Ashton Kutcher stuns Ellen DeGeneres with $4 million Ripple donation

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Actor and tech investor Ashton Kutcher surprised Ellen DeGeneres on Wednesday with a $4 million gift — in cryptocurrency.

The comedian and talk-show host received the donation to her wildlife charity in Ripple’s XRP tokens XRPUSD, -0.19%   for her 60th birthday, live on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” on Comcast Corp.’s CMCSA, -0.78%   NBC.

“Usually people come out with the big, giant check and do the big giant check thing,” Kutcher said, noting the donation was on behalf of Ripple. “But . . . all we have to do is push this button and it’s in your account.”

“I’d like to push it,” a shocked and grateful DeGeneres said. “I’d like to push it real good.”

Ripple is the third-largest cryptocurrency, with a market cap of about $24.7 billion, according to Coinmarketcap.com, although its value has dropped about 80% since its high point in January. Ripple’s price slipped 0.7% Thursday, to about 63 cents.

Kutcher is a noted investor who has put seed money in such companies as Airbnb, Uber Technologies Inc. and Spotify SPOT, +0.14%  .

Read: Technology that seems ‘nonsensical’ gets Ashton Kutcher’s money

“We found this company, and we thought it was really, really interesting,” Kutcher said of Ripple. He’s not the only one — San Francisco-based Ripple has partnerships with American Express Co. AXP, +0.08%  , MoneyGram International MGI, +2.32%  , UBS Group UBS, -1.11%   and Banco Santander SAN, -0.83%  , among others.