Ripple co-founder now richer than Oracle, Google co-founders!
The meteoric rise of Ripple cryptocurrency, XRP, made Ripple Co-Founder and Executive Chairman Chris Larsen one of the US's top five richest people.
Larsen holds 5.19bn XRP and 17% stake in Ripple. After XRP hit $3.84 (4 January), his net-worth reached $59.9bn (on paper), meaning he's richer than Oracle Co-Founder Larry Ellison ($58.9bn), Google Co-Founders Larry Page ($50.8bn) and Sergey Brin ($49.3bn).
Meet Ripple's XRP, the potential successor to Bitcoin
How did Larsen suddenly become one of the wealthiest?
With $59.9bn, Ripple co-founder Larsen is behind only Facebook Founder-CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who ranks fourth on "Forbes 400" with a net-worth of $74.3bn.
Oracle's Larry Ellison ranks fifth while Google's Larry Page and Sergey Brin rank eighth and tenth on the Forbes list, respectively.
The rapid rise of Ripple's XRP, one of the fastest-growing digital currencies, led to the sudden surge in Larsen's wealth.
Nakamoto holds 4.7% of total Bitcoins
Thanks to the skyrocketing values of cryptocurrencies, many digital currency founders have witnessed a sudden surge in their wealth. Founders usually hold huge amounts of the virtual currencies they create. Even the anonymous Bitcoin founder "Satoshi Nakamoto" has 980,000 Bitcoins, worth over $14.7bn.
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What exactly is Ripple?
Ripple is a San Francisco-based start-up that uses blockchain technology for developing a payments/transaction network that also controls the XRP or Ripple digital currency.
Ripple was launched in 2012 by former Bitcoin developers. It is actually considered the logical successor to Bitcoin.
The total market cap of Ripple is valued at $142bn, according to CoinMarketCap. It is the second biggest cryptocurrency after Bitcoin.
The rise in the value of XRP
The unit price of Ripple's XRP has crossed $3.84 (roughly Rs. 243); while its current value may not seem as impressive as Bitcoin's that hit $15,000 (Rs. 9.5L approximately), XRP soared 35,500% last year.
It has grown from $0.006 at the beginning of 2017 to $2.30 by the end of the year, outpacing the Bitcoin's 1,400% gains last year.
Ripple is the fastest digital currency
Ripple is the fastest cryptocurrency in circulation with a settlement time (period of time between transaction and settlement and allotment) of just four seconds. On the other hand, Ethereum's settlement time is over two minutes, and that of Bitcoin is more than an hour.
How is Ripple different from other digital currencies?
Unlike other virtual currencies, Ripple's XRP has connections to legitimate banks and financial institutions.
Such companies that actually use Ripple's payments network include Bank of America, Santander, and UBS.
Last year, even American Express introduced instant blockchain-based payments through Ripple.
Recently, many financial institutions in Japan and South Korea, too, adopted Ripple's transaction technology, which gave a major boost to the XRP value.
Unlike Bitcoin, Ripple isn't mined
Ripple's XRP, unlike Bitcoin, is not mined by users. The San Francisco-based Ripple has control over the supply of XRP. It has created 100bn XRP (Ripple coins) so far; 38bn of them are currently in circulation. Ripple can release up to 1bn XRP per month.
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