Social investing platform eToro has just announced the acquisition of Firmo – a smart contract startup that enables derivatives to be tokenized “on any major blockchain.”
While the purchase amount was not disclosed, eToro co-founder and CEO Yoni Assia said that the move is aimed to “accelerate the growth of our tokenized assets offering.”
“The Firmo team has done ground-breaking work in developing practical applications for blockchain technology which will facilitate friction-less global trading. The adoption of smart contracts on the blockchain increases trust and transparency in financial services.”
Firmo’s has built a platform allowing deployment of financial contracts on different blockchains. It’s also developed a “formally verified, domain-specific” contract language called FirmoLang, according to eToro, which can be translated onto a number of blockchain platforms such as ethereum, EOS or NEO with the help of Firmo’s compiler.
The acquisition news comes soon after eToro launched a cryptocurrency trading platform and wallet service in the U.S. The firm said on March 7 that the new platform allows U.S. customers from 32 states and territories to trade 13 cryptocurrencies.
It also comes less than two months after rival blockchain investment app Abra announced that it would soon allow users to buy fractions of traditional stocks and ETFs. A minimum investment of $5 would “democratize access to investment opportunities,” the firm said at the time.
Describing eToro’s expansion so far as “largely organic,” Assia said his firm is seeking to acquire businesses that can “help us stay at the forefront of fintech innovation.”
“We believe that the market is particularly exciting at the moment,” he added.
Firmo will act as an innovation unit within eToro, tasked with bringing about the firm’s goal of “tokenizing all assets on eToro,” according to the announcement. The team’s work will include R&D on infrastructure for asset tokenization and trading processes on a blockchain infrastructure.
Firmo CEO and founder Dr. Omri Ross commented:
“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.”
Yoni Assia image via eToro