“We’ve got solvable problems. Government obviously has to be the leader, but sometimes the private philanthropic dollars can accelerate the path to a solution.”
A noble sentiment coming from any 21st century entrepreneur, to be sure. Spoken by a onetime fifth-richest man in the world, however, this mission statement may prove to have real power to make the world a better place.
Chris Larsen is not your typical crypto mogul. Unlike many of his compatriots on the Forbes billionaire list, he has traditionally shied away from the limelight, instead devoting his expertise and considerable fortune to solving problems both global and local. Larsen tackles these problems through canny investments in forward-looking companies like carbon capture technology firm Blue Planet as well as through his own Larsen Lam Climate Change Foundation. Larsen and his wife Lyna Lam have also made a name for themselves as backers of local Bay Area community initiatives like Avenue Greenlight and the SafeCity Camera Program.
Born and raised to a working-class family in Cupertino, Larsen made his fortune through the founding of fintech firms such as e-Loan and Prosper Marketplace. After a 2018 surge in the value of the cryptocurrency backed by his firm Ripple Labs, Larsen was briefly catapulted onto the top-five list of richest human beings.