Blockchain start-up Ripple is in a precarious position for a 5-year-old company.
The business is still in its very early days but suddenly has billions of dollars worth of cryptocurrency on its balance sheet.
Ripple, which built a digital payments network for real-time financial transactions, is also the creator and biggest owner of Ripple XRP, a digital currency that has increased in value by 40 times this year.
There's a total of 100 billion XRP in existence, each priced at about 26 cents. The $26 billion of total value is second among cryptocurrencies, behind bitcoin, which is valued at $41 billion.
Ripple owns about 61 percent — or $16 billion worth — of XRP.
If that were factored into the company's valuation, Ripple would be worth more than all but four U.S. start-ups — Uber, Airbnb, Palantir and WeWork.
XRP is surging alongside