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Crypto Donation Funds San Francisco State University Fintech Chair

San Francisco State University received millions in Ripple's XRP for its business school but faced challenges converting to dollars.

San Francisco State University's business school is the recipient of a very Silicon Valley-esque donation: $25 million in cryptoassets. The gift, made by alumnus Chris Larsen, his wife, Lyna Lam, and their nonprofit, Rippleworks, is the largest of its kind, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. The gift consisted of about 56 million XRP tokens (used by the ledger Ripple) given in November 2018. Larsen is a co-founder of Ripple.

The gift will go toward a chair in financial technology and another in entrepreneurship, each for $8 million; the remainder will seed an innovation fund. The business school will be renamed after Larsen's wife and will be called the Lam Family College of Business.

Converting the cryptocurrency into dollars took time and effort, according to the report. "To make it happen, [university officials have] had to convert the digital dough into actual dough—at a pace slow enough to avoid flooding the market with millions of XRPs," according to the newspaper. "Not only did they have questions about the loss of value, they worried about hackers gaining access to the gift and causing the whole thing to backfire."

Due to the fluctuations of XRP, the gift buys 18% fewer dollars today than it did in the fall when the donation first arrived, according to the report, but Larsen committed to the full $25 million.

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