US-based cryptocurrency company Ripple has recently announced its acquisition of Metaco. Metaco is a Swiss-based crypto custody firm and the deal, valued at $250 million, marks Ripple’s foray into the acquisition space.
Metaco specializes in developing cutting-edge technology that enables financial institutions to securely store and effectively manage digital assets. Some of its notable clients comprise Citi, BNP Paribas, and the digital asset arm of Societe Generale.
After the acquisition, Ripple will become the exclusive shareholder of Metaco. It will, however, allow the company to retain its independent brand identity and continue its operations uninterrupted.
Nevertheless, this acquisition holds significant importance for Ripple. Its own cryptocurrency, XRP, currently ranks as the sixth largest in the world based on market capitalization.
Ripple expressed that this acquisition will serve as a catalyst for expanding its institutional offering. Additionally, this will also strengthen its position in the cryptocurrency market.
By integrating Metaco’s expertise and technology, Ripple aims to enhance its capabilities in providing secure storage and management solutions for digital assets.
Investor Caution Has Been Growing Regarding Crypto Asset Storage
Following a decline in cryptocurrency prices in 2022 along with notable collapses of major crypto firms like the U.S. exchange FTX, investor enthusiasm for crypto assets has waned.
A critical factor contributing to this shift in sentiment is the growing alertness among investors regarding the storage of crypto assets. Several crypto platforms had frozen their withdrawals resulting in significant losses for investors. This has prompted them to choose and prioritize secure storage solutions to store their digital assets.
Anticipating a surge in demand from institutional investors, Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse expressed his expectation for an upswing in the need for crypto custody services.
He also stated:
By focusing on the infrastructure … you’re not really subject to the same gyrations of the crypto winters. If ultimately you’re solving a clear problem at scale for these customers, there’s going to be demand there.
Amidst the intensifying enforcement actions by US regulators against crypto firms, CEO Brad Garlinghouse highlighted the added appeal of Metaco, being based in Switzerland and having a workforce comprised of non-US employees.
Garlinghouse emphasized that the regulatory landscape in markets outside the United States offers greater and better clarity. This enables companies to make sound and informed investments.
He noted that these transparent and well-defined rules in other jurisdictions have been responsible for creating an environment conducive to business growth and innovation.
Following its recent private financing round, Ripple was valued at $15 billion even though the company had encountered a significant level of regulatory ambiguity.
The uncertainty escalated when the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed a lawsuit against the company and two of its executives, alleging the sale of unregistered securities. This legal action has further added to the regulatory challenges faced by the crypto giant.
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