Ripple's co-founder now worth more than Google's Larry Page, Sergey Brin

Chris Larsen, the co-founder and executive chairman of ripple, an alternate cryptocurrency to bitcoin, is now worth roughly $59.9 billion, ranking him among the top five richest people in America, according to CNBC.

Mr. Larsen now ranks higher than Oracle's co-found Larry Ellison, who previously held the fifth spot on Fortune's 400 list, and Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, who sit eighth and 10th, respectively. Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg rings in at fourth place. He is valued at $74.4 billion.

Ripple is marketed as a way to enable "banks to settle cross-border (global) payments in real time, with end-to-end transparency and at lower costs," a previously timely, tedious task. However, transactions in ripple can be completed in just four seconds, according to the company. The cryptocurrency is non-minable, meaning no new coins are introduced to the project, and its supply will max out at around 100 billion coins, though only 38.7 billion coins are currently in circulation.

Mr. Larson holds 5.19 billion of the company's coin, XRP, as well as a 17 percent stake in the company, CNBC noted, but that's because cryptocurrency founders often hold large amounts of their digital coins. Satoshi Nakamoto, the anonymous founder of bitcoin, has 980,000 bitcoins —  nearly 4.7 percent of all bitcoins that will ever be issued. That share values the bitcoin founder at $14.7 billion when bitcoin was valued near $15,000 Thursday.

In the last week, the digital coin's value reached record highs, spiking nearly 160 percent. As of Jan. 4 at 2:37 p.m., ripple, or XRP, had a market capitalization of $7.99 billion and a value of $3.22, according to Coin Market Cap. This value is up from $0.26 one month prior, a nearly 1096.1 percent increase.

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