Market Research

Chris Larsen: The Successful Crypto Trader

By Fotis Dixon


Reviewed by: Fotis Dixon


Chris Larsen

Chris Larsen is one of the co-founders of Ripple Labs, the owner company of the popular cryptocurrency XRP. Ripple Labs uses XRP as the cryptocurrency on its network. Ripple Labs uses  XRP as cryptocurrency in its network to conduct transactions. XRP helps in financial transfers and exchange in currencies. 

Before starting Ripple Labs, Chris Larsen was a successful entrepreneur with two startups, E-loan and Prosper Market under his belt.

Early Life

Chris Larsen was born in the San Francisco Bay Area, California in 1960. He graduated in International business and accounting from San Francisco State University in the year 1984.

He spent several years working for Chevron Corporation as part of a financial team in various parts of the world. He returned to America to pursue a Masters of Business Administration(MBA) from Stanford Graduate School of Business in 1991.

He worked in the real estate industry as a mortgage lender in California. This experience helped him with crucial insights into property financing and its challenges. This led to his first entrepreneurial venture.

He understood the scope of the internet as a perfect platform for bypassing expensive agency fees and lengthy administration processes and making mortgage lending easier.

Larsen’s first venture was E-loan, an online mortgage lending outfit that provided consumers with free FICO credit scores. E-loan was a huge success, lending billions of dollars as mortgages transparently and cost-effectively. He sold E-loan to Banco Popular in 2005, netting millions after the company’s IPO.

After leaving E-Loan, he cofounded Prosper Marketplace in 2005, building off his success in the property industry, Larsen designed an online marketplace where lenders and borrowers could determine loan rates using Dutch auction pricing systems.

The platform provided detailed credit grades for borrowers, allowing lenders to make informed decisions. He left his second start-up in 2011 to cofound another fintech company known as Open Coin which used blockchain technology and the the platform facilitated peer-to-peer transactions between two parties in a trustless, decentralized system.

The Ripple Story

Larsen, Jed McCaleb, and Arthur Britto teamed up with blockchain wizard David Schwartz to develop XRP Ledger and the Ripple payments system. The company was renamed from OpenCoin to Ripple in 2013. The innovative consensus process employed in the XRP ledger was faster and more energy-efficient than the traditional proof-of-work systems used by other cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.

This made Ripple a more sustainable and scalable network provider in the digital currency space. Ripple Labs got angel funding from well-known investors like Andreessen Horowitz, Google Ventures, and IDG Capital Partners in 2014.

 Ripple had become the second-largest cryptocurrency in the industry by 2014, after  Bitcoin. The platform grew explosively and in 2016  Brad Garlinghouse was appointed to take Ripple to greater heights. As Ripple established itself as one of the largest cryptocurrencies in the world  Chris Larsen became a billionaire.

After Garlinghouse’s appointment, Larsen played a far less active role in Ripple Labs’ daily operations, even though Larsen still greatly influenced the project’s development as Ripple’s Executive Chairman.

Larsen is also known for his charitable activities. He donated over $1 million to COVID relief projects during the pandemic. Chris Larsen, his wife Lyna Lam, and the nonprofit foundation Rippleworks donated $25 million in XRP cryptocurrency to San Francisco State University in 2019. The donation was the “largest gift ever made in a digital asset” to a university in the U.S.

Also, Check: XRP Price Prediction 2024 To 2030

What Made Chris Larsen Successful?

Vision and Innovation: Larsen’s vision for a seamless global financial network resulted in transparent and cost-effective transactions that resonated across the financial sector.

  • Entrepreneurial Spirit: Before co-founding Ripple, Larsen successfully launched several startups within the fintech industry. His firms focused on financial accessibility and consumer advocacy
  • Strategic Leadership: Larsen played a crucial role in the company’s direction and strategy.
  • Adaptability: Larsen’s ability to read the market and recruit the right people led to the appointment of Brad Garlinghouse which enabled Ripple to scale up the blockchain company.
  • Philanthropy and Ethics: Larsen is also known for his concern for the less privileged and he has donated huge amounts of money to socially relevant causes

Final Thoughts

Chris Larsen was a self-made man whose vision and out-of-the-box thinking led him to innovate radical solutions for seemingly insurmountable problems. That is how he focused his energies on improving the system that was ubiquitous at the time in the case of mortgage lending.

His ideas led to the development of companies that made peer-to-peer transactions efficient, transparent, cheap, and secure. We hope to see more of Chris Larsens in the future.

Fotis Dixon

Fotis Dixon is a business expert from the UK. He's written lots of articles about the newest market research and trends, especially on cryptocurrencies. Fotis is good at breaking down different topics to give useful information, helping readers stay updated on emerging trends.

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