Ripple acquires crypto custody startup Metaco for $250 million

Ripple has announced that it has acquired Metaco, a cryptocurrency custody company based in Switzerland, for $250 million in cash and Ripple equity. With this move, Ripple will expand its offerings as it will now be able to custody, issue and settle any type of tokenized asset.

“Metaco is a proven leader in institutional digital asset custody with an exceptional executive bench and a truly unmatched customer track record,” Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse said in a statement. “Through the strength of our balance sheet and financial position, Ripple will continue pressing our advantage in the areas critical to crypto infrastructure. Bringing on Metaco is monumental for our growing product suite and expanding global footprint.”

Ripple is the company behind the Ripple payment protocol that uses XRP as its native cryptocurrency. Ripple has been working with traditional finance companies so that they can integrate crypto and blockchain into their infrastructure. While Ripple and XRP are technically separate entities, Ripple still owns a large amount of XRP tokens.

In 2020, Ripple and its team faced a lawsuit from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission due to the nature of XRP token sales. The SEC argued that XRP is a security and it should have been registered with the commission. It’s worth noting that Ripple and a handful of executives generated more than $1.38 billion from sales of the XRP token.

With today’s announcement, Ripple is diversifying its activities. Metaco has been working with institutional customers to provide them several enterprise-grade solutions, such as custody, orchestration, trading and more.

Following today’s transaction, Metaco will continue to operate as an independent brand and business unit — but Metaco now has a new owner. It could indicate that Ripple wants to use its balance sheet to build a portfolio of cryptocurrency-focused companies and bounce back from the SEC feud.