Ripple Co-Founder Chris Larsen Might Be the 8th Richest Person in the World

Chris Larsen Ripple
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The recent ripple price surge has undoubtedly made many investors quite wealthy.

On Thursday, the global average ripple price rose to an all-time high of $3.84, meaning that a hypothetical $1,000 investment made on Jan. 1, 2017, would now be worth more than $600,000.

No one, however, has benefited more than Ripple co-founder Chris Larsen, who is currently the firm’s executive chairman and formerly served as its CEO. Citing a source at Ripple, Forbes reports that Larsen personally owns 5.19 billion XRP and has a 17 percent stake in the company, which is currently holding 55 billion XRP in escrow.

Based on the value of these holdings, Larsen is worth at least $55.8 billion, an estimate that excludes Ripple’s value as a company apart from its XRP balance.

According to Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index, this makes Larsen the eighth-wealthiest person in the world, ranking him just ahead of Google co-founder Larry Page and a few billion dollars behind Mexican business magnate Carlos Slim, who formerly held the title of the world’s richest person.

ripple
Source: Bloomberg

Amazingly, however, Larsen is only one of at least three current or former Ripple executives who have become billionaires due to the cryptocurrency’s recent success.

Jed McCaleb, who co-founded Ripple with Larsen but left the company in 2013 and later founded Stellar, reportedly owns the rights to 5.3 billion XRP — worth more than $20.3 billion, which are held in escrow by the company and distributed to him on a monthly basis. McCaleb also owns one billion XLM, which are worth more than $800 million but have yet to fully vest. According to Bloomberg’s data, this makes McCaleb the fortieth-richest person on paper with a net worth about $1 billion greater than Elon Musk’s.

Current Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse, meanwhile, possesses a 6.3 percent stake in Ripple, in addition to an undisclosed number of XRP tokens. This means that, conservatively, he is worth $13.3 billion, which would make him the world’s 99th-wealthiest person and nearly as rich as Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto, whose estimated 980,000 bitcoins (which most people believe will never be spent) are worth approximately $14.7 billion.

Write to Josiah Wilmoth at josiah.wilmoth(at)ccn.com.

Featured image from YouTube/Berkeley-Haas.

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Josiah is a former ancient and medieval literature teacher. He has been writing about cryptocurrency since 2014, and his work has been cited in Business Insider, NPR, and Yahoo! Finance. He lives in rural North Carolina with his wife and son. Email him directly at josiah.wilmoth(at)ccn.com.