Crypto Exchange Coinbase Chooses Ireland as EU MiCA Hub

U.S. cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has selected Ireland as the main regulatory hub for its operations across the European Union. The company hopes to obtain a license in Ireland that will allow it to provide services in EU member states under the pan-European Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) law.

Coinbase Bets on EU Growth Amid Regulatory Uncertainty and Pressure in US

America’s leading crypto exchange, Coinbase, announced it has chosen Ireland as its “MiCA hub” in the European Union. The trading platform said the decision is part of the realization of the second phase of its “Go Broad, Go Deep” strategy for international expansion.

Coinbase currently holds an e-money institution license and a virtual asset service provider (VASP) registration in Ireland as well as licenses and registrations in other EU countries. It has also applied for a MiCA license with the Central Bank of Ireland.

When it’s granted, the latter will permit the exchange to offer its services across the Union, operating under a single license and regulator. MiCA, which was adopted earlier this year, is set to enter into force in the member states by the end of next year.

“Due to our existing operational structure in Ireland, we have access to deep talent pools with significant expertise in both financial services and innovative new technologies,” said Coinbase which has an office in Dublin and considers Ireland a leading jurisdiction in the crypto space.

In the U.S., Coinbase has been engaged in a legal battle with the Securities and Exchange Commission which has accused it and other major crypto platforms like of illegally trading unregistered securities. The exchange has been among those in the industry calling for introducing dedicated legislation rather than applying existing U.S. laws to crypto assets through courts.

The American crypto giant has welcomed the adoption of MiCA, describing it as a pivotal moment for cryptocurrencies on the Old Continent, and the clarity it provides for the industry that “shows that the region is recognizing the potential that emerging technology can provide.”

In the announcement, Coinbase noted that the average crypto adoption across the region currently stands at 10%, and in Ireland, 11% of the adults are invested in digital assets. The exchange expects the market in the European Union, with its population of 450 million, to grow in the future.

Coinbase’s Vice President for International and Business Development, Nana Murugesan, told CNBC this week that the exchange has been considering a number of member states for its hub since MiCA was passed into law. “It was a long decision making process and we’ve been very impressed with the engagement from Ireland throughout,” he emphasized, commenting on the company’s choice.

Do you expect other U.S. crypto platforms to focus their efforts on expanding business in Europe? Tell us in the comments section below.

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