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Jed McCaleb Net Worth, Crypto and NFT Investments

According to Forbes, the net worth of Jed McCaleb in 2023 is estimated to be $2.4 billion. The American programmer acquired most of his wealth from the sales of his XRP holdings. As one of the founders of Ripple, Jed McCaleb received 9 billion XRP. After a disagreement that saw him exit the project, McCaleb began selling his XRP tokens and he eventually sold the last one in 2022. 

Jed McCaleb

Meanwhile, he is also the brain behind numerous projects like MetaMachine, Vast, Stellar, and Mt.Gox. Despite selling Mt.Gox to Mark Karpeles in 2011, McCaleb still faced a lawsuit regarding the collapse of the Bitcoin exchange. Ripple Attorney John Deaton once referred to McCaleb as the Teflon Don of Crypto; a nickname belonging to former American gangster and leader of the Gambino crime family, John Joseph Goti Jr. The name emanated due to what many perceived to be special treatment for Jed McCaleb from U.S. regulators.

Jed McCaleb’s Net Worth Since 2021

YearNet Worth
2021$2 billion
2022$2.5 billion
2023$2.4 billion

Early Life

Jed McCaleb was born in Fayetteville, Arkansas around 1975. According to a personal revelation, he started writing computer programs during his high school days. He enrolled at the University of California, Berkeley but failed to complete the program. After quitting the university, McCaleb resolved to work as a computer programmer in New York City. 

Notably, Jed McCaleb enjoyed a good edge in the field due to his early involvement with tech. In 2001, the computer technology expert co-founded MetaMachine alongside Sam Yagan. Meanwhile, Yagan is reported to be the founder of OkCupid. He served as the Chief Executive Officer of MetaMachine while McCaleb was the Chief Technology Officer.

MetaMachine is a type of metadata browser that allows users to include and remove captions, keywords, licenses, and ownership in images. More so, both Jed McCaleb and Sam Yagan collaborated to work on the development and eventual release of eDonkey software. The initiative is a decentralized, peer-to-peer file-sharing network. Remarkably, eDonkey became an instant success after it was released, enjoying widespread acceptance. At the height of the project’s success, it had about 4 million active users.

However, in 2006, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) threatened MetaMachine with copyright infringement lawsuits. The association hit the firm with a $30 million fine. In September 2006, MetaMachine reached a settlement with the RIAA and agreed that the company and its top executives would stop distributing eDonkey. Also, the association banned the distribution of eDonkey2000, Overnet, and other software solutions. Later on, the company paid $30 million to the RIAA to avoid a copyright infringement lawsuit.


Jed McCaleb’s tech adventure was badly affected by the legal tussle with the RIAA. Nevertheless, he picked himself up again, and around 2007,  McCaleb purchased the domain with the intention of creating a trading site for Magic: The Gathering cards. However, his plans changed regarding the domain he bought after he learned about Bitcoin. In 2010, McCaleb rebranded Mt.Gox to be a bitcoin-to-dollar exchange. 

At the height of the exchange’s success, Tokyo-based French developer, Mark Karpelès, presented an offer to McCaleb for the Bitcoin exchange. Eventually, in 2011, McCaleb sold the Mt.Gox to Mark Karpelès but retained a minority stake in the Bitcoin exchange. The new owner leveraged the growing popularity of Bitcoin as of then and projected Mt.Gox to new heights. In June 2011, Mt.Gox endured a massive cyber attack on its network.

As reported, the hackers gained access to the exchange’s auditor computer and thus altered the exchange’s price of Bitcoin to $0.01 each. Meanwhile, at that time, the token was worth $30. Thereafter, the attackers compromised the private hot wallet keys of Mt.Gox customers to buy about 2,000 bitcoins at the manipulated price. The issue prompted the exchange to brace up its security mechanism. 

As of 2013, Mt.Gox was the most popular Bitcoin exchange and was responsible for processing 70% of the whole transaction involving the token all over the globe. The prosperous moments of Mt.Gox were short-lived as hackers gained access to the exchange’s wallet in 2014. Then, they stole 850,000 BTC worth about $450 million during the time of the attack.

