Matthew Mellon, an early backer of the global settlement network Ripple, passed away. Mellon became a billionaire due to his cryptocurrency investments.
A Very Painful Time
Mellon's first wife was Jimmy Choo's co-founder, Tamara Mellon. After the breakup with Tamara, he got married to Nicole Hanley, a designer. Mellon and Hanley decided to put an end to their marriage after a failed attempt at reconciliation.
Mellon died suddenly at a Mexican rehab facility, where he was undergoing treatment for drug addiction.
A representative for the Mellon family released a statement to the press, detailing the circumstances of his death.
"Billionaire Matthew Mellon, 53, died suddenly in Cancun, Mexico, where he was attending a drug rehabilitation facility. Mellon made his fortune in cryptocurrency, turning a $2 million investment into $1 billion. He is survived by his three children, Force, Olympia, and Minty. The family asks that their privacy be respected at this very painful time," it read.
A Lifelong Battle
The billionaire banker, who was the former chair of the New York Republican Party's finance committee, battled addiction for much of his life.
In a 2016 interview with the New York Post, Mellon spoke frankly about his struggles.
"OxyContin is like legal heroin. And it needs to be addressed," he said at the time.
Mellon was at a Malibu treatment center, attempting to kick a drug habit that was costing him $100,00 a month. He was taking around 80 pills a day.
"The doctors kept writing prescriptions like they were Smarties. It's very irresponsible," Mellon said.
His addiction reportedly began after he took the prescription for an injury. Despite the billionaire's struggle with his addiction, there was hope that he would recover. In 2013, Tamara Mellon said that her then-husband just kept fighting and coming back.
A Cryptocurrency Expert
Mellon appeared in the February 2018 issue of Forbes due to his investments in Ripple. The billionaire saw Ripple as a viable investment, and his knack proved to be right. After being one of the cryptocurrency's early investors, he earned about $1 billion.
Mellon argued that, unlike Bitcoin, Ripple was among the few cryptocurrencies that work with the banking system.
"It's $1 billion virtually for free. I actually have earned it because I was the only person who was willing to raise his hand. My family thought I was insane when I knew it was a home run," he said.
Mellon is survived by three children. He had one daughter, Araminta, with his first wife and two kids, Force and Olympia, with his second wife.