Ripple reported Wednesday that sales of its cryptocurrency XRP totaled $167.7 million in the first three months of 2018, an increase of 83% compared to the previous quarter and of 2,400% compared to the first quarter of 2017. According to a post on the firm's site, direct sales of XRP totaled $16.6 million - a decline of 17% compared to the previous quarter. Programmatic sales of the cryptocurrency more than doubled, on the other hand, rising from $71.5 million to $151.1 million. Tom Channick, Ripple's head of corporate communications, told CoinDesk that XRP sales "exceeded our expectations." He added: "As a company, our strategy remains focused on signing up customers to use our technology and moving those customers into production. If we continue to do that, we will fix how money moves around the world." The total volume of XRP traded globally also increased markedly in Q1: volumes grew 68% to reach $160 billion for the period. XRP's clout relative to the total cryptocurrency market grew in Q1, with its share of overall market volume growing from 5.3% at the end of 2017 to 6.9% at the end of March. As for its share of total cryptocurrency market value, the report notes: "While the total market capitalization of all digital assets was the same on both November 24, 2017 and March 31, 2018, XRP's share of that market capitalization doubled, rising from 3.56% to 7.57% - a continuation of a trend that first began in 2017." XRP's price took off in late 2017, rising from less than $0.25 at the beginning of December to a peak of $3.84 in early January. The token's subsequent fall was just as steep, and within a month, it was trading at just under a dollar. At the time of writing, 1 XRP is worth around $0.81. Ripple's first-quarter report also addressed the negative influence that a global regulatory crackdown, combined with uncertainty about the future, has had on cryptocurrency prices. It did not specifically reference Ripple's own regulatory questions, however, including whether XRP is a security. Ripple markets XRP and other solutions to banks as a means to increase efficiency and reduce cost in payments, particularly those transacted across borders.