During his interview with Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse, Michael Arrington, the founder of tech media TechCrunch and crypto-focused venture fund XRP Capital, claims that he was shocked by the hatred in the crypto community.
When he started the fund, Arrington says that he ran into a brick wall who hated XRP with a passion he’s never seen before:
“I was very surprised and shocked actually like literally shocked at like the people who hated me, who I never met, just because I had chosen apparently one side of the crypto war”
Now, he realizes that these “religious wars” are understandable since the combination of money and tech makes people very emotionally invested.
Arrington was a naysayer himself
Arrington says that he got bored of his career in law which prompted him to move on to blogging:
“I started off as a lawyer and I got pretty bored within a couple of years being a lawyer, and I wanted to go do something else and I became an entrepreneur.”
When asked what eventually drew him to crypto, he replied that it was the Ripple exec.
At first, however, Arrington was a skeptic himself who warned Garlinghouse against joining Ripple back in 2015 when it was an obscure crypto startup. He believed that this unorthodox decision would be the end of his career.
Garlinghouse — who turned down one percent of Facebook’s stock in mid-2000 — ended up making a killing at Ripple, growing his personal net worth to $10 bln at the peak of the crypto craze in early 2018.
A long-lasting friendship
In September 2018, during TechCrunch's flagship Disrupt SF event, Arrington revealed that he was a long-time friend of Garlinghouse.
Moreover, Garlinghouse is the “primary reason” why AOL acquired TechCrunch for $25 mln back in 2010. He was one of AOL’s most senior executives who presided over the company’s Silicon Valley operations at that time:
“When TechCrunch originally sold to AOL, and eventually became part of the Verizon behemoth, Brad was at AOL. He’s the primary person that made that deal happen. He made me wealthy, not as wealthy as him, but wealthy.”