Ripple’s Acquisition Spree Continues As It Snaps Up Fortress Trust After $250M Metaco Deal
Ripple has announced its latest acquisition—Fortress Trust, a blockchain infrastructure firm. This acquisition comes following Ripple’s $250 million investment to acquire Swiss custody startup Metaco in May and also take a stake in Bitstamp, a prominent crypto exchange.
Ripple Charges Ahead Amid Legal Battle
Ripple has confirmed the purchase of Fortress Trust, a trust company chartered in Nevada with a focus on cryptocurrency and Web3 technologies. The announcement was made via email last Friday. While the financial specifics of the deal remain undisclosed, Ripple chose not to reveal additional details.
However, an insider familiar with the situation indicated that the acquisition cost was lower than the $250 million Ripple spent on Swiss custody firm Metaco earlier this year. The purchase extends Ripple’s regulatory license portfolio to include Nevada, adding to its existing New York BitLicense and money transmitter licenses in 30 other U.S. states.
Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse said, “As an early investor in Fortress Blockchain Technologies, we’ve had a chance to get to know the team, its vision and technology. Since their launch in 2021, they’ve built an impressive business with recurring revenue and a strong roster of both crypto-native and new-to-crypto customers.”
Founded by Scott Purcell, former CEO of crypto custodian Prime Trust—which faced receivership in July following the cancellation of a planned acquisition by BitGo—Fortress Trust offers financial and regulatory frameworks for blockchain enterprises.
Monica Long, the President of Ripple, characterized the acquisition as a strategic move to strengthen Ripple’s objective of “serving as the go-to platform for enterprises seeking to convert, store, and transfer value via blockchain.”
Ripple Strengthens Its Market Position
Ripple’s most recent acquisition suggests that the company remains unbothered by its ongoing legal dispute with the US SEC, a move that has likely boosted confidence within the XRP community. As the case moves toward its second round in court, opinions from both sides continue to emerge.
In a recent interview with Bloomberg on September 6, Ripple’s co-founder, Chris Larsen, pointed out that the SEC has fallen short of meeting its primary goals in the legal case. Ripple achieved a partial win when the court determined that XRP should not be categorized as a security.
Larsen also noted that the case’s outcome holds significant implications not just for Ripple but for the wider crypto market, marking a crucial turning point for future operations.
In a September 7 post on X (formerly Twitter), pro-XRP lawyer John Deaton claimed that the SEC’s case has negatively impacted XRP, despite an initial court ruling in the cryptocurrency’s favor.
Deaton, who has previously hinted at a potential settlement, noted that if the judge in the Coinbase case approves the exchange’s dismissal request, it could limit the SEC’s appeal options, making a settlement more likely. The case is set for trial in 2024.