The Richest Person In Cryptocurrency is Chris Larsen, a Stanford M.B.A. and veteran Silicon Valley operator who at the January market peak fleetingly had a fortune of some $20 billion, the bulk of it derived from
In the world of cryptocurrency, fortunes can be made overnight, and the winners of this digital lottery differ from those in previous manias. The shadowy beginnings, at once anarchistic, utopian and libertarian, have drawn an odd lot of pioneers—from antiestablishment cypherpunks and electricity-guzzling “miners” to prescient Silicon Valley financiers and a larger-than-usual assortment of the just plain lucky “hodlers,” the typo-inspired crypto jargon for “buy-and-hold” investors.
The Richest Person In Cryptocurrency
The Richest Person In Cryptocurrency Chris Larsen, a Stanford M.B.A. and veteran Silicon Valley operator who at the January market peak fleetingly had a fortune of some $20 billion, the bulk of it derived from his 5.2 billion XRP, the token of Ripple, the company he cofounded with Jed McCaleb in 2012 to facilitate international payments for banks using blockchain technology. His company controls 61 billion of the 100 billion XRP in supply.
Forbes is calculating his net worth based solely on the XRP he owns personally and the value of his 17% stake in Ripple, against the company’s most recent valuation: $410 million. Ripple counts Mitsubishi Financial, Bank of America and Santander among its 100-plus customers.
A serial entrepreneur, Larsen, 57, cofounded the online mortgage lender e-Loan, in 1997, and, eight years later, Prosper, the peer-to-peer lender that has been valued at more than $1 billion.
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He seems to have hit it bigger here, even if XRP is nothing more than a speculation vehicle — and one that’s down 65% since the beginning of the year. While Larsen stepped down from the company more than a year ago, he still serves as executive chairman and tells Forbes he’s “100% focused on Ripple and helping the team any way I can.” Given these kind of numbers, he’d be crazy not to.
About Chris Larsen
Chris Larsen is a business executive and angel investor best known for co-founding several Silicon Valley technology startups, including one based on peer to peer lending. He is The Richest Person In Cryptocurrency
In 1996, he co-founded the online mortgage lender E-Loan, and during his tenure as CEO E-Loan became the first company to freely provide consumers’ FICO credit scores. By 2000, E-Loan’s market value was estimated at $1 billion
In 2005, Larsen left the company when it was sold to Banco Popular. In 2006, he co-founded Prosper Marketplace and he served as CEO until 2012.
Later in 2012, he co-founded the company Ripple Labs, Inc., which developed Ripple, software that enables the instant and direct transfer of money between two parties.
Self-described as “radically pro-consumer,” Larsen has been a vocal advocate of financial privacy in California, and in 2001 he co-founded the coalition Californians for Privacy Now.
He has appeared as a speaker at industry events such as Sibos, SWIFT’s flagship conference, and written articles for publications such as American Banker.
He is also a board-member or advisor for organizations such as Credit Karma, the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), Qifang, and Betable.
On January 4, 2018, Forbes estimated Larsen’s worth at $59 billion, briefly putting him ahead of Mark Zuckerberg and into fifth place in their list of world’s richest people.
In 2020, he ranked No. 319 in the Forbes 400 list of the richest people in America.
In 2020, Larsen and Ripple each donated US$1 million to five San Francisco food banks for Covid-19 relief efforts
The Richest Person In Cryptocurrency
Larsen and John Witchel co-founded Prosper Marketplace Larsen served as CEO. From 2006 to 2009, Prosper operated a variable rate model, acting as an eBay-style online auction marketplace with lenders and borrowers ultimately determining loan rates using a Dutch auction-like system.
Through the website, borrowers can request personal loans, while Prosper handles the servicing of the loan and distributes borrower payments and interest back to the loan investors. Prosper also makes borrowers’ “credit grades” public, and verifies identities and select personal data. Larsen himself had funded 450 loans through the website as of 2008, with borrowers as diverse as homeowners, college students, credit-card users, and entrepreneurs.
By 2008, Prosper had facilitated the funding of over $120 million in loans, with an average loan amount of $7,000.
In 2008 Fast Company named Prosper to its Fast 50 List of the “most innovative companies of the year.”
Jim Breyer, a partner at Accel Investments, interviews Chris Larsen about Prosper at an industry panel (October 25, 2006)
In 2011, Larsen was outwardly supportive of the Occupy Wall Street movement, raising money to help feed protesters at the nearby OWS encampment in San Francisco.
By the end of the year, Prosper had facilitated $271 million in peer-to-peer loans, and the company had received a total of $74.5 million in funding from investors such as Jim Breyer, Tim Draper, Omidyar Network, Nigel Morris, and Court Coursey.
On March 15, 2012, Larsen announced that he would be resigning from his role as CEO, though he remained Chairman of the company.