The digital currency plunge has wiped billions from the paper fortune of a cryptocurrency billionaire in just a few weeks. Ripple’s XRP coin has fallen 74 percent from an all-time high of $3.84 hit on Jan.

4, erasing $44 billion from the holdings of Chris Larsen, co-founder and executive chairman of Ripple. With XRP trading near $1 Wednesday, Larsen now holds the equivalent of just $15.8 billion, according to CNBC calculations using figures from Forbes.

Citing sources at Ripple, Forbes said earlier this month that Larsen has 5.19 billion of XRP and a 17 percent stake in the start-up. Ripple holds 61.3 billion of the 100 billion XRP coins in existence.

At XRP’s peak on Jan. 4, Larsen was worth $59.9 billion.

That made him one of the five richest people in the U.S. and wealthier than Google’s founders, based on Forbes’ rich list. A Ripple spokesperson had nothing to add at the time, and did not immediately respond to a CNBC request for comment Wednesday. Read more from cnbc.com…

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