Meanwhile, before the attack, they had targeted the exchange on various occasions due to the growing value of Bitcoin and other crypto assets at that time. The exchange managed to repel the attacks until the 2014 incident that claimed the life savings of many investors. It is worth mentioning that investigations after the attack projected that the hackers gained access due to Gox’s unencrypted private key they stole back in 2011. 

The attack plunged Mt. Gox into an insolvency crisis. On February 7, 2014, the exchange stopped all Bitcoin withdrawals on its platform. Then, it  stated that the temporary freeze was a mere pause in withdrawal requests “to obtain a clear technical view of the current processes.” Some days later, the firm released a statement citing the downtime on transaction malleability, a bug common with the Bitcoin code that made it possible for bad actors to change transaction details. Also, the exchange reduced the trading prices of its Bitcoin from $418 to $200 as a result of its financial struggles. Eventually, on February 24, 2014, Mt.Gox stopped all trading on the platform and shut down the website.

On February 28, 2014, it filed for bankruptcy in Japan and then in the United States two weeks later. It was after the bankruptcy issue that indicators pointed to how the exchange had technically been insolvent for at least two years before the knowledge of the hack and BTC theft was made public. This led to various allegations against Jed McCaleb as some analysts pointed to how about 80,000 BTC were already missing even before Mark Karpeles bought the exchange in 2011. Amid other allegations, investors filed lawsuits against Jed McCaleb and Mark Karpeles.


In 2011, Jed McCaleb began working on a virtual currency with a capacity to verify transactions through a consensus among network participants. The efforts led to the creation of what became today’s Ripple protocol. After learning about Bitcoin in 2010, McCaleb intended to create a project that uses a different mining technique. He added David Schwartz to his team and solicited financial support from Jesse Powell. The American programmer needed more hands on the project, he then added Arthur Britto as the chief strategist and Chris Larsen as the CEO. Jed McCaleb maintained his position as Chief Technology Officer. 

The three developers; Arthur Britto, David Schwartz, and Jed McCaleb continued the work on building a distributed ledger. They aimed to improve the fundamental limitations of Bitcoin, originally naming the code Ripple. The ledger included a virtual asset that would originally be called “ripples” (XRP as the currency code). According to their plans, XRP will follow the same naming convention as Bitcoin (BTC). After bringing more technicians aboard, the project earned the name Opencoin. Later on, he focused on the development of the project while seeking more financial support.

At inception, the project focused majorly on establishing itself as a suitable platform for processing payments. In June 2012, the XRP ledger alongside its native token XRP was launched. For their founding efforts, the XRPL founders shared 80 billion XRP among themselves. It was from this pool that Jed McCaleb got his holdings. The XRP tokens contributed massively to the net worth of Jed McCaleb. Meanwhile, the team kept the majority of the XRP tokens in an escrow account. Eventually, he left his active role with the company in July 2013. 


In 2014, after leaving Ripple, Jed McCaleb founded Stellar Lumens alongside his former lawyer, Joyce Kim. Before launching the project, the former Ripple CTO referred to it as the “Secret Bitcoin Project” seeking alpha testers. To initiate the project, the founders alongside Stripe CEO, Patrick Collison established a nonprofit Stellar Development Foundation. In July 2014, the project launched officially and it received $3 million in seed funding from Stripe. 

The project first surfaced as a decentralized payment network and protocol alongside its native token, Stellar. At its launch, the network had 100 billion stellar. More so, 25% of the tokens went to other non-profit firms working toward financial inclusion. Stripe then received 2 billion of the token for its investment in the project. Later, the token changed its name from Stellar to Lumens (XLM).  A few months after its launching, Stellar enjoyed widespread acceptance and by January 2015, it already had about 3 million users with a market cap of almost $15 million. 

Later in the year, the Stellar Development Foundation released an upgraded protocol with a new consensus algorithm. Eventually, the new project went live a few months before the end of the year. The new algorithm used SCP, a cryptocurrency protocol created by Stanford professor David Mazières.

Also in 2015, reports indicated that Stellar had integrated into Vumi, the open-source messaging platform of the Praekelt Foundation in South Africa. Without a doubt, 2015 was a progressive year for Stellar as many projects integrated its protocol. Among these integrations is Ordian’s usage of Stellar for its banking platform to add support for microfinance institutions in Nigeria. 

