US crypto start-up Ripple seeks Irish licence to expand into EU

21 Nov 2022

Image: © callisto/

The crypto platform aims to become a virtual asset service provider in Ireland so it can passport its services to the rest of the EU.

US crypto platform Ripple is seeking a licence to operate in Ireland as part of plans to expand in the European market, CNBC reports.

Ripple general counsel Stuart Alderoty told CNBC that the crypto start-up already has two employees in Ireland.

The company is now seeking a virtual asset service provider (VASP) licence from the Central Bank of Ireland so it can provide crypto services here. If it gets this licence, Ripple then plans to passport its services to the rest of the EU.

The company is pushing to move its operations out of the US due to an ongoing legal dispute with the country’s Securities and Exchange Commission. Alderoty told CNBC that Ripple’s “customers and its revenue are all driven outside of the US, even though we still have a lot of employees inside of the US”.

VASP registration was introduced in Ireland last year. It requires the Central Bank to review virtual asset firms to ensure they have appropriate procedures around anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism.

In July, cryptocurrency exchange Gemini said it was the first company to receive VASP registration in Ireland, following a “thorough review” of its security and compliance programmes.

Gemini, the US crypto business founded by the Winklevoss twins, launched its services in Ireland in October. This allowed customers to open an account and purchase crypto on its platform.

Along with VASP registration, Ripple also plans to file an application for an electronic money licence in Ireland.

Ripple’s decision to expand into Europe comes after the collapse of the crypto exchange platform FTX, which has sent shockwaves across the global industry.

Alderoty told CNBC that FTX’s bankruptcy was “a call to action for responsible economic centres to work to get it right”.

10 things you need to know direct to your inbox every weekday. Sign up for the Daily Brief, Silicon Republic’s digest of essential sci-tech news.

Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic