The twist? The $4 million that Kutcher and his business partner, Guy Oseary, presented to The Ellen DeGeneres Wildlife Fund comes in the form of Ripple’s XRP coin — currently third most-valuable cryptocurrency on the market, behind Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Kutcher surprised DeGeneres with the donation, on behalf of Ripple, live on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” on NBC.
“You’re always thinking about everyone else,” Kutcher told DeGeneres. “We wanted to show you that people are thinking about you.”
Kutcher joked that, typically, such a large donation might be accompanied by a “big, giant check,” but the actor instead had DeGeneres push a button on his phone that transferred millions of dollars worth of the cryptocurrency to the charity instantly.
Kutcher and Oseary (a friend of DeGeneres’ who is a talent manager for acts like Madonna and U2) are invested in Ripple through their tech investment fund, Sound Ventures. The fund has also invested in tech startups such as cloud-based business software company Zenefits, while Kutcher himself was also an early backer of major startups like Airbnb and Uber.
Here’s what you need to know about Ripple and XRP.
“Ripple is basically a platform to allow people to transfer money from bank account to bank account, person to person, really securely, really simply, really quickly,” said Kutcher, a noted fan of the blockchain technology that supports cryptocurrency, while describing what Ripple does on DeGeneres’ show.
First released in 2012, San Francisco-based Ripple’s XRP is a digital currency that users on the company’s network use to perform global transactions. Ripple bills itself as a platform where banks and other global financial institutions can make fast and secure financial payments using XRP.