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Why the Ripple (XRP) price was crushed today

Cryptocurrency markets have taken an unexpectedly negative turn during trade on Tuesday.

After having a very positive session overnight, the market has crumbled over the last few hours.

At the time of writing the total value of the cryptocurrency market stands at US$457.6 billion according to Coin Market Cap, down 3% or US$14 billion in just a few short hours.

Bitcoin (BTC), ethereum (ETH), and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) are all in the red. But arguably the worst performer during this time has been the Ripple (XRP) price.

Whilst it is down almost 3% during the last 24 hours to 95.8 U.S. cents, that only tells half the story. At one point today the price of XRP had reached US$1.08 per token giving it a market capitalisation of US$42.1 billion.

But since peaking at US$1.08, Ripple has shed over 11% of its value and now has a market capitalisation of US$37.4 billion. That’s almost US$5 billion gone in the blink of an eye.

You could buy Altium Limited (ASX: ALU), Appen Ltd (ASX: APX), and Aconex Ltd (ASX: ACX) with that money and still have change left over.

Why has the Ripple price been volatile?

Ripple’s strong rally overnight appears to be related to speculation that Coinbase will soon allow trading of XRP on its platform.

According to CNBC, the speculation started after it emerged that Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse and Coinbase President and Chief Operating Officer Asiff Hirji would both appear on the network’s Fast Money show on Tuesday.

However, it is now known that the two are appearing in separate segments and not together, effectively ending speculation that an announcement is expected.

In addition to this, the company tweeted that it has: “made no decision to add additional assets to either GDAX or Coinbase.”

Why does this matter?

Whilst Ripple can be traded easily through other exchanges already, Coinbase is the leading U.S. marketplace for buying and selling major digital currencies and is increasingly popular with both retail and professional traders.

If it were tradable on Coinbase it would open up the popular altcoin to an even wider market and potentially cause an increase in both demand and price.

But for now, Coinbase users are going to have to wait a little longer until they can get their hands on Ripple.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended ACONEX FPO. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of Altium and Appen Ltd. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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