Starting from where it stopped in 2015, Stellar witnessed another integration of its protocol by Deloitte in 2016. The firm utilized the protocol to build its cross-border payments application, Deloitte Digital Bank. The same year, Stellar enhanced its payment network to incorporate payment systems like (Philippines), ICICI Bank (India), Flutterwave (Africa), and Tempo Money Transfer (France). Also, it enjoyed another outstanding growth as a result of its collaboration in 2017 with IBM and KlickEx to facilitate cross-border transactions in the South Pacific region. The collaboration boosted XLM’s market capitalization, pushing it to rank 13th in market capitalization at that time.

In a bid to amass profits, Stellar launched in May 2017 as the commercial organ of the firm. Later that year, it announced a benefits program as part of its Stellar Partnership Grant Initiative to award partners up to $2 million worth of Lumens for project development. In September 2018, Lightyear Corporation acquired Chain, Inc, and the combined company was named Interstellar. 

XLM enjoyed an impressive price rally in January 2021. Then, the value of the token soared by 40% after the Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine partnered with Stellar. The duo collaborated on the development of Ukraine’s digital infrastructure. Additionally, in 2021, Franklin Templeton launched the first tokenized US mutual fund using Stellar. 

Meanwhile, the collaborations surfaced as part of the project’s roadmap for 2022. However, they were carried over from 2021 in an effort to enhance the global adoption of cryptocurrency for cross-border payments. Similarly, the roadmap also helps set sight for the network about its readiness for future innovation. This future effort is focused on trust-minimized innovation based on interoperability and inclusion. The team behind the project planned Stellar’s focus for 2023 during its annual conference named Meridian.

Lawsuits Involving Jed McCaleb

In 2015, after Jed McCaleb exited Ripple, a lawsuit emanated involving him and the management of the firm. In the lawsuit, the then-management of Ripple indicted McCaleb of defaulting on a contractual agreement regarding the XRP and company shares in his possession. According to court documents, Ripple accused McCaleb of violating a 2014 agreement governing the sale of his XRP holdings. At the time of the agreement, McCaleb had 9 billion XRP belonging to himself and his family. The firm also alleged that McCaleb, in collaboration with members of his family, aimed to evade the agreement.

According to Ripple, McCaleb agreed to a sale control that is attached to the daily volume of XRP in the crypto market. As revealed, during the first year of the agreement, McCaleb was not permitted to sell more than 0.5% of the average daily volume “for each day of the week, including weekends and holidays.” Also, there was also an agreement that the sale control schedule in the second and third years respectively would grow to about 0.75% and 1.0% by the fourth year. In his defense, McCaleb denied all the allegations and the tussle grew to include Stellar Development Foundation.

The two parties resolved the issue in February 2016. As part of the settlement, McCaleb sold his equity in Ripple. Also, he agreed to a sale control regarding the 5.3 billion XRP belonging to himself and his family. More so, the additional 2 billion XRP in his possession was donated to a charitable fund. After the settlement, McCaleb began selling his XRP holdings according to the schedule. On July 18, 2022, Jed McCaleb completed the sale of his XRP holdings after an eight-year selloff. According to popular Ripple attorney John Deaton, McCaleb earned $3.09 billion and 708 Bitcoins from the sales.

However, the revelation birthed questions about why Jed McCaleb wasn’t a party to the age-long lawsuit from the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) against Ripple. According to John Deaton, Jed McCaleb earned $2.56 billion from XRP sales since the date the lawsuit was filed. Deaton argued that McCaleb, like other Ripple executives that are defendants in the case, violated Section 5 of the Securities Act. The attorney blamed the agency for being “insanely inconsistent and illegitimate” in its claims against Ripple. 

Also, in 2019, users of the defunct Bitcoin Exchange, Mt. Gox filed a lawsuit against Jed McCaleb due to how he handled the firm before its sale. In the lawsuit, the traders accused McCaleb of “fraudulent” and “negligent” misrepresentation of the exchange, which contributed to their loss of bitcoin when it suffered a major attack in 2014. Furthermore, they argued that security concerns about the exchange already existed around January 2011 before he sold it. They alleged that despite knowing about the issues, Jed McCaleb refused to attend to the situation. 

