eToro Acquires Smart Contract Infrastructure Provider Firmo

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Image via eToro, Facebook
Image via eToro, Facebook

Social trading and multi-asset brokerage company eToro has acquired Firmo, a smart contract infrastructure provider, for an undisclosed amount, eToro announced on Monday. The company said the acquisition aims to bring it “one step closer to becoming the first truly global service provider allowing people to trade, invest and save.”

The Firmo team will act as an internal innovation unit and will be tasked with bringing to life the goal of tokenizing all assets on the eToro platform. This will involve research and development of a blockchain-based infrastructure for the representation of assets and the execution of trade processes.

Commenting on the acquisition, Yoni Assia, co-founder and CEO of eToro, said the deal “will enable eToro to accelerate the growth of our tokenized assets offering.”

“Blockchain and the tokenization of assets will play a major role in the future of finance. We believe that in time all investible assets will be tokenized and that we will see the greatest transfer of wealth ever onto the blockchain,” Assia added.

eToro, a brokerage company providing a social trading platform supporting both traditional assets and crypto-assets, established its digital asset subsidiary eToroX last year. eToroX is responsible for “defining and executing eToro’s vision around blockchain and the development of cryptoassets.” In particular, it is building a product range and infrastructure centered on tokenized assets.

Today, eToroX manages eToro’s newly launched wallet and will run the company’s forthcoming crypto-assets exchange set for global launch later this year.

eToroX was granted a distributed ledger technology (DLT) license from the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission (GFSC) in December 2018.

“While our expansion has been largely organic to date, as the eToro business continues to grow we are on the lookout to acquire businesses which will help us stay at the forefront of fintech innovation,” Assia said. “We believe that the market is particularly exciting at the moment.”

Founded in 2017, Danish startup Firmo provides a platform to securely deploy financial contracts and which can work with any blockchain. The startup has developed a formally verified, domain-specific contract language, called FirmoLang, which, with the support of Firmo’s compiler can be translated onto a number of blockchain platforms such as Ethereum, EOS or NEO.

Omri Ross, CEO and founder of Firmo and an assistant professor at the University of Copenhagen, said:

“The advent of crypto and the blockchain technology that underpins it has driven an explosion in financial innovation, however, a number of challenges are preventing mass adoption and integration into legacy infrastructure.

Our goal is to enable our users to trade any asset globally with instant settlement by tokenizing assets and executing all essential trade processes on the blockchain.”

eToro’s acquisition of Firmo comes as the company continues to expand its crypto-asset offering, announcing simultaneously the addition of Tron’s TRX token. TRX, eToro’s 15th crypto-asset available on the eToro platform, joins Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, XRP, Litecoin, Ethereum Classic, Dash, Stellar, NEO, EOS, Cardano, IOTA, BNB and ZCASH.

Tron, a blockchain project seeking to “decentralize the Internet,” made headlines in 2018 when it announced the acquisition of BitTorrent, one of the largest peer-to-peer sharing platforms in the world with more than 100 million active users.

Earlier this year, BitTorrent launched BTT, a utility token based on the Tron protocol. The move marked BitTorrent’s first step in tokenizing its content sharing ecosystem.