Israeli multi-asset investment platform eToro has today announced that it has acquired Danish company Firmo, which enables smart contracts for derivatives to be securely enabled on any major blockchain. No financial details were disclosed.
eToro cofounder and CEO Yoni Assia said, "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."
Based in Tel Aviv, eToro, which was selected in 2013 by "Globes" as one of Israel's most promising start-ups, was founded in 2007 by brothers Yoni and Ronen Assia and David Ring with the vision of developing a platform that would open the financial markets to everyone by simplifying the user’s experience. eToro then developed a contracts for difference (CFD) trading platform and following the rise of popular social networks, the company decided to launch its own social investing platform called “OpenBook” in 2010. The company's platform allows trading in all assets including securities, foreign currencies and cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and has evolved further since the advent of blockchain.
Yoni Assia continued: "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 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.
Firmo founder and CEO Dr. Omri Ross 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.
Yoni Assia said, "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."
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on March 25, 2019
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