XRP's 4-Week Rally Was Led by Retail Investors: Kaiko

A closer look at the market orders for XRP suggests large investors, or whales, sold into the rally.

AccessTimeIconApr 11, 2023 at 11:41 a.m. UTC
Updated Apr 18, 2023 at 6:02 p.m. UTC

XRP, a digital coin often used to make international payments, has rallied nearly 40% in the past four weeks, outperforming other top digital assets, including bitcoin (BTC).

The rally was driven mainly by retail investors, while whales – or entities with ample capital supply – added to bearish pressure in the market, according to an analysis by Kaiko, a Paris-based provider of crypto data.

"Looking at buy and sell transactions on the two largest Korean exchanges, Upbit and Bithumb, market sell orders overwhelmingly outpace market buys for orders over 200k XRP (~$95k)," Kaiko's analysts wrote in a weekly note published Monday. "In contrast, the buy/sell ratio was much more balanced for smaller orders."

The sell-side imbalance in market orders of more than 200,000 XRP tokens suggests that whales have been selling into the price rally and that individuals and nonprofessional investors did the heavy lifting. A market order is an order to buy or sell an asset immediately. Such orders are usually executed at or near the current bid or ask price.

"When looking at the tick-level trade data, we can observe that whales are taking profit, which suggests the rally is retail-driven," Kaiko's analysts added.

Trading volumes in XRP-Korean won trading pairs on South Korean exchanges Upbit, Bithumb and Korbit soared last month, accounting for a giant share of the global activity.

XRP has been rallying on hopes that Ripple Labs, which the U.S. argues issued the token, will win its legal battle against the Securities and Exchange Commission. The SEC in 2020 claimed the Ripple Network was selling unregistered securities after the platform sold $1.3 billion worth of XRP.

The cryptocurrency changed hands near 52 cents at press time, It hit a high of 58 cents on March 29, CoinDesk data shows. A technical chart shows the 50-day simple moving average crossed above the 200-day SMA last week, confirming what is known as a "golden cross."

XRP's 50-day SMA has moved above the 200-day SMA, confirming the golden cross. (TradingView)
XRP's 50-day SMA has moved above the 200-day SMA, confirming the golden cross. (TradingView)

Chart analysts and traders consider a golden cross as a harbinger of a long-term bullish trend, even though the indicator is based on backward-looking moving averages and tends to lag prices.

The golden cross comes two months after the bitcoin and S&P 500 daily charts flashed a similar bullish signal. Since then, bitcoin has risen by 30% to $30,000, while the equities gauge has remained largely unchanged.

Edited by Sheldon Reback.


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Omkar Godbole

Omkar Godbole is a Co-Managing Editor on CoinDesk's Markets team.