Coinbase aiming for highly-regarded EU licence for wider expansion

credit: Shutterstock
credit: Shutterstock

In a bid to expand its existing European presence, Coinbase is seeking a Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID) licence. 

The cryptocurrency exchange announced it is in the process of acquiring the licence as part of its plans to increase access of its derivatives products to eligible European markets. 

Coinbase hailed the MiFID licence as “one of the world’s most highly regarded licensing regimes governing investment services and activities”, one that would support and grow the strong interest it has seen in its derivatives offerings, according to the exchange. 

The crypto company’s ‘Go Broad, Go Deep’ strategy has seen Coinbase expand to countries across Europe with regulatory clearances in Germany, Italy and Ireland, among others, having launched new operations and derivatives products in several new markets. 

In accordance with this strategy, Coinbase has set itself a goal of meeting its ‘Five-point Global Compliance Standard’ aimed at achieving regulatory compliance and excellence to establish itself a leader in the field. 

The five elements that comprise the standard are a vetted and trusted team, industry-leading AML and KYC standards, global sanctions enforcement, governance best practices and ongoing rigorous monitoring and reporting. 

The compliance standard is designed by over 400 compliance and legal professionals from those who have previously worked at the FBI, DOJ, Scotland Yard and major financial institutions. 

Coinbase notes it remains a “long road ahead” before it can complete its MiFID licence acquisition, but remains confident in its ability to expand its derivatives products across Europe. 

The continent has been of particular interest for Coinbase, praising the EU’s approach to crypto regulation as the Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) – the first comprehensive crypto regulatory legislation – comes into effect this year. 

In preparation for MiCA’s arrival, Coinbase named Ireland as its regulatory hub of operations, allowing for a seamless approach to offering its products and services across EU markets it is active in. 

Nana Murugesan, Vice President of International and Business Development at Coinbase, hailed not just the approach to crypto regulation in Europe, but also those of other international jurisdictions, as enabling the company to increase its international presence.  

Murugesan said last September: “Most of the world is stepping up to the plate and providing clarity and guidance for the crypto industry. In the last year alone we have obtained VASP registrations in Italy, Ireland, and the Netherlands, as well as in-principle approval and launching in Singapore, launching in Brazil, and, most recently, launching in Canada. 

“Working with regulators in these jurisdictions is a fundamental step in our strategy to grow internationally and continue our momentum.”