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Ripple: Davos man no longer (FT opinion)


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Back in 2016, within the taupe-coloured finishings of the main Davos conference centre used by the World Economic Forum to shut down the Swiss ski resort every year, this reporter and the FT’s Gillian Tett met with Chris Larsen, then head of Ripple Labs. 

It was January 22, the last formal day of the week-long Alps fest.

A low-key Larsen told us over he had come to Davos -- his first time -- because he felt it was a great place to network and spread the news about his new payment system. The mainstreamness of Davos didn’t bother Larsen. Unlike the rest of the crypto space, which famously eschewed traditional financiers, Larsen wanted Ripple to be seen as one of the grown-ups; as a serious offering that bankers would want to work with. That’s why it made sense to be at Davos.

Just a couple of years later Larsen would briefly become the fifth-richest man in the world, in paper terms, due to the soaring value of Ripple’s underlying tokens, known as XRP, he had come to Davos to indirectly pitch by promoting his system.

Regardless of what you think – absolutely brutal press, this. 

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