Ripple Acquires Swiss-based Metaco, Sets Sights on $10T Institutional Crypto Custody Market

Ripple, the global provider of blockchain-based payment systems, has announced its acquisition of Metaco, a Swiss provider of digital asset custody and tokenization technology, according to a press release from Ripple’s official website.

This strategic move is in response to the predicted growth of the institutional crypto custody market, anticipated to reach an impressive $10T by 2030, and Ripple’s recognition of the growing demand for enterprise crypto services.

Ripple’s CEO, Brad Garlinghouse, referred to the acquisition as a “monumental” move that will significantly augment the company’s growing product suite and extend its global footprint. Ripple and Metaco share a common objective: offering secure enterprise-grade solutions to top-tier institutional clients. The acquisition is set to provide Ripple’s customers with the technology needed to issue, custody, and settle any kind of tokenized asset, advancing its enterprise offerings.

Established for over a decade, Ripple has consistently addressed the multi-trillion-dollar challenges in the cryptocurrency and blockchain industry. The company’s expansion, from cross-border payments and Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) to liquidity management and tokenization, demonstrates its continuous innovation and growth. The integration of Metaco’s solutions, aimed at issuing and settling tokenized assets, is the next evolution in Ripple’s product suite.

Metaco’s offering, Harmonize™, provides a secure, versatile custody infrastructure for institutions looking to expand into the crypto economy. Its solutions have been widely accepted by the world’s largest custodians, top-tier banks, financial institutions, and corporations. The technology is currently available in several jurisdictions, including Switzerland, Germany, Turkey, France, the UK, the US, Singapore, Australia, Hong Kong, and the Philippines, among others.

Adrien Treccani, Founder and CEO at Metaco, expressed his enthusiasm about the partnership with Ripple, emphasizing that the collaboration would enable Metaco to leverage Ripple’s scale and market strength to achieve its goals more quickly.

The institutional interest in crypto custody is apparent, with several established financial institutions expressing their intent to enter this arena. For instance, BNY Mellon is currently offering digital asset custody services to US asset managers, while NASDAQ recently announced its plan to launch crypto custody services for Bitcoin and Ethereum by the end of Q2 2023.

The acquisition signals a bright future for crypto custody as more reputable financial institutions express their interest in the market. Ripple is poised to leverage this opportunity alongside Metaco to offer innovative services to customers, thereby strengthening its position as a leader in the realm of enterprise crypto solutions.


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Uniswap to Join the Polkadot Ecosystem via Moonbeam Network, Bolstering Liquidity and Volume

According to a recent series of tweets by Polkadot, Uniswap, the most widely used decentralized exchange (DEX) based on daily traded volume, is set to make its debut in the Polkadot ecosystem via the Moonbeam Network parachain. This integration is anticipated to significantly enhance liquidity and trading volume across the ecosystem.

Uniswap offers users a trustless, permissionless, and non-custodial method to access a broad range of tokens. Its entrance to the Polkadot ecosystem propels forward the development of a novel universe of decentralized financial (DeFi) products and services on Polkadot.

Oelassar, Global Head of Growth & Business Development at Parity Tech, commented on the development. “Polkadot is a strong fit for Uniswap, whose users can discover the network’s high performance, scalability, security, and interoperability. Polkadot’s DeFi ecosystem benefits from a marquee name in the space.”

Moonbeam, a layer-1 Polkadot parachain, enables full Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) compatibility, native interoperability, and prioritizes secure cross-chain integration solutions. Over the last year, the network has reported significant user growth.

The initiative to bring Uniswap to Polkadot and Moonbeam has been led by the University of Michigan Blockchain group. This proposal has successfully passed through Moonbeam’s governance process today, with robust community support. Upon activation, all parachains within the Polkadot ecosystem will have immediate access to Uniswap.

This development marks a significant milestone for Polkadot as it continues to foster innovation and inclusivity in the blockchain industry. By welcoming Uniswap, one of the flagship platforms in the DeFi space, Polkadot is further positioning itself as a leading hub for decentralized finance, ensuring its users have access to the most advanced and diverse range of DeFi services.


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Greenland Financial Holdings to Apply for Virtual Asset Trading License in Hong Kong

Greenland Financial Holdings, a subsidiary of Greenland Group, is planning to apply for a virtual asset trading license in Hong Kong, according to Shanghai Securities News.

