Coinbase Receives E-Money License From the Central Bank of Ireland
Coinbase has secured a new legal foothold in Europe. The San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange has received an e-money license from the Bank of Ireland, which it can potentially use to continuing serving its customers across the continent, in case Brexit causes any disruptions.
Coinbase announced over the weekend that the cryptocurrency exchange has been granted an e-money license by the Central Bank of Ireland. This is the second such European regulatory approval the company has obtained, as in March 2018 it received an e-money license from the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
When Coinbase opened the Dublin office exactly a year ago, they said the local team would complement the company’s operations in London. Now, being one of just a few companies to receive the Irish e-money license, they can also rely on the new Ireland team to legally serve clients across Europe. This option could be particularity useful if a no-deal Brexit affects the acceptance of the British license by regulators on the continent.
“The approval from the Central Bank of Ireland will now enable us to expand our Irish operation and deliver a better product to customers across some of our fastest-growing markets. It will also allow us to secure passporting for our customers across the EU and EEA,” stated Zeeshan Feroz, the UK CEO of Coinbase. “We are committed to ensuring that our customers have the same safeguarding and security as any regulated financial institution, and the approval of a second European regulatory authority demonstrates our position as the world’s most trusted cryptocurrency platform.”
Ireland to Become Next Crypto Industry Hub?
Ireland has been very succusful in attracting multinational tech giants such as Apple, Google and Facebook to operate from its jurisdiction by offering them one of the most attractive tax regimes in Europe. The approval of Coinbase by the Irish central bank might be an indication that the country is open to becoming a launchpad for the European market to the digital assets industry as well.
The CEO of IDA Ireland, the state sponsored agency responsible for the attraction of foreign direct investment into the country, Martin Shanahan, commented: “Coinbase’s choice of Dublin for this operation reinforces the strength of Ireland as a destination for financial services companies, providing a consistent, certain, pro-enterprise policy environment for businesses to grow and thrive.”
Coinbase has also been busy recently securing its legal position across the pond. About two weeks ago it led a group of digital finance companies in the formation of the Crypto Rating Council, a member-operated organization created to help market participants comply with U.S. federal securities laws. The other founding members of this industry body are Anchorage, Bittrex, Circle, DRW Cumberland, Genesis, Grayscale Investments and Kraken. The purpose of the council is to provide a joint assessment of whether a specific token should be considered a security under American law.
What do you think about Coinbase getting an e-money license from the Bank of Ireland? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
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Avi Mizrahi is an economist and entrepreneur who has been covering Bitcoin as a journalist since 2013. He has spoken about the promise of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology at numerous financial conferences around the world, from London to Hong-Kong.