According to the lawsuit, Jed McCaleb projected the Bitcoin exchange as a secure, safe platform with good liquidity despite his knowledge of its security deficiencies. Meanwhile, Jed McCaleb disputed the claims, stating that only a few Bitcoins were missing when he added over to Mark Karpeles. He fired shots at Mark Karpeles, claiming his incompetence sank the crypto exchange to the ground. Jed McCaleb went on to describe the lawsuit as “frivolous and just a money grab by unscrupulous people.”

Is Jed McCaleb Pro Crypto?

Jed McCaleb has been involved with crypto and blockchain since the beginning. His entry into the industry was as early as 2009 after Satoshi Nakamoto unveiled Bitcoin. McCaleb picked interest in studying the crypto white paper to further know the rudiment of the asset. He became fascinated by what he read in the document, particularly about the underlying tech behind the crypto, blockchain. The exposure helped him realize the efficiency of the technology in advancing the financial space.

Driven by his confidence in the innovation, he began to explore blockchain. His aim has always been to leverage emerging technologies so as to reduce inefficiency and enhance the human condition. So, McCaleb began to see blockchain as a tech with such potential. His passion for the tech propelled him to take a very bold step. The step, taken by him, was to reposition his Mt.Gox firm to become a Bitcoin exchange. At the time he took this bold step, Bitcoin was not popular and was even trading below $10. McCaleb’s aim was to foster easy access to buying and selling of the asset. Although he later sold the exchange, there is still no doubt that he was the brain behind the first-ever Bitcoin exchange.

It is worth mentioning that the sale of the exchange didn’t deter or diminish his commitment to Bitcoin and the industry at large. Around 2011, McCaleb began to study Bitcoin technology more deeply. In the process, he realized several flaws in the design of the innovation. This thus propelled him to develop a crypto project that will serve as a better alternative to Bitcoin.

The project, initially named OpenCoin is now popular as Ripple. Certainly, the project has been living up to expectations in recent years due to its ability to process at least 1,500 transactions per second. Today, Ripple is an established leader in the blockchain industry, solving numerous payment issues with its solutions. Although McCaleb has left the project already, it is still grossly impossible not to acknowledge his contributions to its success. 

Meanwhile, around 2014, reports surfaced that McCaleb registered a domain, identified as Later, he confirmed the registration, stressing that his sim has always been to build something better for Bitcoin. McCaleb was quoted saying; “When I sold Mt. Gox a few years ago, Bitcoin was trading at less than a dollar. Today Bitcoin exists in a new environment. Mt. Gox is struggling to keep up. Now, I am building something that will be better for Bitcoin and better for you. I’m looking for alpha testers.”

Despite leaving Ripple, McCaleb’s interest in advancing the industry was still intact. This explains why he had to return with a new project similar to Ripple in 2014. The project is popular today as Stellar. According to findings, Stellar was the secret Bitcoin project being worked on by the veteran. Initially, people saw it as McCaleb’s revenge against Ripple. However, their perspective towards the project began to change after it ranked among the top ten crypto assets in terms of market cap.

Unlike many other crypto and blockchain proponents, McCaleb is grossly reserved. He rarely comments on developments or issues in the industry. But whenever he talks, people want to listen owing to his vast knowledge of blockchain and crypto innovations. On numerous occasions, he was featured by prominent publications to talk about the future of the industry. For instance, around 2018, he was featured on CNBC where he spoke about how blockchain technology will change global payments, fundraising and stock markets in the near future.

McCaleb predicted that “in the future, I think it’s pretty clear to me there will be a universal payments network that will operate,” and probably involve a “public ledger that people can see and can’t change arbitrarily,” thereby allowing people to “use things they’re used to, like dollars and euros.”

Also, the foremost blockchain veteran also predicted that non-crypto assets like stocks will be digitalized in the near future “In the next 10 years I wouldn’t be surprised if all equity isn’t tokenized on some blockchain somewhere,” McCaleb said.

In another interview with the same media, he warned that cryptocurrency and its underlying tech, blockchain must remain decentralized to thrive in the future. According to him, centralizing the network will only result in “a system that is no better than SWIFT or Pay Pal.”

