Digital asset exchange Zodia Markets has announced it has received its registration as a Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) from the Central Bank of Ireland (CBI). 

The crypto licence clearance allows the Standard Chartered-backed company to begin OTC trading in Ireland and offer its exchange services to institutional clients ahead of the European Union’s implementation of the Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) bill in 2024. 

Zodia Markets will now be able to expand on its progression through various European markets. The digital asset firm received a registration from the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority in July 2022. 

Michael Walsh, CEO of Zodia Markets Ireland and Head of Distribution, said: “VASP registration is an exciting development for Zodia Markets, and we’re delighted to be part of the burgeoning Irish digital assets ecosystem. 

“The registration will act as a launchpad for the business to enter the EU, a market where we see significant opportunity and demand for our offering, and it paves the way for future MiCA authorisation when the regulations are implemented. 

“We believe our VASP registration is further testament to the highest standards of compliance, security and risk procedures that run throughout the business, and which make us a trusted partner for our clients.”

Ireland has opened itself up to become a home for crypto companies over recent years, with crypto regulation in the EU becoming more defined with the incoming MiCA bill. 

Global crypto exchange Coinbase recently named Ireland as its regulatory hub after receiving its own registration by the CBI in December 2022, placing its faith in the country’s openness to crypto adoption and innovation. 

Jennifer Carroll MacNeill, Minister of State at the Department of Finance, added: “Zodia Markets join a growing number of firms operating in the regulated digital asset space in Ireland. 

“Along with the IDA, we want to continue to attract the best business, the compliant business, the strong risk management business to Ireland. This is because we want the businesses to emerge that will grow, expand and help provide a sustainable future as part of our broader successful international financial services industry which has been built up over the last thirty years.”