Ripple Co-Founder First Crypto Billionaire on Forbes 400 List

  • Ripple co-founder Chris Larsen is the richest person to earn their wealth through cryptocurrency.
  • Larsen has broke into the Forbes 400 list with a net worth of $2.1 billion

Cryptocurrency entrepreneurs and investors are now ranking as some of the richest people in the world.

Last week, Forbes published their annual “Forbes 400” list, which ranks the wealthiest Americans by net worth. Ripple co-founder Chris Larsen was one of the new names on the list this year, coming in at 383rd with a net worth of roughly $2.1 billion. Forbes noted in their introduction that Larsen is, “the first member of the 400 to make a fortune from crypto-currency.”

If Ripple (XRP) was still seeing the all-time-high prices of this past January, Larsen would be closer to the top of the list. Back in January, Forbes estimated that Larsen’s net worth was $37.3 billion. At the time Forbes reported:

Cofounder and former CEO Chris Larsen, who stepped down in November 2016 and now serves as executive chairman of Ripple, has 5.19 billion XRP in his personal holdings and a 17% stake in the company, according to sources at Ripple. That gives him a net worth of $37.3 billion. That would make him the 15th richest American on the 2017 Forbes 400 list.

Cryptocurrency markets have created so much wealth in recent years that Forbes also created a list specifically for crypto investors and entrepreneurs.

Larsen was at the top of that list as well, along with Ethereum co-founder and Consensys founder Joseph Lubin, Binance founder Changpen Zhao, the Winklevoss twins, and Coinbase founder Brian Armstrong. The people who make up the Forbes crypto list are an average of 25 years younger than those who are in the 400 list.

Ripple’s Year

Ripple has had a lucrative year, but the company is giving back as well. Last month CryptoGlobe reported that Ripple (XRP) launched a $100 million charity program called “Ripple For Good.” This week, Ripple supporters renewed a push to make XRP the official cryptocurrency of the Olympics, although the company still has a long way to go in terms of merchant adoption and point of sale options.

Coinbase Becomes First 'Pure' Crypto Firm to Become Visa Principal Member

Francisco Memoria

San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has become the first “pure” cryptocurrency firm to become a Visa principal member.

The membership was, according to Forbes, officially awarded in December 2019, but it wasn’t revealed to the public until today via a blog post published by the exchange itself. The membership will allow Coinbase to cut expensive middlemen when it comes to the issuance of its debit card, which lets users pay with cryptocurrency wherever Visa is accepted.

Notably, the principal membership also gives coinbase the power to issue debit cards for other companies, although the cryptocurrency exchange claimed it isn’t planning to issue them for others anytime soon. Visa, Forbes reports, has confirmed it granted Coinbase the principal membership, but clarified the firm itself isn’t accepting cryptocurrencies.

Using the membership, Coinbase is set to issue a new version of the Coinbase Visa card, which was initially launched in April 2019 with the financial services firm Paysafe Group Holdings, which charges a fee for its service. This new version could reduce the fees Coinbase’s card is currently charging users as it cuts the middlemen. If fees are reduced, existing card holders will have to re-apply to receive a new card.

Zeeshan Feroz, CEO of Coinbase UK, which received the membership, noted that users’ BTC holdings have always been seen as illiquid “because you have to sell them, you have to go through a process, withdraw the money, and then spend it.” The card’s goal, he said, is to change that:

What the card is trying to change is the mindset that crypto is tucked away, takes two days to access, and can actually now be spent in real time.

The Coinbase Visa card isn’t available to U.S. residents and won’t be in the foreseeable future. It is, however, available in 29 countries including Denmark ,Estonia, France, Germany, Sweden, Spain, and the U.K. IT lets users spend nine cryptocurrencies including bitcoin, ether, bitcoin cash, Brave’s BAT, litecoin, and others.

With the membership, Coinbase could make fees charged to companies outside the cryptocurrency space in payments made with its card a new source of revenue, one that depends less on crypto price fluctuations. Feroz acknowledged it’s a possibility, but revealed it’s currently not a part of the firm’s plan as its “primary focus” is to build its services.

Featured image via Pixabay.