He added; “The real vision is that you have a network, much like the internet, that anyone can participate in. There’s not one central entity that can decide that it’s going to start charging. This is the way this thing can actually grow and reach ubiquity.”

McCaleb also leveraged the opportunity to promote his project, Stellar. The former Ripple co-founder said; “What we’re trying to build at Stellar is an internet-level protocol. That’s important that that be done by a nonprofit entity. If you imagine an internet created by a for-profit company, it would just be a very different world.”

In 2018,  the Stellar co-founded also responded to a phone interview with another prominent publication. During the interview, he was asked to share his insights on the bear market ravaging the crypto market at that time. McCaleb noted that it was “funny when people say crypto is down,” stressing that the market was only calming down and is still “way way up” since its inception.

He was again asked if Bitcoin will ever be adopted by financial institutions. In his response, McCaleb stressed that the largest crypto by market cap may not record such a feat. “I think it’s true that most financial institutions are not going to use Bitcoin.  But in my mind, what blockchain gives you is a public record that everyone can see, but they can’t change it. So parties can transact even if they don’t know each other. So you still need a public chain. It doesn’t need to be the bitcoin blockchain, but if it’s not a public chain, then you’re missing the point,” the Stellar co-founder submitted.

Around 2020, McCaleb, in a statement identified by many as Bitcoin blasphemy, said he was still looking for projects “that can actually work and can possibly help people.” 

“None of these are really making a difference in people’s lives beyond the speculative aspect of it. Which is fine—that’s where it needs to start, but at some point, it actually does need to be useful for people in the world,” he argued.

McCaleb said if the status quo continues, crypto startups will struggle to cement partnerships with banks.

“[Banks] are just not going to do anything real with any of these technologies until they see it working somewhere else in the world,” he noted. “They’ll do lots of pilots. You’ve seen lots of companies in the crypto space announce different projects with banks, but you’ve not seen any of these materialize into actual use for users.”

Meanwhile, in 2023, a media outlet alleged that the CTO of Ripple, David Schwartz, slammed McCaleb in a Twitter post. Earlier, Schwartz had tagged a parody account of the Stellar co-founder, describing the handler as a fool. The CTO was quick to downplay the controversy steered up by the article. He commented that he was not referring to McCaleb and that he knew the account tagged was a fake one. His comment saw reactions from many XRP community members, particularly XRPcryptowolf who felt the CTO only expressed his true feelings about McCaleb in a cunning way. 

Crypto and NFT Holdings of Jed McCaleb

Just like other notable individuals in the industry, Jed McCaleb built his net worth through his personal investment in crypto assets. According to several sources, the overall value of his crypto portfolio as of 2020 was worth billions of dollars. However, it is somehow difficult to estimate the current value of the portfolio at the moment because he already sold a major part of his holdings. Although McCaleb still reportedly holds Bitcoin, Lumen, and a few other altcoins, he has already emptied his entire XRP holdings.

While at Ripple, McCaleb initially owned not less than 9 billion XRP. Upon his decision to leave the firm, an agreement was reached with him not to sell his entire holdings at once so as not to harm the XRP market. The Stellar co-founder agreed to trade a limited amount of his XRP within seven years. As part of the agreement, he was expected to trade just one billion XRP within six years and the remaining two billion in the seventh year.

In 2022, he completed the sell-off of his holdings after withdrawing 18,570,383 XRP within two days. At that time, the overall value of the XRP moved from the wallet was worth $6.8 million. Before making the last withdrawal, he made a tweet about being “almost there” with a Taco emoji and an image of a restaurant referred to as the “Taco Stand.” Today, he owns just 47.6 XRP worth $23 as of 2023. 

Certainly, the sale of the XRP holdings boosted the net worth of Jed McCaleb. Amid the implosion in the crypto market, the Stellar co-founder was the only crypto billionaire who retained most of his wealth. This is simply because he sold out XRP, which constituted the major part of his entire crypto holdings before the crash. Certainly, McCaleb would have probably been displaced from the list of crypto billionaires, like Song Chi-Hyung and a few others if he had not sold the holdings.

