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This is not the exchange’s first license in Ireland as Coinbase has been active in Ireland since 2018.
The Central Bank of Ireland has issued a VASP license to the crypto exchange Coinbase. The license will cover two Coinbase subsidiaries: Coinbase Europe Limited and Coinbase Custody International Limited.
While the first provides crypto trading services for Europeans, the latter provides custodial services for institutional clients. Through the subsidiaries, Coinbase will provide products and services to individuals and institutions in Europe and internationally.
The VASP license was first introduced in 2021. It requires digital asset firms to comply with the Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) Act 2010. Gemini was the first crypto trading firm to register as a VASP in July 2022
As part of the approval process, the regulators reviewed Coinbase’s money laundering and anti-terrorism process. Ireland’s central bank issued the license after due satisfaction with Coinbase’s system. Following the approval, the firm appointed a new country director, Cormac Dinan, to oversee the firm’s operations in Ireland.
VASP License Approval Signals Commitment to Ireland
Nana Murugesan, vice president for international and business development at Coinbase, believes the approval underlines the firm’s commitment to collaborating with the apex bank of Ireland.
“Coinbase views regulation of the industry as an enabler for crypto’s growth, setting clear ground rules that will create an environment which encourages innovation and strengthens trust in the sector,” she concluded.
Murugesan also argued that the soon-to-be-launched MiCA framework is one of the major crypto regulation frameworks globally.
This is not the exchange’s first license in Ireland as Coinbase has been active in Ireland since 2018. In 2019, Coinbase secured an e-money license. The EMI license allowed Coinbase to issue digital money and offer payment services to customers across the EU and European Economic Area.
The company is also in different stages of registration and licensing in various markets globally. It also has hubs in the United Kingdom and Germany.
Meanwhile, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong has called for increased regulation of the crypto space. Armstrong noted that regulatory authorities should begin with stablecoin issuers, exchanges, and custodians. Armstrong believes these centralized actors harbor the most risk for consumers, while decentralized actors like DeFi and DAO already have their protective mechanisms.