In a strategic move, Ripple, the blockchain-based digital payment network, has acquired a minority stake in the cryptocurrency exchange Bitstamp. The acquisition involved the purchase of shares previously owned by Pantera Capital, a prominent digital asset investment firm based in the United States. Pantera, one of the largest shareholders in Bitstamp until 2018, sold a portion of its stake to Belgium-based investment firm NXMH during an acquisition process that valued Bitstamp at $60 million.
The deal was facilitated with the assistance of digital investment firm Galaxy Digital, which advised on the transaction. Galaxy’s President and Chief Information Officer, Chris Ferraro, mentioned the acquisition during a shareholder conference call on May 9, describing the advisory role in the sale of Pantera’s stake to Ripple Labs.
The exact details of the Ripple-Pantera deal, including the acquisition cost and structure, have not been disclosed publicly. Ripple and Bitstamp have had a longstanding relationship, with Bitstamp previously serving as a gateway for Ripple’s XRP token. Bitstamp, headquartered in Luxembourg, is among the top 10 cryptocurrency exchanges globally in terms of trading volume, catering to clients in over 100 countries.
While Ripple’s acquisition of Pantera’s stake in Bitstamp strengthens their partnership, Ripple has been engaged in a legal battle with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) since 2020. The lawsuit revolves around the classification of XRP as a security. In a recent development, the SEC’s motion to seal internal deliberation records was denied, favoring Ripple’s stance that such records hold crucial evidence in the ongoing litigation.