Meanwhile, the crypto veteran still holds Bitcoin and Lumen. According to numerous publications, Jed McCaleb is one of the earliest investors in Bitcoin. Although the value of his Bitcoin holdings is not known, it is not in doubt that the Stellar co-founder must have lost a significant amount of the tokens to the Mt.Gox attack many years ago. During the sell-off of his XRP, he was reported to have collected 708 Bitcoins. Certainly, early investment in Bitcoin must have played a crucial role in the net worth of Jed McCaleb. So, we can regard him as a prominent Bitcoin investor. You can as well see our list of other noteworthy Bitcoin investors.

At the moment, there is no information as regards the NFT holdings of the Stellar CTO. This is because he is yet to publicly confirm that he holds the digital collectible.

Crypto and NFT Projects Featuring Jed McCaleb

There are several NFT projects featuring Jed McCaleb. One of the collections, identified as “GODS OF CRYPTO: JED McCALEB” is live on OpenSea, a popular NFT marketplace. The developer minted the collection to celebrate the immense contributions of the Stellar co-founder to the development of crypto and blockchain innovations.

There is also another NFT collection about McCaleb on OpenSea. It was designed by Daulet and named “Jed McCaleb #010.” There are a few other NFT collections featuring him on the marketplace. However, none of them has witnessed any substantial trading volume yet.

Meanwhile, it will be interesting to see McCaleb feature on Wall Street Memes. The project has continued to create superb social media engagements through its amusing memes. Sometimes, these memes feature tycoons in the industry, like Changpeng Zhao, Elon Musk, Sam-Bankman-Fried, and many more. As a matter of fact, people like Joe Biden, Jerome Powell and others whose policies as government functionaries have affected crypto industry are usually featured as well.

Today, the project is enjoying the support of a vast social media community. On Twitter and Instagram, it boasts not less than five hundred thousand supporters. Driven by the reach of its community, Wall Street Memes is now in the mainstream, securing the attention of influential figures in the industry.

It is worth establishing that the project is not only into crypto and stock memes. Earlier, it ventured into the NFT market by launching a collection known as Wall St Bulls. Remarkably, it was able to sell the NFT within a few minutes, netting over $2.5 million. Also, around May 2023, Wall Street Memes launched the presale of its crypto, $WSM. According to findings, it released about 420 ultra-rare Bitcoin Ordinal NFTs with the presale launch.

Barely twenty-four hours after launching the presale, it netted $500,000 in investment, and the figure has continued to rise. As of June 25, Wall Street Memes has already amassed $10 million, thereby emerging as one of the most successful crypto presales in the industry. It is not in doubt that savvy investors are now seeing exciting opportunities in the project, describing it as the next cryptocurrency to flourish in the market. 

At the moment, the project is running a $50,000 airdrop. Participants will be able to benefit from this airdrop by completing simple tasks like following the project on Twitter and Instagram. You can find more information about this airdrop when you visit

Jed McCaleb’s Net Worth – Our Verdict

Jed McCaleb may be quiet, but his inestimable contributions to the development of the crypto and blockchain industry speak volumes. Among the list of notable pioneers in the sphere, he is the most reserved. The Stellar co-founder rarely appears in podcasts and events to talk about his work and antecedent in crypto. As a matter of fact, the last time he posted something was December 11, 2022. However, it is essential to note that there is a parody account on Twitter being portrayed as the handle of the Stellar co-founder. It was this fake account that was tagged by Ripple CEO in early 2023.

Notably, Jed McCaleb is a billionaire today because of his early investment in cryptocurrency, particularly Bitcoin, XRP selloffs, and the success of his firm, Stellar. He is the only crypto billionaire who was not really affected by the downturn that stormed the crypto market in 2022. As of 2023, the net worth of Jed McCaleb is estimated to be around $2.4 billion.

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When did Jed McCaleb sell Mt.Gox?

Jed McCaleb sold Mt.Gox to Mark Karpelès in 2011 but retained a minority stake in the Bitcoin exchange.

When did Jed McCaleb launch Stellar protocol?

Jed McCaleb launched Stellar protocol in 2014.

What is the current net worth of Jed McCaleb?

The current net worth of Jed McCaleb is estimated to be around $2.4 billion.