The Lux List / Finance

The Crypto Billionaires from Ripple’s XRP Success

While many digital currency millionaires owe their fortunes in early investments in bitcoin, is it not the only digital currency to breed a new type of affluent who hold their wealth in crypto as illustrated by Ripple’s XRP success.

Feb 07, 2018 | By LUXUO

The value of cryptocurrencies skyrocketed in 2017 to more than $600 billion, churning out a new breed of millionaires and even billionaires who hold their wealth in crypto.

According to Forbes, two billionaires who now easily rank among the wealthiest Americans include the current and former CEOs of Ripple, a San Francisco-based company using blockchain technology in international financial transactions. Ripple issues a token called XRP that at the end of 2017 had surpassed Ethereum to become the second-most-valuable crypto asset after Bitcoin. As of January 1st, 2018, Ripple had a market capitalisation of $88.9 billion. 2017 was an incredible year for XRP and its holders. The token’s value skyrocketed from $0.006 on January 1, 2017 to $2.30 on December 31, 2017—a 38,000% return which added significantly to the wealth of certain stakeholders.

Former CEO Chris Larsen has 5.19 billion XRP in his personal holding and a 17% stake in the company. According to the exchange rate for XRP as of January 1, 2018, his net worth is now $37.3 billion, ranking him 15th on the list of richest Americans. Larsen now serves as executive chairman of Ripple after stepping down in November 2016 to make way for the current Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse.

Current Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse

Garlinghouse owns a 6.3% stake in Ripple and additional XRP tokens. His net worth, based on the current rate, would be nearly $10 billion, placing him in the mid-50s on Forbes’ list of wealthiest Americans.

Ripple acts as both a cryptocurrency and a digital payment network for financial transactions. Their technology has been adopted by the world’s largest banks, consequently accelerating their customer base. “People know Ripple is the only blockchain solution for payments that is proven in the real world, and it’s driving demand from financial institutions of all kinds and sizes because they want to stay ahead of the curve,” says Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse. One notable bank utilising Ripple’s technology is BBVA, one of the top 50 largest banks in the world, is using Ripple to enable real-time payments between Europe and Mexico.

XRP, being issued by a company, is less decentralized than many other cryptocurrencies. Ripple itself holds 61.3 billion XRP. Only 38.7 billion XRP tokens have been distributed. In contrast, Bitcoin is much less concentrated, though many early holders have a large number of coins. – Forbes

While many digital currency millionaires owe their fortunes in early investments in bitcoin, is it not the only digital currency to breed a new type of affluent who hold their wealth in crypto as illustrated by Ripple’s XRP success. 


 
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