Largest Ever Cryptocurrency Donation Made to US University

Largest Ever Cryptocurrency Donation Made to US University Image

Thanks to one of the co-founders of the cryptocurrency, Ripple, the San Francisco State University College of Business has benefitted from what’s believed to be the largest ever cryptocurrency donation to an American university.

Chris Larsen and his wife made the $25 million gift. Mr Larsen is reported to be one of the richest men in the cryptocurrency industry, with Forbes estimating his net worth at $59 billion in early 2018 on its Forbes 400 list.

In February 2018, Mr Larsen held a 17% stake in Ripple and also owned 5.2 billion XRP. Although the world’s richest crypto tycoon has since left his post as the CEO of Ripple and was also responsible for jointly founding the company in 2012, he remains an active member of the board of directors.

San Francisco State University has been running a fundraising campaign called “BOLD Thinking” to allow it to make larger investments in its infrastructure, initiatives, and programs. It’s already 91% of the way to achieving its goal of $150 million thanks to the $25 million gift from alumnus, Chris Larsen, and his wife (Lyna Lam) whose sisters attended the university. Although subject to approval from its board of trustees, San Francisco State University plans to name its College of Business the Lam Family College of Business in honour of the generous donors.

The $25 million gift will be used to support the “Lam-Larsen Fund for Global Innovation”, an initiative which will enable students to learn about and become changemakers of both global and local fintech and entrepreneurial ecosystems.

Larsen graduated from the San Francisco State University College of Business in 1984 with a degree in International Business and Accounting.

After completing his studies, Larsen began his working career at Chevron where he was responsible for carrying out financial audits in South America and Asia, and he soon decided to return to his studies by undertaking an MBA at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

In the early 90s, Larsen met Janina Pawlowski, and the pair went onto creating one of the first American online mortgage lending services, E-Loan, in 1996 after deciding it was high time that borrowers could directly access loans without the need for brokers, commissions, and high fees.

Thanks to a buyout in 1998, the company flourished and boasted an estimated market value of $1 billion at the beginning of 2000. Larsen later went on to co-found another first-of-its-kind business called Prosper Marketplace, which was named as one of the most innovative companies of the year in 2008.

It was only in 2012, however, that Chris Larsen began his career in blockchain technology. Initially, he cofounded OpenCoin which began work on developing Ripple as a payment protocol. The native digital currency of the Ripple network, XRP, swiftly followed and is now one of the top ten cryptocurrencies in the world market.

Today, XRP is worth $0.36, and it has enjoyed a near-12% price rise over the last month and is also up 15.52% on last week’s figures.

By Laura Kilby

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