Ripple Expands into Iceland with Crypto Trading Platform AcquisitionAuthor: Jimmy AkiLast Updated: 30 September 2019 Ripple Labs, the cryptocurrency firm behind the XRP crypto asset, has announced that it will be expanding its engineering capacity and venturing into new lands. Earlier this week, an official blog post revealed that the San Francisco-based cryptocurrency operator had acquired Algrim, a crypto trading firm based out of Iceland. Per the news medium, the Algrim team will provide Ripple with six new engineers, all of whom will work primarily on providing integration with partner cryptocurrency exchanges. Making better cross-border payments In addition to the exchange integration, the engineers from Algrim will also reportedly work on expanding xRapid, Ripple’s cross-border payment system, and on-demand liquidity product. The product allows companies to transfer funds between currencies, with XRP as an intermediary currency. Essentially, these companies will no longer need to open bank accounts in the countries where they would like to send money to, thus speeding up the process and taking care of certain lags that have plagued traditional cross-border payment methods. On the move, Amir Sarhangi, the Vice President of Products, reportedly said, “It’s about expertise. This team hits the ground running as opposed to building out a team that has to gain this knowledge.” He added that the company would be hoping to beef up its engineering team, as it looks to expand beyond its current physical presence in San Francisco, New York, London, Mumbai, Singapore, São Paulo, and Sydney.xRapid gets bigger, tooThe acquisition is coming off the heels of Ripple’s acquisition of the Logos Network, a payment platform which will reportedly help it develop decentralized financial (DeFi) products. The Logos Network is a blockchain-based payment platform which has the potential to boost scalability and speed significantly. In a blog post, it was announced that xSpring, the investment arm of the Ripple service, has already on-boarded the network already and will be making use of its services going forward. Now that they are a part of xSpring, the Logos team will work on developing a DeFi system that will make use of XRP as its core. The acquisition will also see Michael Zochowski, the founder and chief executive of the Logos Network, take charge of the DeFi product development team at Ripple. On the acquisition, Zochowski expressed his excitement at the prospect of developing several projects that will affect various levels of the xSpring platform, while also reiterating their focus on developing the applicability of DeFi applications “We continue to strongly believe that the future of payments and finance lies in blockchain and decentralization,” he added.Ripple has continued to build its core services, showing that while XRP might not get the surge in value or market cap that holders might have hoped, the asset (as well as the company) remains valuable and relevant in a rapidly changing world. With cross-border payments set to experience a major shift (thanks in part to Libra and the responses that have come from that asset’s prospective launch), Ripple Labs seems to be positioning itself to corner a significant market.