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 full-time journalist at CCN. A former ancient and medieval literature teacher, he has been reporting on cryptocurrency since 2014. He lives in rural North Carolina with his wife and children. Follow him on Twitter @Y3llowb1ackbird or email him directly at josiah.wilmoth(at)ccn.com.