Heading into the New Year markets have experienced a huge surge in the crypto economy, which is currently valued above $600 billion. The current market leader and most established crypto, Bitcoin holds a market cap of nearly $243.0 billion. However, while Bitcoin has succeeded in making thousands of investors rich overnight, it is a new crypto that has produced a new round of billionaires – Ripple.

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With its most recent surge and rampant growth during the past month, Ripple has managed to catapult its founding members to amongst the richest person in the world. The past month has seen Ripple (XRP) soar from just $0.25 to over $3.25 Thursday, a gain of 1,200.0 percent.

According to Forbes, Ripple’s co-founder and former CEO Chris Larsen owns approximately 17.0 percent in the firm along with 5.19 billion XRP in his personal holdings. At the current trading rates of XRP, Mr. Larsen’s total net worth values to be $44.16 billion, making him one of the top 20 richest man on the planet, as per Forbes Billionaires list.

This level of wealth easily surpasses former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and also Las Vegas’ casino mogul Sheldon Adelson. Also, according to a recent tweet by the blockchain expert George Kikvadze, Mr. Larsen holds 37.0 percent stake in Ripple which is a $320 billion firm. This estimation makes him one of the world’s richest persons, surpassing the wealth Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates.

But he is not the only cryptocurrency billionaire, or to be specific Ripple billionaire. Ripple’s current CEO Brad Garlinghouse also holds a 6.3 percent stake in Ripple along with an additional unknown number of XRP holding, according to Forbes. This makes his net worth at least $9.5 billion at the time of Forbes report; since then XRP has gained over 38.0 percent.

In November 2016, Chris Larsen, the 57-year old founder of Ripple, stepped down as the firm’s CEO and is currently holding the position of the executive chairman of the organization. Current CEO Brad Garlinghouse took the charge of the firm from him.

What is Ripple?

Unlike Bitcoin, Ripple is a private blockchain. The San Francisco-based firm is working to develop and mould the blockchain technology for the financial sector, especially for the inefficient cross-border payment system. The firm is working with more than 100 partners all over the world which includes banks and financial institutions.

Ripple has recently partnered with the Korean and Japanese banks to launch the test run of the blockchain-based cross-border payment transfer network between the two countries.

The deep integration of Ripple in the mainstream market also made it immune in the recent crypto crash after the announcement of the South Korean curb. Instead, XRP soared, while others including Bitcoin have taken a downturn.

Ripple’s rally

In the beginning of 2017, XRP was trading at $0.006 while currently, the token is trading at $3.07, as per the data of The 60,000 percent rise in the coins value in a year, puts it in the second spot among the biggest coin in terms of market cap surpassing the long-time holder of that position Ethereum. Currently, XRP holds a market cap of over $117.0 billion.

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