Chris Larsen is best known among us as a business executive, an angel investor and a veteran Silicon valley operator. Being at present the executive chairman of Ripple’s board of directors, he’s the former CEO and co-founder of Ripple. Here are 15 things you may not know about this’ Radical pro-consumer’.
1. Worked for Chevron
After completing his college, Chris has worked for the American energy corporation ‘Chevron’ where he was often sent on auditing missions to other countries like Brazil, Indonesia and Ecuador to examine the finances of particular branches.
2. Inspiration behind starting E-loan services
Working at a mortgage lender in Palo Alto, California, in the early 1990s, Chris personally had a bad experience with buying his first own house. He was fooled by somebody in the consumer process of getting his loan. So that anger he had within due to that mistreatment led to him creating E-loan with his colleague Janina Powlowski who was equally frustrated from the mortgage lending industry.
3. When Chris changed FICO scores game
By the start of 2000, one’s FICO scores were available only once per year free report as per the law. But Chris Larsen being the chairman and CEO of E-loan curbed this problem by offering free FICO scores to all E-loan members.
4. Larsen as a ‘privacy activist’ for Californian consumers.
At that time, when the pro-business legislators were not accepting the proposal of requirement for the consumers to opt in before financial services companies could share or sell their personal information, Larsen was the one who helped funding the project ‘Coalition Californians for Privacy Now’ with his own money of $1 million and collected 600,000 signatures in support of consumers.
5. Chris as the ‘Alum’ of his school.
Chris completed his BS in international business and accounting from San Francisco State University and was also named Alum of the year by the school in 2004. He also funds for Chris Larsen scholarship at his school since early 2000s.
6. Secret behind the start-up of the so-called ‘eBay for money and credit’.
Everyone knows that Chris founded the first of its kind marketplace in U.S., which offered peer-to-peer direct lending services without the requirement of any middleman. But a few know that from where the idea of this business did Chris Larsen got from. It was the Vietnamese community who suggested him this idea. In 1983, a family of 7 immigrated from Vietnam to U.S. with hardly enough money to rent a studio. Other Vietnamese people in the city gathered up some money and gave the family a loan to buy a second-hand car and start a gardening business. The girl from this family- Line Lam became Larsen’s wife and in 2005 together they set up a new firm – PROSPER.COM.
7. Supportive of Combodian Buddhist community.
Larsen and his wife Lyna Lam both have been supporting Cambodian Buddhist community of San Jose and have lived in bay area of California as of early 2000s. Since 2015, he has been living with his family in San Francisco.
8. Larsen’s strong belief in taking risks
In an interview, Larsen stated that ‘The ability to start something new is always stressful, but it is also incredibly satisfying if you can block out the stressful days- the good days are just incredibly satisfying’. This proves how he has given the world ‘First of its kind’ company not just once but 3 times.
9. Internet of value exchange
Larsen predicts the future of internet of value exchange parallel to the internet of information exchange we have at present. As the process of sending information was a very slow process through letters, somewhat around 20 years back, exposure to internet and emails has changed the scenario drastically. Similarly, moving value is new and it would allow anyone to send value globally in seconds instead of days like it works today. Basically, it is at no cost versus wire fees of $35 per transaction. Within the present world, only the top 10 banks dictate the exchange rates for cross- country trades. The consumers and small businesses are paying 5% extra for the exchange of dollars into euros. In the new world of ‘internet of value exchange’ everybody will be competing for the same exchange and end up paying a competitive rate.
10. Larsen as a writer
Larsen has often written articles for publications like American Banker on banking and technical topics. In 2016, he wrote an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal making the case that banks are “like parents” and should treat customers in a more nurturing way.
Larsen is also among the board of members or advisers for organisations like Credit Karma and Electric Privacy Information Centre (EPIC). Credit Karma with a backing from Chris Larsen, is delivering an actual score computed by Trans union, one of the 3 major U.S. credit bureaus. It doesn’t precisely match the commonly used FICO scores from Fair Isaac and the scale is with a top score of 900.
Chris Larsen is also among the ‘privacy rockstars’ in Eric’s 2018 host committee.
12. Larsen as a speaker
Larsen has also been a speaker at events like Subos, SWIFT’s flagship conference. The Crypto Finance conference- the world’s most exclusive investor conference on cryptocurrency and blockchain investments hosted its 1st event in U.S. from Sep 5-7 of 2018 in Half Moon Bay, California. Ripple’s executive chairman Chris Larsen was the keynote speaker there.
Chris Larsen ranks ahead of Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin on Forbes 400 list. It happened when value of Ripple jumped from $0.25 in Dec 2017 to $3.16 in Feb 2018. It made the market value of XRP reach $3.84 and Chris Larsen a billionaire overnight.
14. Chris Larsen’s brief lead over Mark Zuckerberg
At present, Chris Larsen is slightly below the Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg on the list. But it was around the beginning of this year, Chris briefly exceeded Mark Zuckerberg on the list with an estimated worth of $59 million. But then Chris Larsen saw the steepest decline in crypto net worth falling from about $8 billion in the late January based on his holdings of XRP. This made Chris Larsen to step behind Mark Zuckerberg on the Forbes list of 100 richest people.
15. Chris Larsen’s net worth
Ripple’s token, XRP, had an unpredictable rise this winter that made Larsen one of the richest men on the planet overnight. The current executive chairman of Ripple, Larsen reportedly holds 5.19 billion XRP as well as a 17% stake in his company. He is still no Jeff Bezos, but if XRP has another year of explosive growth like it had in 2017, he will be worth well over $100 billion in coming years.