The number of new crypto billionaires increased exponentially in 2017, a pattern that is likely to continue into this year. The latest to join the elite club of crypto whales is Ripple co-founder Chris Larsen who is now richer than the co-founders of Google according to a CNBC report.
Thanks to the recent surge in XRP he has now become one of the richest people in America. According to Forbes who cited staff at the company executive chairman Larsen has a personal stash of 5.19 billion XRP and a 17% stake in the company. Taking current rates of XRP trading at $3.16 it will give him a net worth of $16.4 billion. Using Ripple’s record high of $3.80 yesterday he would have been worth almost $20 billion not including the company stake.
Forbes estimated his net worth to be closer to $37.3 billion which would make him the 15th richest American on the 2017 Forbes 400 list as of Monday. This places him level with Steve Ballmer, the former Microsoft CEO. CNBC estimated the figure to be around $60 billion which makes Chris Larsen richer than Larry Ellison, but just below Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. It is hard to put an exact figure on it as the crypto prices are too volatile to measure accurately, by the time you have read this article the price of Ripple will have changed again.
Ripple’s gains far outpaced those made by Bitcoin and Ethereum in 2017. XRP surged over 38,000% last year from $0.006 to $2.32, the company owns 61.3 billion of the total 100 billion coins making its market value a staggering $235 billion according to CNBC.
Ripple’s success has come largely from a number of partnerships with will established banks in the EU and Asia. It also has ties with Visa and strives to become the blockchain standard for inter-bank payments, replacing the somewhat archaic Swift protocol. Many traders are skeptical of XRP due to its ties with traditional banks and centralized company ownership. However as a technology it has proven to be one of the best to invest in. Those that bought XRP just a month ago will have seen gains of 1200%.
Further reports and speculation that Ripple could be coming to the Coinbase exchange has fueled intense investment and a lot of FOMO. The exchange has yet to officially confirm whether it will be listing XRP this year but in the land of crypto, hype is as good as anything. XRP is currently pulling back from its high of $3.82 yesterday and is trading at $3.16 with a 24 hour volume of $7.8 billion and a total market cap of $122.5 billion.