Digital currency trader and lender Genesis expanded its trading and research capabilities Thursday by acquiring New York-based quantitative investment firm Qu Capital.
In an interview with CoinDesk, Genesis CEO Michael Moro said Qu Capital initially approached his company to use its trading and lending services early this year. Genesis then decided to acquire Qu Capital to integrate its in-house team and expand its trading and lending businesses.
Moro declined to disclose financial terms of the deal.
Some of the technologies in use by Qu Capital are needed by Genesis to build its internal team, according to Moro. For example, one of the patented products acquired is a smart order routing system to facilitate transactions between cryptocurrency exchanges and investors.
Upon the acquisition, Genesis has hired two of the three founders Lucas Schuermann, Edward Yu and one junior staff member out of the six-person team at Qu Capital.
“We have been very impressed with the Qu Capital team and believe they will provide key technology enhancements that will benefit our trading and lending clients,” Moro said.
Genesis struck its first acquisition deal as its crypto-related lending business saw $746 million in loans in the second quarter, increasing its total originations to $2.3 billion since its launch in March 2018. The company provides high-net-worth individuals and institutional investors with over-the-counter digital currency trading and leading services,.
Investment startup Qu Capital, founded in 2017, develop trading technology, including exchange connectivity, order routing, and execution tools.
“We are excited to add the Qu Capital tools, which incorporate machine learning and other advanced methodologies, into our existing technology stack and new product offerings,” Pat DeFrancesco, CTO of Genesis, said in a statement announcing the acquisition.
Kyoto University and the University of Tokyo have joined Ripple’s University Blockchain Research Initiative (UBRI) per CoinDesk Japan. The 2018 program now boasts 33 participants including Princeton University, Carnegie Mellon, and the National University of Singapore, among others.
Ripple committed $50 million toward the project to develop blockchain, cryptocurrency, and digital network programs. Funds sent to the Japanese universities will fuel undergraduate, graduate, and PhD studies. The University of Tokyo will also issue scholarships with the funds.
“University partners will continue to increase positive awareness of the transformative impact that blockchain technology will have across various industries,” SVP of Global Operations at Ripple Eric van Miltenburg said. “As the industry matures, the academic community plays a pivotal role in paving the road for innovative companies and entrepreneurs leveraging blockchain technologies and digital assets.”
Price of XRP over the last 30 days via CoinDesk data.
Academia continues to play a role in Ripple’s roadmap. The payment network announced commitments to the Brazilian Universities of São Paulo and Fundação Getulio Vargas in June as part of a greater South America investment strategy. At the time, Ripple reported it was adding two to three financial institutional partners to RippleNet per week in the region.
Competition for the firm is greater than ever, however. A recent testing report from dominant financial network SWIFT showed quickening settlement speeds. Test runs through 17 participants averaged 25 seconds per transfer. The fastest settlement took all of 13 seconds.
Still, quarterly sales for Ripple’s XRP are on the rise. Ripple’s Q2 numbers were up 50% with $251.51 million XRP sold. Following inflation criticisms, Ripple plans on slowing its sales across the board in Q3.