Coinbase has obtained an e-money license in Ireland, joining a growing number of crypto firms that have secured permission from the nation to offer financial services across the European Union.
The license will enable Coinbase, which keeps its non-US headquarters in London, to process payments, issue e-money, and handle electronic money wallets. The license, granted by the Irish central bank, gives it permission to operate throughout the EU.
The development also allows San Francisco-based exchange to operate under their legal entity name, which demonstrates how the crypto space is maturing and having a greater impact in the financial world.
“Europe represents a huge opportunity for Coinbase and today’s announcement is another positive step for us in the region. The approval from the Central Bank of Ireland will now enable us to expand our Irish operation and deliver a better product to customers across some of our fastest-growing markets. It will also allow us to secure passporting for our customers across the EU and EEA,” Coinbase said in a statement.
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UK bank cut ties to Coinbase
The crypto markets woke up in August to the news that Coinbase’s banking relationship was under threat in its largest market in Europe. Shortly after, an online report started circulating and suggested that the crypto exchange found a replacement UK banking partner in ClearBank.
The most noticeable hurdle, however, was losing access to Faster Payments, which simplifies the process of topping up and withdrawing money from Coinbase.
Coinbase’s UK subsidiary already holds an e-money license by the UK’s FCA, which was a precursor to getting the banking relationship with British banks. Coinbase was also the first crypto exchange to use Britain’s Faster Payments Scheme, a network used by the traditional financial industry. Previously, UK users had to transfer pounds into euros and go through an Estonian bank, which could take a few days.
Coinbase opened an office in Dublin back in 2018, joining the growing ranks of financial firms with major British businesses that were looking to keep rights to sell services in EU countries even after Brexit.