On 24 January 2019, Messari, a cryptocurrency analysis firm, published a report revealing that the value of all Ripple (XRP) tokens combined was greatly overstated. The report was created based on data analysis from crypto exchanges and third-party crypto data services.
Messari’s report estimated that XRP’s market capitalization was overstated as much as 48%, which is approximately an extra $6.2 billion. This would leave XRP with a market cap of $6.7 billion instead of the current value of $12.9 billion. If the report stands true, XRP would be put in the third spot instead of second after Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) in terms of market cap.
After the publication of the report, Ryan Selkis, the founder and CEO of Messari, allegedly received anonymous threat calls. He posted on Twitter on the same day stating that he received a call from a Nashville number telling him his wife’s birthday before hanging up. He continued to bombard the higher-ups of Ripple, which included CEO Brad Garlinghouse, CTO David Schwartz, Cory Johnson, Monica Long, and Warren Paul Anderson, blaming them and the Ripple community for the threat calls he was receiving.
He followed up with another tweet after reporting the case at a police station. He corrected that the threat calls mostly probably came from “a punk kid” and not related to Ripple’s personnel. However, no official statements were made by both Ripple or Messari regarding the threat calls.
Regarding the report published by Messari, a source claiming to be Ripple’s spokesperson allegedly approached CoinDesk, a crypto-focused news site. The source claimed that the report contained inaccurate assumptions of lockups and selling restrictions. Additionally, the report utilised an incorrect method to calculate market cap.
Many XRP enthusiasts claimed that the report was just a mean of manipulating information to benefit Messari. However, a lot of them did not expect that Messari had sent in the report to Ripple before publication for verification purposes. Ryan Selkis responded that the research report was e-mailed to Ripple’s higher-ranking officers “4 times in 48 hours”, asking for comments and reviews on the report’s assumptions. However, Ripple did not give them a respond.