Brexit contingency plan sees crypto exchange Coinbase come to Ireland

17 Oct 2018

Coinbase app. Image: sharafmaksumov/Depositphotos

The decision by Coinbase to open an Irish office was influenced by Brexit uncertainty, Coinbase UK CEO Zeeshan Feroz confirms.

Crypto exchange Coinbase has revealed it is to open a second European office in Ireland as part of a Brexit contingency plan. While it did not confirm the number of people it will hire at the new Dublin hub, its careers page shows that it is seeking applicants for customer support and compliance roles.

“When considering the location of our second European office, Dublin was the clear choice. It’s an English-speaking EU member state that boasts a diverse talent pool, entrepreneurial spirit and longstanding support for technological innovation,” said Zeeshan Feroz, UK CEO of Coinbase. Feroz went on to add that the opening of a Dublin office signals Coinbase’s “growing presence” in Europe. He added: “[It] will complement the operations of our London hub.”

The San Francisco-headquartered digital currency exchange was founded in 2012 and has since grown to be one of the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world. It currently only supports five cryptocurrencies – bitcoin, bitcoin cash, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic and Litecoin – but recently confirmed plans to massively expand its offering.

Just a month ago, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong stated to audiences at TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco that Coinbase aspires to become the New York Stock Exchange of crypto. The firm hopes its plans to acquire Keystone Capital will further this ambition, giving it an early advantage in the market for SEC-regulated trading of blockchain-based crypto assets.

Coinbase has operated in Europe since 2014 and has had an office in London since May 2017. The EU is the company’s fastest-growing market outside of the US.

Feroz, speaking to CNBC, confirmed that the uncertainty surrounding Brexit “played some part in the decision”. London’s once flourishing financial market is suffering death by 1,000 cuts in the wake of the historic decision by the UK to leave the EU. In the immediate aftermath, Morgan McKinley reported that financial services opportunities in the capital plummeted, and the situation has only continued to deteriorate since.

The greatest cut is yet to come, however, as the European Banking Authority prepares to up sticks and move from London to Paris once the March 2019 Brexit deadline arrives.

Coinbase app. Image: sharafmaksumov/Depositphotos

Eva Short was a journalist at Silicon Republic