Coinbase, a leading United States-based cryptocurrency exchange, has announced Ireland as its preferred European hub. This decision comes as the company seeks to obtain a license under the European Union’s latest Markets in Crypto-Assets Regulation (MiCA) through the Central Bank of Ireland.
Coinbase's announcement on October 19 to Cointelegraph revealed the company’s choice of Ireland as its base to operate within the MiCA framework. The forthcoming MiCA regulation, anticipated to be in effect by late 2024, allows Coinbase to access and serve a vast market of about 450 million people across the 27 European Union nations.
Such an expansive reach is facilitated under a single regulatory framework overseen by a single national supervisor. The selection of Ireland is hardly coincidental. Coinbase currently maintains both an e-money institution license and a virtual asset service provider (VASP) registration in the country.
Beyond that, it holds a crypto license in Germany and several other national registrations throughout the EU member states. Coinbase EMEA's vice president and regional managing director, Daniel Seifert, highlighted the reasons behind the decision, stating, “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”. Further emphasizing Ireland's prominence in the crypto regulatory domain, Seifert added, “Ireland is a leading jurisdiction in this space, and 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”.
A Commitment to Regulatory Alignment
The shift towards comprehensive regulatory compliance is evident in the words of Nana Murugesan, Coinbase's vice president for international and business development. In December 2022, Murugesan remarked on the profound impact of the European Union's political consensus on the MiCA framework.
She noted its importance as one of the most significant crypto regulatory blueprints on the global stage. Underscoring Coinbase's dedication to collaborating with leading financial institutions, she asserted, "Coinbase's VASP registration in Ireland demonstrates the company's commitment and collaboration with the Central Bank of Ireland."