Ripple is the worst performer among major cryptocurrencies in the first quarter

Source: Ripple

Cryptocurrency ripple is the worst performer among the top digital currencies by market capitalization as the first quarter comes to a close.

The entire sector has taken a hit this year due to regulatory concerns and an advertising crackdown. Total market capitalization for cryptocurrencies has fallen by more than 50 percent in 2018 so far, according to CoinMarketCap.

Ripple is leading that downturn, and has lost more than 74 percent this year, according to CoinMarketCap. The two largest digital currencies by market cap, bitcoin and ethereum, are also down more than 40 percent, according to data from CoinMarketCap.

San Francisco-based Ripple is developing a network for fast, global financial payments. XRP is the name of the digital token that financial institutions on the network can use to transact quickly.

The cryptocurrency skyrocketed 35,000 percent in 2017 after kicking off the year at less than a penny, according to data from CoinMarketCap. Ripple hit a high near $3.50 on January 7, and was trading near 54 cents Thursday.

XRP, which has a market cap above $21 billion, is listed on more than 60 exchanges but is not yet available on popular U.S. exchange Coinbase. Speculation of when it might get added to Coinbase drove up prices earlier this year.

A CoinDesk article in early March added to speculation about a major exchange listing for Ripple, citing an appearance by Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse and Coinbase President and Chief Operating Officer Asiff Hirji on CNBC's "Fast Money" on Tuesday. However, the two were separate and unrelated interviews on the show, and made no such announcement.

XRP prices have since dropped by roughly 50 percent since then.

View Related Chart

Click to show more