
Ripple, which controls a majority of the XRP tokens in circulation, has made several big name hires in recent months. Former hedge funder and journalist Cory Johnson joined the San Francisco-based firm as Chief Market Strategist in March
It’s also been quickly securing new customers for its liquidity and settlement products for cross-border payments, most of which are powered by XRP. Spanish bank Santander is set to launch an international money transfer app with Ripple, Business Insider reported last week.
Still, CEO Brad Garlinghuse maintains XRP should not be considered a cryptocurrency. “It’s not actually a currency,” he said in February. “These are digital assets. If the asset solves a real problem for a real customer, then there’ll be value in the asset.”
Despite the steep losses in 2018 so far, many investors believe the peak has yet to come for many cryptocurrencies.
Bill Barhydt, the CEO of crypto wallet startup Abra, told Business Insider this week that he believes the market will recover this week as more institutional money invests in the asset class.
“I talk to hedge funds, high net worth individuals, even commodity speculators,” he said. “They look at the volatility in the crypto markets and they see it as a huge opportunity. Once that happens, all hell will break loose.”
Oscar Williams-Grut contributed to this report from London