Coinbase approved to provide crypto trading, custody in Ireland

abdelaziz Fathi

Coinbase has received a licence to serve as a Virtual Asset Service Provider from the Central Bank of Ireland, the country’s financial services regulator.

Coinbase

That makes the Nasdaq-listed crypto exchange operator the second major digital asset hub to register its business in Ireland. The registration covers two entities: Coinbase Europe Limited, and Coinbase Custody International Limited, both of which are based in Ireland. Coinbase Europe provides crypto trading services to customers in Europe, while Coinbase Custody International provides crypto custody to institutional customers.

Coinbase’s Ireland operations will be headed by Cormac Dinan, who has nearly two decades of financial service and fintech experience.

The VASP registration was introduced in Ireland in 2021 and the regulation requires authorities to review firms to ensure they have appropriate procedures around anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism.

Setting up in Ireland will also provide access to the country’s finance and technology talent pools for Coinbase, though the country is not as lax as some other territories in Europe, such as Gibraltar or Malta.

From Dublin, Coinbase will be able to build and launch products and services for the European customer base. Additionally, the exchange operator can build strategic relationships with the global banks, particularly as the ongoing uncertainty around Brexit is still weighing on the ecosystem.

The Central Bank of Ireland, the country’s financial services regulator, has approved Coinbase to accept cryptocurrency transactions in euros and sterling. The platform allows retail customers and institutions to open a Coinbase account to deposit, trade, and custody around 100 cryptocurrencies, including DeFi tokens.

Irish Fintechs and other corporations can also access Coinbase’s crypto-native services like custody, clearing, trade execution, price discovery, and portfolio management services.

“Ireland has been a natural home for Coinbase in Europe, not least because of its talent pool and openness to industry, but also because of its EU membership and access. The recent EU political agreement on MiCA is a hugely positive step, offering one of the most globally significant regulatory frameworks for crypto. Our Irish regulatory approval demonstrates our commitment and collaboration with the Central Bank of Ireland. Coinbase views regulation of the industry as an enabler for crypto’s growth, setting clear ground rules that will create an environment which encourages innovation and strengthens trust in the sector,” said Nana Murugesan, Vice President, International and Business Development at Coinbase.

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