Coinbase is gearing up for the launch of Europe’s Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) regulation by naming Ireland as its regulatory base of operations.
After already applying for its MiCA licence – which will remove the need to submit for various other licences in different European Union countries – this will allow Coinbase to seamlessly launch its services and products across other countries on the continent.
The cryptocurrency exchange set up an office in Dublin in 2018 and received regulatory clearance by the Central Bank of Ireland in December 2022 to operate as a virtual asset service provider.
Gaining a MiCA licence could prove pivotal to not just Coinbase but the rest of crypto companies looking to expand in the European market, due to the ability to hold a single licence to access 27 different EU countries.
MiCA is one of the first comprehensive crypto regulatory bills that aims to protect investors in the crypto market as well as establishing clear guidelines on how they deem crypto companies should operate under its jurisdiction. The bill was officially passed in April 2023 after the European Parliament voted in favour for its introduction.
Nana Murugesan, Vice President of International and Business Development at Coinbase, told CNBC: “As soon as MiCA was passed into law, and even before that, we’ve been considering a number of member states
“It was a long decision making process and we’ve been very impressed with the engagement from Ireland throughout.
“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 recognises the importance of a globally integrated business model, the way we are structured as a company, and also the potential of this innovative new technology.”
Coinbase has continued to remain active in Europe as it awaits its MiCA licence clearance. The exchange most recently became a registered crypto exchange and wallet provider in Spain.
Coinbase also has an electronic money institution licence in countries such as Ireland, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands.