Crypto firm Ripple buys Swiss startup as SEC crackdown forces companies to consider overseas moves

by | May 17, 2023 | Financial

Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse speaks during the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California, on Oct. 19, 2021.Kyle Grillot | Bloomberg | Getty ImagesBlockchain firm Ripple said Wednesday it has acquired Metaco, a Swiss firm that holds digital assets securely on behalf of clients, in a bid to expand its international footprint and broaden its range of services.News of the deal, one of the largest acquisitions in the crypto industry in the past year or so, comes as the San Francisco-based startup continues to contest a lawsuit from the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.related investing news 18 hours agoIt also comes as the crypto industry as a whole is facing a host of challenges, from higher interest rates and tighter funding conditions to mass layoffs and dwindling company valuations.”This is the largest deal we’ve seen in the last year,” Brad Garlinghouse, CEO of Ripple, told CNBC on a call Tuesday.Ripple invested $250 million of cash off its own balance sheet to fund the acquisition, Garlinghouse said.”At a time when others are closing their doors or facing layoffs, I think it’s a real important signal for the industry, it’s also a signal that ripple’s in a strong position — we’re going to play offense,” he added.Ripple’s boss said the deal was a sign that it was still possible to make sizable deals even with the pressures the broader market is facing.From crypto winter to crypto spring?Garlinghouse said the deal would help the company increase its presence overseas at a time when the Securities and Exchange Commission is taking tough actions against major industry players — Ripple included.The crypto titan, valued at $15 billion in its most recent private round of financing, has been faced with a great deal of regulatory uncertainty after the SEC sued the company and two of its executives accusing them of unregistered securities.The regulator’s main assertion is that XRP, a cryptocurrency Ripple is closely associated with, is akin to a security which should have been registered with the agency before being issued and sold to investors.Ripple, for its part, denies XRP should be treated as a security.Founded in 2015 in Switzerland, Metaco offers a range …

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