Chris Larsen is the co-founder and Executive Chairman of Ripple. While, among cryptocurrency enthusiasts, he may be most well known for his work with Ripple, Larsen has a long history with financial privacy and related initiatives, as well as cryptocurrencies and pro-consumer endeavours.
Larsen is a prominent businessman and angel investor in Silicon Valley, having co-founded several Silicon Valley startups. Having obtained a degree in international business and accounting from the San Francisco State University and a Masters of Business Administration from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Having worked as a mortgage lender in the early 1990s, Larsen co-founded E-loan, a mortgage lending website.
Larsen has described himself as radically pro-consumer and indeed, much of his efforts have been executed with this motivation. In 2005, he co-founded Prosper Marketplace, where he was also Chief Executive Officer. The platform was a peer-to-peer loan lending marketplace, and received a total of $74.5 million in funding from the likes of Tim Draper, another staunch supporter of cryptocurrencies.
In 2012, Larsen co-founded OpenCoin, which developed the Ripple payments protocol. OpenLab would later become Ripple Labs. Ripple and its XRP token quickly became one of the cryptocurrency market’s most prominent tokens, second behind only Bitcoin in terms of market cap.
Larsen often appears in panel discussions and conferences. Besides his entrepreneurial work and work in the blockchain space, he also serves as board member/advisor for Credit Karma, Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) and Oportun. As previously mentioned, Larsen is a staunch advocate of privacy, having co-founded the California for Privacy Now coalition and funded it with $1 million from his personal funds.