Ripple tumbles more than 40 percent to start 2018

After stealing the spotlight from bitcoin in 2017, ripple has fallen more than 40 percent in the first few weeks of 2018.

Ripple, or XRP, traded near $1.22 Tuesday afternoon, down nearly 47 percent for the year so far, according to CoinMarketCap. The digital currency had soared more than 35,500 percent in 2017 to end the year at $2.30, the website showed.

In contrast, bitcoin had climbed about 1,500 percent last year and was trading 16 percent lower for 2018, near $11,500, according to CoinDesk, as of Tuesday afternoon.

The latest ripple prices on CoinMarketCap still exclude prices from some South Korean exchanges, where ripple trades about 20 cents higher. The cryptocurrency data site said on Jan. 8 it was excluding the prices due to “extreme divergences in price from the rest of the world.” As of Tuesday, ripple had a market capitalization of $48 billion as the third-largest cryptocurrency, according to CoinMarketCap.

Ripple 12-month performance

Source: CoinMarketCap

Ripple is officially the name of a San Francisco-based start-up that is developing a payments network for financial institutions. XRP is the name of the digital coin participants can use for transactions.

Some analysts have cautioned that investors may be overenthusiastic about the potential use of XRP.

While Ripple has said more than 100 financial institutions are using its network, only one bank — Cuallix — has been named as using XRP. On Thursday, money transfer company MoneyGram announced it would test XRP for payments. The press release did not list a start date or time frame for the pilot.

Ripple did not immediately respond to a CNBC request for comment.

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