Ripple’s native token XRP was the worst performing large cap token in 2019 — and 2020 isn’t looking much better so far.

Crypto analytics firm Messari this week released data showing XRP was the worst-performing crypto asset in the top 25 coins by market cap in the first quarter of 2020.

XRP was also overtaken in volume earlier this week by up-and-coming cryptocurrency Chainlink (LINK) — and it even came close to losing its No.3 spot in the Top 10 to Tether (USDT) during the flash crash in mid-March.

Not the pandemic’s fault

The wooden spoon award from Messari follows XRP’s 2019 performance, which saw the token lose 66% of its value against Bitcoin (BTC). In dollar terms it halved in price, from $0.36 to $0.18.

Before the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the crypto market, Ripple had been under fire for selling off large amounts of XRP. The Messari report quoted the CEO as saying “Ripple would not be profitable or cash flow positive without selling XRP”, indicating the sales were helping finance the company. However total XRP sales in the final quarter of 2019 decreased significantly to $13.08 million, from the $66.24 million reported in Q3 2019.

LINK surpasses XRP in daily volume

XRP was overtaken in daily volume on April 13 by an up and coming crypto asset from decentralized oracle project Chainlink. 

As Messari founder Ryan Selkis noted on his Twitter account, LINK surpassed XRP and ETH to become second in overall trading volume that day with $130,535,603 in volume. That was well ahead of the $77,029,141 in XRP volume, which saw it lagging in fourth place behind ETH.

Source: Twitter

LINK is currently ranked as the 11th cryptocurrency by market cap and was one of the best-performing coins of 2019, growing exponentially from $0.29 to $1.80.

Legal issues shadowing Ripple

Part of the reason for XRP’s poor performance may be linked to a long-running class-action lawsuit the company is facing in New York, centered around allegations that the firm violated the Securities Act through a 2013 initial coin offering of XRP. Garlinghouse is personally accused of touting the token to prospective investors while silently liquidating his holdings.