Chris Larsen is an American businessman and entrepreneur who is widely regarded as one of the pioneers of the cryptocurrency industry. He was born on August 28, 1960, in San Francisco, California, and grew up in nearby Marin County.
After earning a degree in accounting and business administration from San Francisco State University, Larsen began his career in the tech industry. He worked for several companies, including Chevron, where he developed software for oil exploration, and E-LOAN, where he helped pioneer the online lending industry.
In 1996, Larsen co-founded the company that would become known as Ripple Labs, a fintech startup that focused on creating a decentralized digital currency system. Ripple’s platform, which uses a cryptocurrency called XRP, allows for fast and secure cross-border payments and has been embraced by banks and financial institutions around the world.
As of 2021, Larsen’s net worth is estimated to be around $4 billion, making him one of the wealthiest people in the cryptocurrency industry. He has been a vocal advocate for cryptocurrency and blockchain technology, and has been recognized for his contributions to the industry with numerous awards and accolades.
Larsen has also been active in philanthropy, using his wealth to support a variety of causes. He and his wife Lyna Lam founded the RippleWorks Foundation, a nonprofit that helps entrepreneurs in developing countries by providing them with resources and expertise.
Despite his success, Larsen has faced controversy over his involvement with Ripple, which has been accused by some regulators of violating securities laws. However, Larsen has remained a staunch defender of Ripple and its mission, and continues to be a major force in the cryptocurrency industry.
Here’s a timeline of Chris Larsen’s life and career:
- 1960: Chris Larsen is born on August 28 in San Francisco, California.
- 1984: Larsen graduates from San Francisco State University with a degree in accounting and business administration.
- 1996: Larsen co-founds E-LOAN, an online lending platform that pioneers the industry.
- 1998: Larsen becomes the CEO of E-LOAN.
- 2005: Larsen co-founds Prosper Marketplace, a peer-to-peer lending platform.
- 2012: Larsen co-founds OpenCoin, which later becomes Ripple Labs, a fintech startup focused on creating a decentralized digital currency system.
- 2013: Ripple launches its payment protocol and cryptocurrency, XRP.
- 2014: Larsen steps down as CEO of Ripple Labs and becomes executive chairman.
- 2018: Forbes estimates Larsen’s net worth at $2.1 billion.
- 2021: Larsen’s net worth is estimated to be around $4 billion. Ripple Labs faces a lawsuit from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission over its sale of XRP.
- 2022: Ripple Labs reaches a settlement with the SEC, and Larsen steps down as executive chairman of the company.
5 Interesting Facts about Chris Larsen:
- Larsen is a Silicon Valley veteran, having co-founded multiple companies in the tech industry before entering the cryptocurrency space.
- He is a strong believer in the potential of blockchain technology and its ability to transform the financial industry.
- Larsen has been a vocal critic of Bitcoin, citing its slow transaction times and high energy consumption.
- He has faced controversy over his involvement with Ripple and its XRP cryptocurrency, with some regulators accusing the company of violating securities laws.
- Larsen is also a philanthropist and has donated millions of dollars to various charitable causes, including education and healthcare initiatives.
5 Quotes from Chris Larsen:
- “We’re at the beginning of a new era of the internet, where we’re going from an internet of information to an internet of value.”
- “I think blockchain technology is probably the most disruptive technology that’s come along in the last decade or so.”
- “We’re not just trying to create a better payment system. We’re trying to create a whole new financial system.”
- “Bitcoin is kind of the Model T of blockchain, and we’re trying to build the Ferrari.”
- “I think that if you’re really going to change the world, you have to be patient, and you have to be willing to take on the hard problems.”