Crypto exchange Coinbase was granted permission by the Central Bank of Ireland to act as a Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP), according to an announcement on Dec. 21. The company’s operations in the country will be overseen by Cormac Dinan, a former employee of Crypto.com, Deloitte and Citigroup.
Under the VASP registration, Coinbase Ireland will be subject to the Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) Act 2010.
Two Coinbase entities are covered by the VASP registration: Coinbase Europe Limited and Coinbase Custody International Limited. The first provides crypto trading services to European customers, while Coinbase Custody International provides crypto custody services to institutional clients across the region.
Nana Murugesan, vice president for international and business development at Coinbase, commented on the approval:
“Our Irish regulatory approval demonstrates our commitment and collaboration with the Central 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.”
The executive also emphasized the importance of the European Union’s political agreement on Markets in Crypto-Assets framework (MiCA) in providing one of the most significant regulatory frameworks for crypto worldwide. According to Coinbase, additional registrations or license applications “are in progress in several major markets.”
In 2018, Coinbase started operating in Ireland after concerns about Brexit’s impacts on its business in EU countries. Since then, the company has been active in various activities, including market operations, compliance, cybersecurity, legal and customer experience. Coinbase obtained its first license in the country in 2019 when Ireland’s central bank granted it an e-money license, securing passporting for customers across the EU and European Economic Area (EEA).
Alongside Ireland, Coinbase has dedicated hubs in the United Kingdom and Germany; in the latter country, Coinbase is under scrutiny due to the outsourcing of some of its essential banking operations. In September, the company was registered with De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB), the central bank of the Netherlands, allowing the crypto exchange to offer its retail and institutional crypto products in the country.
Crypto trading platform Gemini was the first firm in the space to register as a VASP with the Central Bank of Ireland in July 2022.