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Ripple Buys Custody Company to Expand Licensed U.S. Presence

Ripple signed a deal to acquire Standard Custody & Trust Company, a custody provider licensed in New York, growing its portfolio of regulatory licenses in the U.S.

Ripple metaco custody standard

Crypto payments specialist Ripple has signed a deal to acquire Standard Custody & Trust Company, a subsidiary of financial technology company PolySign. Standard Custody & Trust is an institutional-grade custody, escrow and settlement platform for digital assets founded by Arthur Britto, an alleged co-founder of Ripple Labs who remains shrouded in mystery. The company was granted a New York BitLicense in 2021. Ripple itself obtained this license in 2016 via its subsidiary XRP II LLC. The acquisition aims to “strengthen Ripple’s existing product offerings, as well as explore new, complementary products,” according to the press release.

“Standard Custody provides financial institutions with the confidence and platform to safeguard their digital assets. Ripple continues to lead the industry with its deep crypto expertise, relationships with financial institutions and strong product offerings, across both payments and custody. Together with Ripple, we will further innovate and extend our leadership position in providing crypto infrastructure.” - Jack McDonald, Standard Custody CEO

The acquisition will allow Ripple to offer more services, including tokenizing, storing and moving assets for financial companies. U.S. institutional customers will also have the possibility to maintain custody with Ripple without using third-party services. The deal is still subject to regulatory approval from the New York Department of Financial Services.

"By expanding our licenses portfolio and making smart acquisitions, Ripple is well-positioned to take advantage of the current market opportunities and further strengthen our crypto infrastructure solutions.” - Ripple President Monica Long

This is Ripple's second acquisition of a custody business in the past year. In May of 2023, it acquired Swiss crypto custodian Metaco, increasing its overseas presence. In December 2023, BBVA Switzerland joined the list of the key global financial players working with the company, announcing that it would use Metaco’s Harmonize platform for its crypto custody operations with institutional investors. 

Ripple expects DeFi compliance to be the industry’s “biggest breakthrough” of 2024, according to Monica Long. Last year, it entered a collaboration focused on payment corridors between Africa and Australia, the U.K. and the Gulf states. The company also secured licenses in Singapore and Ireland in 2023. 

Interestingly, Ripple's long-running legal saga against the SEC hasn’t prevented the company from working and expanding its business in the U.S. The case is expected to go to a jury trial in Spring 2024. 

Some comments on the acquisition from Ripple users suggest that the community is not that excited by this news and is looking for something more from the company. Users questioned whether it would be reflected in the XRP price, and some expressed discontent over the project and XRP price fluctuations.