The company’s move into the virtual asset space will further diversify its business portfolio and enhance its global influence, according to Jing Geng, Director and CEO of GreenLand Group and Chairman and President of GreenLand Financial Holdings.

Greenland Financial intends to establish a new company focusing on virtual asset trading, which will submit an application to the Securities and Futures Commission of Hong Kong (SFC). If approved, the company will aim to launch cryptocurrency trading, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and carbon emission-related products. All plans are subject to the approval of the SFC.

Greenland Financial is committed to propelling the digital upgrade of multiple industries such as digital technology, finance, education, healthcare, and scientific innovation. Its goal is to build an international and diversified comprehensive industrial group that integrates data, technology, finance, and scenarios.

Inside sources from GreenLand Group indicate that based on the digital technology platform and financial holding platform established by GreenLand Digital Technology, a subsidiary of GreenLand Financial, the group has a wealth of offline assets and businesses that can expand into virtual asset operations. The group started planning for the virtual asset business as early as 2019.


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SEC Considers Filecoin a Security, Grayscale Disagrees

In a recent press release, Grayscale Investments, the world’s largest digital currency asset manager, announced it has received a comment letter from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). According to the SEC, Grayscale’s Filecoin Trust’s underlying asset, Filecoin (FIL), should be classified as a security under federal securities laws. The regulatory body’s viewpoint has sparked a dispute, as Grayscale holds a differing opinion on the matter.

The SEC’s contention is that if Filecoin is considered a security, Grayscale’s Filecoin Trust would correspondingly qualify as an investment company under the Investment Company Act of 1940. Consequently, the SEC has requested that Grayscale promptly withdraws the registration statement it filed on April 14, 2023, for the Grayscale Filecoin Trust under Section 12(g) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

Contrarily, Grayscale Investments believes that Filecoin does not meet the definition of security under federal securities laws. The company plans to respond expeditiously to the SEC, defending its position with a detailed legal explanation.

The outcome of this disagreement is uncertain, and much depends on whether Grayscale’s arguments can persuade the SEC. If the SEC stands firm in its belief that Filecoin is a security, Grayscale may be forced to seek alternative accommodations allowing the Trust to register under the Investment Company Act of 1940. Another potential, albeit drastic, alternative could involve dissolving the Trust altogether.

The stakes are high for both Grayscale and the broader cryptocurrency market. The SEC’s final decision may significantly impact the regulatory framework governing digital assets. 


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Binance Australia Maintains AUD Withdrawals Despite Suspension of PayID AUD Deposits

Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, has announced an immediate cessation of PayID AUD deposits and potential impacts on bank transfer withdrawals for its users. The unexpected decision follows an action taken by its third-party payment service provider.

In a recent tweet, Binance stated, “We regret to inform you that with immediate effect we are unable to facilitate PayID AUD deposits for Binance users due to a decision made by our third-party payment service provider.” The payment processor’s decision also affects the bank transfer withdrawals, the timeline for which will be advised to the users once confirmed.

While the sudden stoppage may cause some disruptions for Australian users, Binance has made it clear that they are actively seeking a new payment service provider to resume the services swiftly. “We are working hard to find an alternative provider to continue offering AUD deposits and withdrawals to our users,” the exchange said.

Despite this setback, Binance assured its customers that other transaction methods remain operational. Users can still purchase and sell cryptocurrencies using credit or debit cards. Additionally, the Binance P2P marketplace remains unaffected by this development and continues to operate as usual.

Most importantly, Binance highlighted that all users’ funds are safe. The exchange guarantees protection through the Secure Asset Fund for Users (SAFU). SAFU is an insurance fund established by Binance to protect its users and their funds in extreme situations. 

Just now, Binance confirmed via a tweet that AUD withdrawals for its Australian users will continue as usual. ‘We have confirmed with our local payment partner that our users can continue to withdraw AUD, and we will update with any further changes on timing as we know more,’ the tweet stated.

Binance’s recent announcement comes amid increasing regulatory scrutiny on cryptocurrency-related businesses in Australia.

On 6th April 2023, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) canceled the Australian Financial Services Licence of Oztures Trading Pty Ltd, which operates as Binance Australia Derivatives. This cancellation came into effect following a request from Binance the previous day.

This move signals a tightening regulatory environment for cryptocurrency businesses in Australia, posing new challenges for industry players like Binance.


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