There are thousands of cryptocurrencies that respond to specific issues. Ripple (XRP), was founded by Jed McCaleb and Chris Larsen, based on the work of Ryan Fugger, who wanted to create something similar to a local exchange system with clean currency in a decentralized environment. Since 2014, Ripple has focused on interbank exchanges and has become a solution for streamlining transactions between banks.
The Ripple (XRP) in summary
The Ripple, also known by its name of XRP, is a digital currency that aims to increase the speed of financial transactions using the advantages of blockchain for this. As a reminder, a blockchain is a type of information register (block network) in which it is validated and added to the network in a linear and immutable manner.
Currently, interbank money transfers take place via the SWIFT protocol (banking processing standardization network), which, although reliable and secure, is extremely slow. Ripple wants to eventually replace this system by replacing it with its technology which guarantees the same level of security while significantly reducing the processing time for transactions.
To achieve this end, the Ripple company partially uses its token (token, unit) XRP to improve the speed of transactions. The project, even if it is not yet in its final development stage, already presents a product functional and collaborates with more than a hundred banks via several of its products, some of which are very renowned as American Express or the Agricultural credit.
XRP as we know it today, is a cryptocurrency launched in 2012, just three years after the launch of Bitcoin, making it one of the oldest virtual assets in the ecosystem. But his story actually begins long before.
Indeed, the XRP registry is based on the transaction protocol Ripplepay developed in 2004 by Ryan Fugger. Interested in this technology, Jed McCaleb assembles a team whose Arthur Britto (who is also the co-founder of the Polysign project) and David Schwarz (CTO at Ripple and assists Britto on Polysign) are the key developers. He then recruits Chris Larsen who had already proven to be a great entrepreneur, and between them they convince Jesse Powell (CEO of Kraken) to invest $ 100,000 in the project. Once this team of experts is assembled, McCaleb, Larsen and Powell negotiate with Fugger who agrees to give them control of Ripplepay. McCaleb and Larsen then co-found OpenCoin in 2012 and set out to develop cryptocurrency.
To note : First called “OpenCoin”, then “Ripple Labs”, Ripple was renamed in 2015 to have its current name.
What is Jed McCaleb’s journey?
Jed McCaleb is a talented entrepreneur and developer who was no stranger to the cryptocurrency world before founding Ripple.
Here is his journey summarized in a few key points:
- He joined the very prestigious university of Berkeley in California, but he will never finish his studies;
- During the year 2000, he launched eDonkey2000, a peer-to-peer file sharing program based on its eDonkey sharing sites and Overnet ;
- In 2006, he was forced to close eDonkey2000 and pay a fine of $ 30 million for not being prosecuted by the American authorities;
- During the year 2007, he bought the domain name Mtgox.com to make it a trading platform for Magic: The Gathering cards;
- At the end of 2010, he transformed this platform into a cryptoactive exchange site, Mt. Gox;
- At the beginning of 2011, he will resell this platform to Mark Karpelès, which will make it become the largest Bitcoin exchange before its closure in 2014;
- In 2011, he started working on the Ripple project until his resignation in 2013 (following an internal dispute);
- In 2014, he founded a new cryptocurrency, Stellar, based on Ripple.
What is Chris Larsen’s journey?
As Jed McCaleb is a figure in the cryptosphere, we easily tend to leave Chris Larsen in the shade. However, if the Ripple project is such a success, it is largely thanks to its exceptional entrepreneurial expertise. Indeed :
- He obtained an MBA from the business school of Standford in 1991;
- From 1992 to 1997, he worked on E-loan, a comparison site for loans without intermediaries, for individuals. He managed the company until 2005, which then posted total activity reaching $ 18.9 billion in loans, before selling it to Banco Popular;
- He created Prosper Marketplace in 2005, a kind of eBay for loans between individuals. He resigned from his post as CEO in 2012;
- In 2012, he co-founded OpenCoin, the parent company behind the Ripple project, and became its CEO. The company was renamed Ripple Labs in 2013 and then simply Ripple in 2015.
What are the roles of Jed McCaleb and Chris Larsen for Ripple (XRP) today?
Jed McCaleb no longer has an active role in Ripple. He left the company in 2013 to focus on other projects. In 2018, he even received New york times one of the 10 people who had a definite influence in the world of digital assets and blockchain as a whole.
However, that is not to say that he has separated from his XRP tokens. For the record, at the end of the huge bullrun (craze around a cryptocurrency that generates its sharp rise in the stock market) which peaked in January 2018, Jed McCaleb was considered the 40th richest person on the planet with assets, mainly in XRP, estimated at $ 20 billion.
Chris Larsen, for his part, is the Executive Chairman of Ripple Labs, the company that contributes the most to the development of the verification consensus behind the cryptoactive Ripple.
The rest of the team to date
As we have seen, the Ripple adventure had many adventures before becoming the controversial token multi-product company that we know today (to know the reason, click here). This atypical life also seems to be in common with its founders, for better and for worse.
Indeed, the talented developer Arthur Britto would have co-founded Polysign in 2017 and would work on it in parallel with the tasks he would perform for Ripple. Mr.Britto requires that we talk about him and his activities in the subjunctive because he wants to be very discreet and for example has never shown himself in public. A more certain point, however, is that David Schwarz is collaborating with him on Polysign, which promises to give a most interesting result. However, not everything is rosy. As for the creator of Ripplepay Ryan Fugger, he unfortunately could not develop his project because of the chronic fatigue syndrome which he suffered and which reduces more and more his working time available per day.
If he did not start the Ripple adventure at the same time as the founders of the latter, Brad Garlinghouse carries the project better and better like a Steve Jobs, and gives remarkable visibility to cryptocurrency as well than the company he runs. The least we can say is that he is far from lacking in ambition.