Ripple seeks Irish licence as a ruling on SEC case looms

abdelaziz Fathi

Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse told CNBC that the US-based company filed with the Central Bank of Ireland, the country’s financial services regulator, for a licence to serve as a Virtual Asset Service Provider.

Speaking in an interview last week, Ripple General Counsel Stuart Alderoty said that Ripple has two employees on the ground in Ireland. It is seeking a license from the Irish central bank so that it can “passport” its services throughout the European Union.

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

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

Gemini was the first company to receive the EMI license since October 2020. The crypto exchange first applied for the license earlier in 2020, following the footsteps of other well-known fintechs such as Coinbase, Stripe, Square and Meta. This further exposes its business to respectable jurisdictions when it comes to regulatory oversight.

The move comes as Ripple continues to consider alternative locations for its business amid ongoing regulatory woes in the US over its cryptocurrency.

Brad Garlinghouse, Ripple’s CEO, said last year that the company is considering a move away from its home base in San Francisco amid regulatory quagmire around its XRP token. However, there is no indication yet from the $10 billion fintech company that such a move is going ahead soon.

“Essentially, our customers and its revenue are all driven outside of the U.S., even though we still have a lot of employees inside of the U.S.,” he added.

Ripple is yet to decide where to pick up its new mother base, but the firm has already set up a regional headquarter in Dubai.

Garlinghouse expects that the court case between Ripple and SEC could last another three to four months and would end in the first half of 2023. He also revealed that Ripple would consider a settlement if the SEC agrees that XRP is not a security.

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