Update 12.31.2020 at 15:49 ET. Grayscale has clarified to Cointelegraph that despite the data set published by Bybt on Dec. 30, the fund has not liquidated positions in XRP or XLM. Grayscale's commentary is available here.
Data from Bybt, a cryptocurrency futures trading platform, reveals that Grayscale’s XRP holdings declined by more than 9.18 million on Dec. 29, bringing its total position to 26.45 million XRP, worth $5.77 million at press time.
On the same day, Grayscale reportedly liquidated over 9.74 million Stellar Lumens, or XLM, bringing its total holdings to 9.19 million XLM, or $1.27 million at today’s prices.
Grayscale’s assets under management currently sit at $19.26 billion, with Bitcoin (BTC) making up 87% of the total.
Grayscale’s apparent firesale of XRP came a week after the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, filed a lawsuit against Ripple Labs. The news triggered a wave of delistings from major exchanges, including Coinbase and Bittrex, as XRP’s price plunged 60%.
Ripple has vowed to fight back against the SEC’s charges and has urged market participants not to reach any conclusions about XRP’s alleged security status until they hear its side of the story.
With all the regulatory scrutiny surrounding Ripple, it’s not difficult to see why Grayscale may be distancing itself from the cryptocurrency. It isn’t entirely clear, however, why the fund manager reduced its exposure to XLM at the same time.
The moves could be a temporary reallocation strategy, as evidenced by recent data showing that Grayscale actually increased its position in XRP and XLM following their recent price dumps.
Stellar was co-founded by Jed McCaleb, a software developer who was part of Ripple’s founding team before departing the project in 2014. As of Dec. 9, McCaleb’s public XRP wallet held over 251 million XRP. He has reportedly sold hundreds of millions of dollars worth of XRP since early 2016.
Grayscale and Stellar did not immediately respond to requests for comment.