Ripple Co-Founder Jed McCaleb Announces Sell Out

Photo by _Mo

Jed McCaleb, co-founder of Ripple Labs (formally OpenCoin), announced on Wednesday that he will be selling the entirety of his XRP holdings, resulting in a 40% loss of exchange value over 24 hours.

McCaleb began his message by recounting his history with OpenCoin, and revealing roughly how much XRP he controls,

I started working on ripple in the summer of 2011. I soon hired Arthur and David to help me. In 2012, I met Chris Larsen. He joined us about 5 months before ripple was launched. Chris, Arthur and I kept 20 billion XRP, of which 9 billion were mine. We gave the remaining 80 billion to OpenCoin. I have given away and donated some of my 9 billion XRP to charities such as MIRI, Literacy Bridge, Give Directly, Mission Bit and others.

He then explains,

I plan to start selling all of my remaining XRP beginning in two weeks. Because I have immense respect for the community members and want to be transparent, I’m publicly announcing this before I start.


Separation from Ripple Labs

[dropcap size=small]D[/dropcap]espite founding OpenCoin (now Ripple Labs) as the company's CTO, Jed McCaleb left last year "to pursue man-made surf parks," among other ventures.  However, in a video that surfaced earlier this year McCaleb hints at leaving due to disagreements with another executive at OpenCoin.

I left in the summer, last June/July.  [I had] disagreements with someone brought on to be CEO, and they are kind of - I don't know; they're lucky. We will see how it goes.

The current CEO of Ripple Labs is Chris Larsen, any disagreements the two may have are unknown at this time.

The Sell-Off

McCaleb's "immense respect for the community" aside, his two-week notice may be an attempt to "price-in" his impending sell-off. If everyone knows it's coming, perhaps the markets will be better prepared to absorb the impact.

McCaleb could be selling as much as 9% of all XRP ever created, or nearly 100% of the XRP currently on the market. Such a massive sale being announced ahead of time is unheard of in the cryptocurrency world, leading some members of the community to wonder if the move is McCaleb's way of taking a jab at Ripple Labs.

No matter the reason, the apparent message is that Jed McCaleb wants no further ties to Ripple Labs or its currency, and the result has been a massive crash of the XRP exchange rate - nearly 40% at this moment - since the announcement.

Roaming Developer

Jed McCaleb made his name by creating eDonkey, a file sharing platform similar to Napster, but capable of handling larger file sizes.  After leaving eDonkey under legal threats from the recording industry, McCaleb then created the infamous Mt. Gox.  However, McCaleb was wary of operating a company under uncertain regulations, and sold the ill-fated Mt. Gox to Mark Karpeles in 2011.

McCaleb is currently working on a mystery Bitcoin-related project which has made a point of not releasing any details. He is also a venture partner at Pantera capital, a firm investing in Bitcoin companies.

Judging by his past, it is safe to say that whatever McCaleb's mystery project is, it is something he passionately believes in - at least for a little while.


(Featured photo by _Mo.)

Jonas Borchgrevink @JonasBorch

Founder of and Passionate about how technology can empower people to create a more just and sustainable world.

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