Once Coinbase has a MiCA licence in Ireland, it will be able to offer its crypto services in Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands and other EU countries.
Coinbase, the Nasdaq-listed crypto exchange, has chosen Dublin as its main EU regulatory hub as it aims to expand in Europe amid growing scrutiny in the US.
The company has submitted its application for a licence with the Central Bank of Ireland under the EU’s new Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) regulation, according to CNBC.
“Delighted to announce today that we have chosen to apply for our EU MiCA license in Ireland,” Daniel Seifert, vice-president and regional managing director of EMEA at Coinbase, wrote in a LinkedIn post.
“The regulatory clarity MiCA provides to the industry is hugely welcome and shows that the region is recognising the economic potential that emerging technology can provide.”
Coinbase employs about 100 people in Ireland and has had an office in Dublin since 2018. It secured regulatory approval to operate as a virtual asset service provider in Ireland last December, weeks after it announced Cormac Dinan as country leader for Ireland.
Earlier this year, it updated its subscription service – called Coinbase One – and expanded access to Ireland, eyeing a European expansion.
According to CNBC, once Coinbase’s application is approved by the EU, it will have a universal “MiCA licence” in Ireland, which it can then use to “passport” its services into Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands and other EU countries.
“We’re focused on bringing the benefits of crypto to the world, and are excited about regulatory clarity in the EU,” said Nana Murugesan, vice-president of International and Business Development at Coinbase.
“Choosing Ireland as our MiCA hub allows us to leverage our existing operations and scale growth across the 27 EU member countries in the best possible way, accelerating our efforts to onboard the next 1bn people into crypto while ensuring consumers’ assets are secure and that compliance is prioritised.”
This comes in the backdrop of an ongoing legal battle between Coinbase and the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
In early June, the SEC sued the crypto exchange platform for allegedly operating as an “unregistered national securities exchange, broker and clearing agency”.
According to the complaint filed in a New York court, Coinbase allegedly made “billions of dollars unlawfully” by facilitating the trading of crypto asset securities since at least 2019.
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