Ripple Abandons Acquisition of Fortress Trust

Ripple has announced that it will not proceed with its planned acquisition of Nevada-based chartered trust company Fortress Trust. The decision marks a significant change in Ripple’s strategic direction, with the company’s CEO, Brad Garlinghouse, sharing the news on the social media platform X (formerly Twitter).

Garlinghouse’s announcement, made on September 29, revealed that Ripple had initially signed a letter of intent a few weeks prior to acquire Fortress Trust. However, the company has now chosen not to move forward with the outright acquisition, opting instead to maintain its role as an investor in Fortress. This shift in plans reflects Ripple’s commitment to adapt and evolve in a rapidly changing blockchain and cryptocurrency landscape.

In his statement, Garlinghouse acknowledged the impressive talent within the Fortress team and their ability to develop products that address real customer needs. Despite the change in the acquisition plan, Ripple has pledged to continue its support for Fortress Trust and expressed hope for potential future collaborations.

Ripple’s initial announcement to acquire Fortress Trust came on September 8, 2023, when the company expressed its intention to purchase the Nevada-based firm for an undisclosed sum. However, an inside source familiar with the matter indicated that the acquisition price was lower than the $250 million Ripple had paid in May for the custody firm Metaco. Fortress Trust specializes in providing financial and regulatory infrastructure services to blockchain companies and was founded by Scott Purcell, a seasoned figure in the cryptocurrency industry.

Purcell’s previous role as the CEO of crypto custodian Prime Trust until 2020 was noteworthy. Prime Trust later faced a tumultuous period, as it was placed into receivership after a proposed acquisition by fellow custodian BitGo was terminated.

Ripple’s decision not to proceed with the outright acquisition of Fortress Trust underscores the dynamic nature of the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry. Companies in this space often need to pivot and adjust their strategies to remain competitive and aligned with evolving market conditions.

The move also highlights Ripple’s commitment to its broader vision within the crypto ecosystem. While this particular acquisition may not have materialized as planned, Ripple’s continued investment in Fortress Trust demonstrates the company’s dedication to fostering innovation and collaboration within the blockchain sector.

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