Popularly known for co-founding the company responsible for creating Ripple (XRP), Chris Larsen is a seasoned angel investor and corporate executive who made his money in various tech startups in Silicon Valley. According to Forbes, Chris Larsen has a net worth of $2.6 billion in 2023.
Larsen was born on November 30, 1960, in San Francisco, California. His mother was a freelance illustrator, and his father was an airplane mechanic for United Airlines.
After completing high school, he attended San Francisco State University to study international business and accounting, earning his bachelor’s degree in 1984. As a fresh faced graduate Chris worked as an auditor for Chevron. In 1991, he picked up his MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Chris started working for a mortgage lender, but quit in 1992 to start a mortgage business of his own with a colleague named Janina Pawlowski. They launched E-Loan, one of the first online mortgage lenders in the US.
He served as the chairman and CEO and stepped down from his position in 1995 to start the lending firm Prosper Marketplace. Later that year, E-Loan was sold to Banco Popular.
With Prosper Marketplace, Chris Larsen became known as a top player in the peer-to-peer lending space. He was the company’s CEO until he resigned in 2012. However, he remained chairman of the business.
Foray into the Crypto Industry
In 2012, Larsen made a strategic move into the crypto industry by co-founding tech company OpenCoin. The company worked on Ripple, a groundbreaking payment protocol that enabled immediate money transfer between two parties.
The following year, the company underwent a rebranding exercise to become Ripple Labs, Inc., and launched its own crypto token, XRP. For a time in 2014, XRP was second only to Bitcoin in terms of market capitalization.
In 2022, Larsen made headlines with his views on Bitcoin’s environmental impact, urging the leading crypto to adopt more eco-friendly mining practices. Despite facing criticism, Larsen continues to advocate for sustainable practices in the crypto industry. To further this cause, he established the Larsen Lam Climate Change Foundation.
Net Worth and Earnings
Larsen’s wealth stems from various sources. His early business ventures, including E-Loan, from which he reportedly owned a 40% stake alongside Pawlowski prior to its sale, have yielded significant returns. His position as chairman of Prosper Marketplace also commanded a substantial salary.
He has a 17% stake in Ripple Labs, Inc. But that’s not the only way he earns from crypto. He also has a personal holding of 5.19 billion XRP. As a result his wealth fluctuates wildly. Currently, he’s worth an impressive $2.6 billion.
The billionaire tech entrepreneur, crypto advocate, and environmentalist is happily married to his wife, Lyna Lam. The couple have two children together. Their family resides in a large estate in The Highlands community in Seattle, Washington.