Amidst mounting regulatory threats on the home turf, Coinbase has announced its intention to locate its EU MiCA hub in Ireland, citing a supportive political environment for FinTech companies.
The latest move is part of Phase II of its highly ambitious “Go Broad, Go Deep” international market strategy, for which Coinbase has revealed having several plans afoot in other EU countries across 2024, including its recent announcement about a regional talent hub in Germany.
Coinbase’s Strategic Ireland Expansion
Coinbase said that choosing Ireland as its EU MiCA hub is expected to allow the firm to optimize its current operations and expand strategically across all 27 European member nations.
This move will expedite the exchange’s mission of introducing the next billion individuals to cryptocurrency, all while upholding the security of consumers’ assets and emphasizing regulatory compliance, according to its latest blog post,
Coinbase has formally applied for a license under the EU’s upcoming Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) regulation, scheduled to take effect by December 2024. The application was submitted to the Central Bank of Ireland. Since 2018, Coinbase has maintained an office in Dublin with approximately 100 employees.
Upon approval, the crypto exchange will obtain a comprehensive “MiCA license” in Ireland, facilitating the extension of its services to Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, and various other EU nations through a “passport” mechanism.
Mary Buckley, Executive Director at IDA Ireland, commented on the development,
“We welcome Coinbase’s intention to locate its European MiCA hub in Ireland, subject to CBI approval. This will build on the company’s existing presence here and signals Ireland’s attractiveness as a location for global financial services, a sector that continues to be a priority for IDA Ireland.”
Coinbase expressed its anticipation of collaborating with the Central Bank of Ireland during the MiCA authorization procedure.
Coinbase was sued by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in June. The financial regulator had accused the exchange of functioning illegally as a national securities exchange, broker, and clearing agency without registering.
This prompted Coinbase to ramp up its expansion efforts, with Europe being one of the top destinations. The crypto exchange has been eyeing European service offerings for quite some time. Reports indicate that Coinbase has been collaborating with the Austrian cryptocurrency exchange and trading platform Bitpanda to establish connections with European banks.