This past weekend, Jed McCaleb sold the last of his XRP in his “tacostand” wallet. For context, he originally owned 9 billion units of XRP in 2012 when the XRP Ledger was created.
Many of you closely follow and are interested in Jed’s XRP holdings, so we wanted to take the opportunity to mark the occasion by providing some background on Jed’s ownership of XRP and the distribution of one of the largest individual holdings of the digital asset.
A Brief History of the XRP Ledger
In 2011, three engineers who previously wrote code for the Bitcoin blockchain—David Schwartz, Jed McCaleb and Arthur Britto—began to develop the XRP Ledger with the goal to create a blockchain more suited for hyper-efficient movement of value, and focused on transaction speed and scalability. When the XRP Ledger was launched shortly thereafter, 100 billion XRP was automatically generated by the XRP Ledger’s code, with the codebase stipulating that no new XRP could be created.
In September 2012, Jed, Arthur and Chris Larsen formed Ripple (the company was called NewCoin, Inc. at the time), and the founders of the XRP Ledger gifted 80 billion XRP to the company. The remaining 20 billion XRP was retained by Jed, Arthur, and Chris.
Jed’s Departure from Ripple & the Creation of an Accidental Billionaire
Months in, it was clear that Jed’s vision and the company’s did not align, which ultimately led to his exit in June 2013. While his role was limited and had no influence on the strategy and operations of the company, he announced his intentions to sell his significant stake of XRP as quickly as possible.
After Jed’s departure from the company, Jed sold XRP into the market with regularity from 2013 through this past weekend.
The Ongoing Saga
Ultimately, an agreement in 2016 outlined that:
- All of Jed and his children’s remaining XRP, approximately 5.3 billion, would be placed in escrow, with the XRP released in a manner consistent with the settlement agreement.
- Jed was allowed to sell his remaining XRP based on the daily volume in XRP markets.
- Jed was required to donate 2 billion XRP to a charitable, donor-advised fund of his choice.
Jed also agreed to sell all of his shares in Ripple, the company.
Building with the XRP Community
Despite all the drama, developers and entrepreneurs, independent from Ripple, have continued to build on the XRP Ledger—taking advantage of its native attributes and unique functionalities to move value. Today, the XRP Ledger supports hundreds of use cases from cross-border payments and custody to marketplaces and NFTs. Ripple has been in business for 10 years, and this is only the beginning—we continue to be inspired by, and are in awe of, the XRP community and look forward to continuing to build a new future together.