Ripple acquires Standard Custody & Trust, its second custody provider


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Ripple has acquired Standard Custody & Trust Company, a United States digital asset custody provider. The company already had ties to Ripple through its executives.

Standard Custody & Trust Company offers custody and escrow services under a charter granted by the New York State Department of Financial Services and is a qualified custodian in accordance with federal legislation. “Standard Custody’s limited purpose trust charter and its money transmitter licenses will contribute to Ripple’s growing portfolio of regulatory licenses,” Ripple said in a statement.

Ripple operates a payment network and supports the XRP (XRP) cryptocurrency. Along with its subsidiaries, Ripple already holds a New York BitLicense and nearly 40 money transmitter licenses in American states, it said. Ripple president Monica Long told Cointelegraph:

“This acquisition of Standard Custody and its licensing portfolio afford us the possibility to serve customers in new ways – all in service of our goal to become the one-stop shop for enterprises looking to tokenize, store, move, and exchange value.”

Ripple has held a BitLicense as a limited-purpose trust company through its subsidiary XRP II since 2016. According to Ripple chief technical officer and cryptographer David Schwartz, XRP II is “the name of a legal entity owned by Ripple. It’s similar to the way Apple has entities licensed to do Apple Pay so all of Apple doesn’t have to be regulated that way.”

The terms of the Standard Custody & Trust acquisition were not made public. It comes a day after the disclosure of the resignation of Metaco CEO Adrien Trecanni, although it is unclear when exactly Trecanni resigned. Metaco, a blockchain custody firm based in Switzerland, was acquired by Ripple in May for $250 million.

Standard Custody & Trust is a subsidiary of PolySign, a digital asset infrastructure company founded by Ripple co-founder Arthur Britto, who is currently president of PolySign. Britto maintains a low public profile, bordering on the mysterious. He co-founded Ripple as OpenCoin along with Chris Larsen and Jed McCaleb in 2012. He is also credited as co-designer of the XRP Ledger protocol. Schwartz, who is also on the PolySign board, has said that Britto is also a game designer.

Related: Court orders Ripple to disclose financial statements to SEC

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission filed suit against Ripple and its executives Brad Garlinghouse and Larsen in December 2020, claiming it offered unregistered securities through XRP tokens. Ripple scored a significant victory when a judge ruled in a summary judgment that XRP was only a security when sold to investors. The SEC went on to dismiss the cases against Garlinghouse and Larsen, but its cases against Ripple continue.

Ripple received a major payment institution license from the Monetary Authority of Singapore in October and virtual asset service provider registration with the Central Bank of Ireland in December.

Ripple’s acquisition of Standard Custody & Trust still requires regulatory approval.

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Update (Feb. 13, 9:30 pm UTC ): This article has been updated to reflect Monica Long’s commentary.

Update (Feb. 13, 9:30 pm UTC ): This article has been updated to reflect Monica Long’s commentary.