Coinbase Secures VASP License in France as It Continues Expansion in Europe

Coinbase Secures VASP License in France as It Continues Expansion in Europe

UTC by Tolu Ajiboye · 3 min read
Coinbase Secures VASP License in France as It Continues Expansion in Europe
Photo: Unsplash

Coinbase has officially received a license in France and can offer French users trading, custody, and several other related crypto services.

Major American crypto exchange Coinbase Global Inc (NASDAQ: COIN) has officially registered as a virtual asset service provider (VASP) in France. The exchange is fully permitted to handle crypto services in the countries, allowing it to continue its expansion into Europe.

Users in France can now buy or sell supported cryptocurrencies in legal tender or against other crypto assets, as well as use retail and institutional services, including custody. According to Coinbase’s EMEA Vice President and Regional Managing Director, Daniel Seifert, “achieving VASP status in France allows us to continue to grow globally in the best possible way, onboarding the next one billion people into crypto, while ensuring consumers’ assets are secure and that compliance is prioritized. France has a thriving Web3 ecosystem and we are excited at the prospect of contributing to it.”

A Coinbase announcement states that providing services in France was necessary because of general demand. The publication references a new survey that concluded that while 10% of French adults already own cryptocurrencies, 24% plan to buy, sell, or otherwise trade crypto assets sometime in the next 12 months. The survey also notes that 60% of adults in France are worried that the current global financial system unfairly supports powerful people, a nod to crypto’s decentralization.

Among other things, the announcement notes that France is an important country part of Coinbase’s “Go Deep, Go Broad” strategy of international expansion. Essentially, Coinbase wants to expand into several markets and remains “dedicated to partnering with high-bar regulators across jurisdictions” to achieve this aim. With France now achieved, Coinbase will likely soon move its sights to another country.

France Joins Coinbase’s List of MiCA Countries for Expansion

The exchange also notes its support for the EU’s Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) regulation. Although it already received a VASP license in Ireland last December, Coinbase recently selected the country as its central regulatory hub for the entire EU region. As of October, Coinbase has 100 employees in the country.

According to Coinbase, France has a reputation for innovation and technological advancements, with supportive government initiatives. The country’s reputation also includes a robust technological infrastructure, a thriving Web3 startup ecosystem, and a cultural heritage. These features make it a “global magnet for innovation”. Coinbase said:

“We are proud to be bringing a more fair, accessible, efficient, and transparent financial system enabled by crypto to France, and look forward to replicating our efforts across the globe in this incredibly important jurisdiction.”

Coinbase’s expansion strategy is prioritizing countries with defined regulations around the cryptocurrency sector.

In a September statement, Nana Murugesan, Coinbase’s Vice President of International and Business Development, and Tom Duff Gordon, Coinbase’s Vice President of International Policy, criticized the United States.

According to them, other countries in the world are making progress regarding crypto regulation and defining new crypto-forward rules. However, the US is instead using the “enforcement of existing rules and new regulation through the courts”. Coinbase warns that the US is sidelining itself while other countries move ahead. It argues that the country could lose its influence in the global financial ecosystem.

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