Ripple, the blockchain company behind the XRP cryptocurrency, has announced that it has acquired Metaco, a Swiss-based crypto custody firm, for $250 million. The deal will enable Ripple to offer its customers the ability to custody, issue, and settle any type of tokenized asset in the emerging crypto economy.
Ripple’s Vision for the Future of Money
Ripple is a leading provider of cross-border payment solutions, using its XRP Ledger and On-Demand Liquidity (ODL) service to enable fast, low-cost, and scalable transactions across the globe. Ripple has also been involved in various initiatives related to Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs), working with central banks and regulators to explore the potential of blockchain technology for the future of money.
Ripple’s acquisition of Metaco is part of its strategy to broaden its presence beyond the U.S. and its uncertain regulatory landscape. In 2020, Ripple and some of its executives faced a lawsuit from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regarding the unregistered sale of approximately $1.3 billion worth of XRP tokens. Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse recently estimated that the legal battle will cost the company around $200 million, while also cautioning crypto entrepreneurs against establishing their businesses in the U.S.
Metaco’s Role in the Crypto Custody Industry
Metaco is a leading provider of institutional-grade crypto custody solutions, offering its customers secure and scalable infrastructure to store and manage their digital assets. Metaco’s technology is used by a number of mainstream banks, such as BNP Paribas, Societe Generale, Citi, DekaBank, and DZ Bank. Metaco also integrates with various crypto exchanges, liquidity providers, and blockchain platforms, enabling its clients to access the best execution and settlement services in the crypto market.
Metaco will continue to operate as an independent business unit led by its founder and CEO Adrien Treccani, who said that the acquisition will allow Metaco to accelerate its growth and innovation. Ripple will become the sole shareholder of Metaco, which will benefit from Ripple’s global network, expertise, and resources.
The Implications of the Ripple-Metaco Deal
The Ripple-Metaco deal is a significant milestone for the crypto industry, as it signals the growing interest and adoption of crypto assets by traditional financial institutions. According to crypto advisory firm Architect Partners, the deal will likely trigger further mergers and acquisitions in the crypto custody space, as regulatory and market conditions favor the consolidation of specialized and qualified custodians.
The deal also showcases Ripple’s ambition to become a one-stop shop for crypto services, offering its customers not only cross-border payments, but also custody, issuance, and settlement of any type of tokenized asset. This could give Ripple a competitive edge over other crypto platforms, such as Ethereum, Stellar, or Cardano, which are also vying for a share of the tokenization market.