Chris Larsen, former CEO of Ripple, admitted to moving the sum of XRP 499,999,999. The man is known as an angel investor and has developed several startups in Silicon Valley, including Ripple Lab from 2013 to 2020. By 2014, Ripple had become the second-largest cryptocurrency in terms of capitalization, behind the uncontrollable Bitcoin.
The information was revealed in two stages. On September 22nd at 7:17 PM, the transaction was detected and relayed through the Twitter account @whale_alert.
“499,999,979 #XRP (115,847,491 USD) transferred from Chris Larsen to unknown wallet. @whale_alert” – @whale_alert
This revelation gave rise to much speculation from the Ripple community. Some people were already contemplating a massive dump, premeditated by Larsen. So who was the money intended for?
A few minutes later, at 7:33 PM, Chris Larsen himself spoke in a tweet explaining the nature of the transaction. The man states that he moved the funds to the NYDIG company, whose founders he has “known for a long time”. The tweet also praises this company, which he describes as being advanced in terms of security, and with high institutional standards.
At the height of the bubble, Larsen held 5.19 billion XRPs, representing approximately $15 billion. Although XRP was down 90% from its peak, the ex-founder is still the richest person in the cryptocurrencies industry. The prestigious Forbes 400 ranking estimates his current fortune at $2.7 billion.
Ripple & Commercial Banking: A Close Collaboration
NYDIG is a New York-based investment company, which provides, among other things, management services. The firm also offers its clients trading and holding services in cryptocurrencies.
In 2018, the group affirmed its willingness to invest in the cryptocurrencies markets by obtaining the “BitLicense” license. The NYSDFS delivers this certification for large investors in virtual assets. NYDIG is now one of the largest institutional investors in cryptocurrencies.
It is interesting to observe this close relationship between Ripple and commercial banks. The Japan-based financial group Mitsubishi UFJ, for example, had announced a cooperation with Ripple that could serve as a financial bridge between Japan and Brazil. Closer to home in Europe, HSBC Holdings Plc also revealed that it would be using the XRP payment solution.
Many theories already exist about XRP, including potential collaboration with the IMF and some central banks. While this news may seem trivial, it will certainly fuel speculation and theories of all kinds. There might be very eventful days ahead for the third cryptocurrency in market capitalization and working with institutional actors could be a great move.