Ripple president Monica Long said the company’s recent stake acquisition in European crypto exchange Bitstamp will help further grow the company’s international presence and diversification beyond payments.
“Ripple has a strong balance sheet and we are actively looking for opportunities to continue expanding the business outside of the U.S. and beyond payments, as we further solidify our global leadership position,” Long told The Block. The company acquired an undisclosed stake in Bitstamp from crypto venture capital Pantera. Galaxy Digital Holdings, who advised Pantera on the deal during the first quarter of the year, disclosed the news earlier this month.
“Like Ripple, Bitstamp has a long and established history in the crypto industry. They’re a trusted and leading exchange, particularly in their enterprise-grade and institutional offerings,” Long said. “They have been a valuable partner to Ripple, and as such we were excited at the opportunity to invest in their business and deepen our partnership.”
Ripple works with several crypto exchanges globally, including Bitstamp, to make its payments product more useful with features such as fiat on/off ramps and crypto custody service integration, Long said. Jean-Baptiste Graftieaux, CEO of Bitstamp, told The Block that Ripple and Bitstamp have had a partnership since 2017.
“We’re delighted to take this next step to be able to invest together in making the future of crypto even more secure, reliable, and accessible to institutions across the world,” Graftieaux said.
Bitstamp is the fifteenth largest spot crypto exchange in the world by trading volumes, according to The Block’s Data Dashboard.
Ripple has been on a buying spree lately. Earlier this month, the crypto payments company acquired Switzerland-based crypto custody startup Metaco for $250 million.
The recent deals come as Ripple is still locked in a years-long feud with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. In 2020, the SEC accused Ripple of raising $1.3 billion through the sale of the XRP token, and also sued CEO Garlinghouse and co-founder Christian Larsen. A decision from a federal judge settling the dispute could come as soon as the first half of this year.