Ripple Acquires Crypto-Focused Chartered Trust Company Fortress Trust

A person with knowledge of the matter said the price tag was less than the $250 million it paid for custody firm Metaco in May.

AccessTimeIconSep 8, 2023 at 3:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 8, 2023 at 3:45 p.m. UTC
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Blockchain firm Ripple has acquired Fortress Trust, a Nevada-based chartered trust company with a crypto and Web3 focus, the company said in an email on Friday.

Financial terms for the acquisition were not disclosed. Ripple declined to disclose further details when contacted by CoinDesk, though a person with knowledge of the matter said the price tag was less than the $250 million it paid for custody firm Metaco in May.

The acquisition adds Nevada to Ripple's list of regulatory licenses, which includes a New York BitLicense and money transmitter licenses in 30 U.S. states.

Fortress Trust, which provides financial and regulatory structure for blockchain companies, was formed by Scott Purcell, who has a long history in the industry. He was CEO of crypto custodian Prime Trust until 2020. Years after he left Prime Trust, the company was ordered into receivership after fellow custodian BitGo terminated its proposed acquisition of the firm.

Monica Long, Ripple's president, described the acquisition as bolstering the firm's aim of "becoming the one-stop shop for enterprises looking to convert, store and move value on blockchain."

Ripple became a minority investor in Fortress Trust's parent company Fortress Blockchain Technologies in August 2022, as part of the Web3 infrastructure provider's seed round.

UPDATE (Sept. 08, 15:45 UTC): Adds that Scott Purcell was CEO of Prime Trust until late 2020.

Edited by Nick Baker.


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Jamie Crawley

Jamie Crawley is a CoinDesk news reporter based in London.

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