Soon, it might be possible to trade in Ripple shares the way investors currently trade in Apple, Samsung and many others. As the cryptocurrency ecosystem continues down its path toward full maturity, more entities operating in the space could begin to consider launching an initial public offering (IPO), and Ripple could be one of the first. According to Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse, he expects the company behind the XRP digital currency to introduce an IPO “within 12 months.”
Garlinghouse was on hand for the recently-held World Economic Forum, which just wrapped up last week in Davos, Switzerland. While there, he explained to the Wall Street Journal’s Journal House panel that an IPO is a “natural evolution” for the company, stating, “In the next 12 months, you’ll see IPOs in the crypto/blockchain space. We’re not going to be the first and we’re not going to be the last, but I expect us to be on the leading side… it’s a natural evolution for our company.”
He added, “I’m bullish on BTC as a store of value, but not for payments. You don’t want to use BTC at Starbucks b/c by the time you get your coffee, it’ll be cold.”
Early on, Ripple embarked on a mission to become the go-to platform for international bank transactions. It has already secured several high-profile deals, but is also having to fight a negative stigma that has prevented it from seeing tremendous growth. Despite the obstacles it has faced, it still managed to raise $200 million through a Series C funding round held in December, which saw the company given a valuation of $10 billion. This type of funding round is typically the last step before a company launches an IPO.
According to The Block, Ripple has sold a total of $1.22 billion in XRP tokens. However, its sales performance is on the decline. In the third quarter of 2019, it sold $66.24 million, only to see its sales figure drop by 80% to $13.08 million in the fourth quarter. That marked the lowest amount in the last three years, and was joined by a 22% drop in the price of XRP.
At least one person believes that an IPO will not be a good move for those who have already invested in Ripple. Cantering Clark regularly posts his analysis on crypto projects on Twitter and, in response to Garlinghouse’s announcement about a potential IPO, he stated, “[Brad Garlinghouse] just pulled the ultimate fade on $XRP holders… Oh, uh guys, yeah we are actually going to IPO now, and offer shares that carry equity..so,…uh….about those coins. (Obsolete).”
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