So, here’s a quick caveat: Being a paper billionaire must be totally awesome on, well, paper. And with the wild swings of the cryptocurrency market, being a paper billionaire today doesn’t mean you’ll be a paper billionaire tomorrow.
So, with all that out of the way, if you needed another example of just how meteoric the cryptocurrency market has surged (you probably don’t, but humor us here) then how about this: Both the current and former CEO of Ripple have become paper billionaires because of the rise in the cryptocurrency’s value, ranking them among the wealthiest Americans, as Forbes reports.
Ripple issues a token called XRP, which had a market cap of $109.6 billion as of Friday, trading at $2.83, according to Coinmarketcap. XRP has now surpassed ethereum as the second-most valuable cryptocurrency behind bitcoin, as Forbes notes.
Forbes reports that Ripple co-founder and former CEO Chris Larsen (pictured above) “has 5.19 billion XRP in his personal holdings and a 17% stake in the company, according to sources at Ripple,” while current CEO Brad Garlinghouse “owns a 6.3% stake in Ripple, according to a source at the company, and owns additional XRP tokens.” Based on Monday’s exchange rate, when Ripple’s market cap was $88.9 billion and each XRP token was trading at $2.39, Larsen would have a net worth of $37.3 billion.
That would make him the 15th richest American on the 2017 Forbes 400 list as of Monday, tying him with Steve Ballmer, the former Microsoft CEO and current owner of the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers. He ranks a bit ahead of Abigail Johnson, the CEO of Fidelity, who is herself a big cryptocurrency fan, plus hedge funder Ray Dalio and investor Carl Icahn, both of whom have made headlines for calling Bitcoin a bubble.
Meanwhile, based on Monday’s exchange rate, Garlinghouse would be worth roughly $9.5 billion, according to Forbes. This would place him somewhere around 54th on the 2017 Forbes 400 list.
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