Ashton Kutcher, an actor and tech investor, had a pretty non-traditional gift for TV host Ellen DeGeneres on Thursday.
Kutcher and his team donated $4 million in Ripple’s XRP tokens to her wildlife charity, The Ellen DeGeneres Wildlife Fund. “We can actually transfer [the donation] into Rwandan francs right now, right here, and all we have to do is push this button and it’s in your account,” Kutcher said.
XRP, the third-largest cryptocurrency by market cap after Bitcoin and Ethereum, is the name for both a digital currency and an open payment network. It allows users to efficiently send money globally using the blockchain.
Kutcher has been active in tech investing in recent years through his venture capital firm, Sound Ventures (which is the successor of his previous firm firm A-Grade Investments). He co-founded it with business partner Guy Oseary, and the duo have invested in high-profile companies such as Uber, Airbnb, and Spotify.
Kutcher has also been increasingly interested in the cryptocurrency market. He has made investments in startups including Ripple as well as bitcoin payment service provider BitPay. He’s been a supporter of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology for quite some time.
At a TechCrunch conference several years ago, Kutcher spoke glowingly of the “decentralized technology” that makes Bitcoin possible. “The notion that we could civically monitor each other in an anonymous way actually keeps the anonymity of the Internet. We don’t have to worry about Big Brother,” he said at the time. “And that same infrastructure that built out Bitcoin could be used in the security industry for mass good.”