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Ripple acquires crypto custodian Metaco for $250 million

Coins with Ripple logos against a blank background.
XRP, the cryptocurrency Ripple uses to fuel its payments services, is ranked sixth in total market capitalization among cryptocurrencies.
Illustration by Fortune

Ripple announced on Wednesday that it’s acquired Metaco, a crypto custodian that caters to institutional investors, for $250 million.

Best known for its association with the cryptocurrency XRP, Ripple will become the sole shareholder of Metaco, which will continue to operate independently under founder and CEO Adrien Treccani, according to a statement announcing the deal.

“Adding these capabilities to Ripple’s already growing product solutions means we can continue to support customers as they look to utilize crypto and blockchain for real-world use cases,” Monica Long, Ripple’s president, said in a statement.

Ripple, which is currently battling the Securities and Exchange Commission over the agency’s claim that XRP is an unregistered security, declined to provide additional details on the acquisition when contacted by Fortune.

The deal is further evidence that the payments company, which has undergone numerous facelifts in its more-than-decade-long history, may be finding its niche.

Established in 2012, Ripple and proponents of its associated cryptocurrency XRP have made a number of pitches to justify the company and cryptocurrency’s utility, including attempted partnerships with big banks, a play at the remittances market, and now a pivot to cross-border payments.

It’s the latter use case with which the company has finally found traction, with Long previously telling Fortune that 2021 and 2022 were banner years for the company because of the increasing popularity of its cross-border payment platform, Ripple Net.

The growth of Ripple Net coincides with the company’s recent transformation into a rallying point for the crypto industry after the SEC filed suit against it and two executives. The lawsuit could have sweeping ramifications if the SEC’s claim that XRP is a security—as opposed to a commodity—is upheld.

Brad Garlinghouse, Ripple’s CEO, has said that the legal fight with the SEC has cost the company approximately $200 million. He’s previously said he expects a decision on the lawsuit sometime this year.

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