Update (May 24 at 4:36 UTC): This article has been updated to clarify that Pantera Capital was among the largest shareholders until 2018 when NXMH acquired Bitstamp.
Blockchain-based digital payment network Ripple took a minority stake in crypto exchange Bitstamp in the first quarter of 2023. Digital investment firm Galaxy Digital advised on the deal, according to a transcript of the May 9 Galaxy shareholder conference call.
Ripple acquired shares previously owned by Pantera Capital, a digital asset investment firm based in the United States. Pantera was one of the largest shareholders in Bitstamp until 2018, when the exchange was acquired by Belgium-based investment firm NXMH in an “all cash deal.” At the time, the company was valued at $60 million.
Pantera, which made a $10-million investment in the company in 2014, also sold part of its stake in Bitstamp to NXMH.
“More broadly in our global markets business, on the back of a record year for our investment banking team, we advised Pantera, a leading blockchain asset management firm, on the sale of its stake in European digital asset exchange Bitstamp to Ripple Labs in Q1,” said Galaxy president and chief information officer Chris Ferraro.
It is unclear how much Ripple paid for the acquisition or how the deal was structured. Cointelegraph reached out to Ripple but did not receive an immediate response.
Founded in 2011, Bitstamp was one of the first crypto exchanges to offer digital assets transactions. The company provides services to clients in over 100 countries from its base in Luxembourg. According to CoinMarketCap, Bitstamp currently ranks among the top 10 crypto exchanges in trading volume, with over $164 million worth of tokens traded in the past 24 hours.
The ties between Ripple and Bitstamp date back years. The exchange previously served as a gateway for Ripple’s XRP (XRP) token. It’s not a coincidence that XRP pairs hold the second and third positions as most traded on Bitstamp, just behind Bitcoin (BTC). Bitstamp is also the second largest XRP market after crypto exchange Binance.
Since 2020, Ripple has been involved in a costly lawsuit with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission on whether XRP meets the definition of a security. In the most recent development of the case, a motion from the U.S. securities regulator to seal records of internal deliberations has been denied. The move was viewed as a win for Ripple, which believes that some internal SEC speeches are key evidence in its ongoing litigation.
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