Larsen was born in San Francisco, California. In 1984, he graduated from San Francisco State University with a degree in accounting and finance. Soon after earning his degree, he began working as an international auditor for Chevron's South American operations.
In 1996, he founded E-Loan, one of the first online mortgage lending service providers in the U.S. He ran the company as CEO until it was purchased in 2005. He then founded a peer-to-peer lending service called the Prosper Marketplace, which he ran as CEO until 2012.
In August 2012 he co-founded Ripple with Jed McCaleb. He worked for the company as CEO until he stepped down in 2016, naming Brad Garlinghouse in his place. Larsen took on the role of executive chairman of Ripple's board of directors instead.
As of January 2018, Larsen personally held over 5 billion XRP, the native digital token of Ripple. He also had a 17 percent stake in the company. This made him one of the 15 richest people in the U.S.
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