eToro Acquires Smart Contract Infrastructure Provider Firmo

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Global multi-asset investment platform eToro has acquired Firmo, a company that enables smart contracts for derivatives to be securely enabled on any major blockchain – for an undisclosed amount.

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 “The acquisition of Firmo 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,” stated Yoni Assia, Co-founder and CEO of eToro.

“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. We believe that the market is particularly exciting at the moment.”

“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. We are incredibly proud and excited that they will be joining the eToro family. We believe that together we have a very bright future and look forward to pursuing our shared goal to become the first truly global service provider allowing people to trade, invest and save.”

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

Dr. Omri Ross, CEO and Founder of Firmo 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.”

Firmo’s underlying technology provides a platform to securely deploy financial contracts and can work with any blockchain. They have developed a formally verified, domain-specific contract language ‘FirmoLang’ which, with the support of Firmo’s compiler can be translated onto a number of blockchain platforms such as Ethereum, EOS or NEO.

eToro was founded in 2007 with the vision of opening up the global markets so that everyone can trade and invest in a simple and transparent way. While this core vision remains the same, new technology namely blockchain, means that the eToro business has, and will continue to, evolve.

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About Richard Kastelein

Founder and publisher of industry publication Blockchain News (EST 2015), a partner at ICO services collective Token.Agency ($750m+ and 90+ ICOs and STOs), director of education company Blockchain Partners (Oracle Partner) – Vancouver native Richard Kastelein is an award-winning publisher, innovation executive and entrepreneur. He sits on the advisory boards of some two dozen Blockchain startups and has written over 1500 articles on Blockchain technology and startups at Blockchain News and has also published pioneering articles on ICOs in Harvard Business Review and Venturebeat. Irish Tech News put him in the top 10 Token Architects in Europe.

Kastelein has an Ad Honorem - Honorary Ph.D. and is Chair Professor of Blockchain at China's first Blockchain University in Nanchang at the Jiangxi Ahead Institute of Software and Technology. In 2018 he was invited to and attended University of Oxford's Saïd Business School for Business Automation 4.0 programme.  Over a half a decade experience judging and rewarding some 1000+ innovation projects as an EU expert for the European Commission's SME Instrument programme as a startup assessor and as a startup judge for the UK government's Innovate UK division.

Kastelein has spoken (keynotes & panels) on Blockchain technology in Amsterdam, Antwerp, Barcelona, Beijing, Brussels, Bucharest, Dubai, Eindhoven, Gdansk, Groningen, the Hague, Helsinki, London (5x), Manchester, Minsk, Nairobi, Nanchang, Prague, San Mateo, San Francisco, Santa Clara (2x), Shanghai, Singapore (3x), Tel Aviv, Utrecht, Venice, Visakhapatnam, Zwolle and Zurich.

He is a Canadian (Dutch/Irish/English/Métis) whose writing career has ranged from the Canadian Native Press (Arctic) to the Caribbean & Europe. He's written occasionally for Harvard Business Review, Wired, Venturebeat, The Guardian and Virgin.com, and his work and ideas have been translated into Dutch, Greek, Polish, German and French. A journalist by trade, an entrepreneur and adventurer at heart, Kastelein's professional career has ranged from political publishing to TV technology, boatbuilding to judging startups, skippering yachts to marketing and more as he's travelled for nearly 30 years as a Canadian expatriate living around the world. In his 20s, he sailed around the world on small yachts and wrote a series of travel articles called, 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Seas' travelling by hitching rides on yachts (1989) in major travel and yachting publications. He currently lives in Groningen, Netherlands where he's raising three teenage daughters with his wife and sailing partner, Wieke Beenen.

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