Everyone has heard of Bitcoin by now but newcomer Ripple has recently made its way up the charts to become the second largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization. After hitting a five-year anniversary on December 21, 2017, Ripple has been highly successful at attracting clients and monetizing blockchain technologies.
With the massive rise in value, Ripple's co-founder Chris Larsen has quickly become one of the world's richest individuals. If it were possible for Larsen to sell his 5.19 billion worth of Ripple (XRP) and his company stake, he would have approximately $60 billion. Comparing Larsen to other members on the Forbes 400 list, he would rank fifth in the world falling behind Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and Mark Zuckerberg.
Larsen currently owns a 17 percent equity stake in the company Ripple, not to be confused with the fact that its cryptocurrency trades under the same name. As a business, Ripple is a financial group that works with banks and enterprise clients to process international transactions in a cost-effective and secure manner. Familiar tech names like Seagate and Google Ventures have worked with Ripple as investors.
Ripple hit an all-time high value of over $4 this week on select exchanges but has since been quite volatile in the $3 range. The total market cap of Ripple is currently around $130 billion. As a whole, cryptocurrencies collectively hold a market cap of $760 billion and are expected to break over $1 trillion this year.
Should the value of Ripple rise further this year, Larsen could see his standing on the list of the world's richest people elevated even further, potentially displacing those who have built technology empires and massive investment funds. Of course, it's also possible that Ripple (or any other cryptocurrency) could drop in value at any given moment but there is little reason to believe the blockchain businesses will be going away anytime soon.