Why Did Ripple Buy Fortress Trust and Is It Really a Big Deal?

Why Did Ripple Buy Fortress Trust and Is It Really a Big Deal?


They say bear markets are a time to build, and some companies are undoubtedly living up to this saying. One of them is Ripple Labs.

As CryptoPotato reported earlier last week, they acquired Fortress Trust – a well-known financial institution that’s primarily focused on cryptocurrencies. But why did Ripple acquire it?

Ripple’s Acquisition of Fortress Trust

First, it’s important to outline that the official announcement featured some weird wording, and it’s not entirely sure if Ripple has already acquired it. The headline says so, but the first sentence reads that it “has agreed to acquire” it. They may as well be one and the same, but it’s important to point it out.

According to the blog post, one reason for the acquisition is the Nevada Trust license that Fortress Trust holds. Together with it, Ripple and its web of subsidiaries reportedly hold more than 30 Money Transmitter Licenses across the United States, as well as BitLicense in New York, and an in-principle Major Payment Institution License from Singapore’s Monetary Authority (MAS).

Speaking on the matter was Monica Long, President at Ripple, who said:

Licenses are a powerful enabler to build and deliver best-in-class customer experiences for enterprises using Ripple’s crypto infrastructure across our payments and liquidity solutions.

Long Time Coming?

Back in 2022, Ripple became a minority investor in Fortress Blockchain Technologies through its seed funding.

We’re extremey pleased that Fortress Trust will be acquired by Ripple, one of the largest and most innovative companies in the industry – it’s a testament to the team and business that we’ve built in a short period of time. Furthermore, we look forward to continuing to collaborate and deepning our partnership with our Web3 payments solution. – Scot Purcell, CEO of Fortress Blockchain Technologies.

From this perspective, it seems like it’s been a long time coming. It’s also worth noting that Ripple has expressed intent to continue investing in Fortress Trust’s parent company following the closure of the deal.

Some 11 months ago, the CEO of Fortress Trust, Albert Forkner, alongside the company’s President Tom Michelena, appeared on NYSE Floor Talk. Michelena said:

Fortress has a regulatory body within that nobody else has. We are unmatched in this environment.

It goes without saying that Ripple is caught in regulatory purgatory right now, and perhaps acquiring Fortress Trust could help watchdogs change their perspective on the company and soften their stance.


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