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Ripple to unlock 1 billion XRP tomorrow – what to expect?

Ripple to unlock 1 billion XRP tomorrow – what to expect?

On the first day of every month, Ripple unlocks 1 billion XRP tokens from an escrow system programmed within the XRP Ledger. This is set to happen again on October 1 (Sunday), in three transactions of 100 million, 400 million, and 500 million XRP.

Notably, October 2023’s unlock accrues for 1.87% of the current circulating supply of 53.31 billion XRP, and part of the remaining 46.69 billion XRP tokens owned by Ripple, that are still locked in escrows to be released monthly until February 2027.

There are three escrows set to be finalized on the last minutes of September 30, held by two known wallet addresses under Ripple’s control:

  • Address “Ripple (22)” —  for an unlock of 500 million XRP, that was locked on July 01, 2019, with the transaction ID “D0C3E…7568F”.
  • Address “Ripple (23)” — for an unlock of 100 million XRP, that was locked on July 01, 2019, with the transaction ID “532CD…1E4D2”.
  • Address “Ripple (23)” — for an unlock of 400 million XRP, that was locked on August 01, 2019, with the transaction ID “574D0…25F89”.

These two addresses still hold 5 billion XRP tokens for monthly escrows that will be finalized in the next five months until February 29, 2024.

Why did Ripple create this escrow system?

When XRP was created in 2012, the XRP ledger capped the total supply at 100 billion XRP. Of this, 20 billion XRP was initially distributed to the creators and core team.

Ripple’s treasury controlled the remaining 80 billion XRP and promised to release these coins gradually, rather than all at once. In 2017, Ripple implemented a new system to make the release of XRP more predictable and controlled.

This system uses escrows — a type of smart contract that locks up XRP, making it impossible to use them unless certain conditions are met. Ripple’s condition was to release one billion XRP on the first day of each month for 55 months, for a total of 55 billion XRP.

However, even with a monthly release of one billion XRP, Ripple did not spend or sell all of it. Instead, Ripple is reportedly locking up the remaining tokens each month in new escrows for future releases. This extended the 55-month deadline for all XRP to be put into circulation.

This is what Ripple did to the 1 billion XRP released in September

1 billion XRP tokens worth $500 million were unlocked, as expected, on September 1. Ripple then immediately relocked 800 million (80%) of the total, to escrows set to be finalized by January and February of 2027.

Ripple-XRP-escrow-september2023
Monthly escrow Ripple (XRP) | September 2023.

From the left 200 million XRP, 100 million tokens were spent on September 11 amid a price crash following news related to FTX’s assets liquidations a day before.

Ripple moves 100 million in a possible sell-off on September 11.
Ripple moves 100 million in a possible sell-off on September 11. Source: Finbold (Vini Barbosa).

75 million XRP were spent six days later on September 18 and another 50 million tokens were put into circulation on September 22 — from the left 25 million XRP of September’s escrows, plus another 25 million tokens from past releases.

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