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Coinbase Chooses Ireland as Main European Hub as Regulatory Pressure Continues in the US

Source: Adobe / Rafael Henrique

Digital asset exchange Coinbase is set to become a dominant player in the European market following the announcement of Ireland as its crypto hub in the continent.

The exchange unveiled plans on Oct 19 to make the country its operational and regulatory hub within the European Union (EU) as pressure from United States authorities persists.

In compliance with the Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) regulation, Coinbase has applied for an operational license in Ireland which it aims to use as a door to the entire continent. 

MiCA regulations allow an exchange to offer services to 27 EU member nations through a single license in a member country. 

Coinbase operates an office that is staffed with 100 employees and according to its International Vice President Nana Murugesan, the firm is confident to obtain the license and will be fully compliant for day one.

We are delighted to select Ireland as our MiCA hub. Ireland has a supportive political environment for fintech companies, as well as a globally respected regulator.” 

Europe key to Coinbase goals

The company disclosed its expansion plans for the continent based on the region’s push for regulatory clarity and crypto-friendly policies.

Currently, Coinbase is a virtual asset service provider (VASP) in Ireland holding an e-money institution license in the country, a digital asset license in Germany, and similar registrations in Italy, the Netherlands, and Spain

The company now seeks to tap into the market share of Europe with a population of over 450 million people and an emerging crypto market many observers believe to be more lucrative than the United States because of the latter’s regulatory turmoil.

Last month, the company published its international expansion plans to markets that are enacting clear rules for the sector citing Europe, Brazil, Singapore, Canada, etc as “near-term priorities.” 

The post stated that the exchange was in the latter stages of selecting a European hub that will see it expand products and services, and entire partnerships with banks and financial institutions in the region.

It was really important for us to choose a member state that is not only a sophisticated regulator with significant experience in regulating financial services but also recognizes the importance of a globally integrated business model.” 

MiCA is setting the stage for Europe 

Since MiCA was signed into law by the European Union, market participants have lauded the move as a landmark legislation targeted at bringing uniformity and efficiency throughout the region. 

In the United States, Coinbase continues to struggle with local authorities to determine crypto regulations in the country despite its lawsuit with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The SEC filed a lawsuit against the exchange in June alleging offering trading services to unregistered securities amongst others which the company vows to vigorously defend itself while hoping for better rule clarity in the future rather than seeking regulations in courts. 

Coinbase has expressed positivity on the back of its European plot adding “We look forward to working with regulators in Ireland, Germany, and beyond, to bring this industry to its full potential with the advent of MiCA.”