Coinbase has added a new milestone to its strategy in Europe. On October 12, 2019, a statement from Zeeshan Feroz, the chief executive of the U.K. arm of Coinbase, announced that the platform had been able to acquire an e-money license in Ireland, making them “one of just a few companies” to achieve the feat.
The Central Bank of Ireland granted the license to Coinbase, which would allow the platform to expand its operations in Ireland and open the San Francisco-based exchange to the EU market.
Martin Shanahan, the chief executive of Irish development agency IDA Ireland, noted that this development shows the commitment of the Irish government to present the country as a tech hub.
“Coinbase’s choice of Dublin for this operation reinforces the strength of Ireland as a destination for financial services companies, providing a consistent, certain, pro-enterprise policy environment for businesses to grow and thrive.”
"Plan B for Brexit"
Coinbase opened its Dublin exchange on October 15, 2018. Feroz informed The Guardian, at the time, that Coinbase was hoping to leverage the vast pool of financial service talent in Ireland, while also adding that the Dublin office is the perfect contingency should the U.K. leave the EU.
“It is also a plan B for Brexit. As we plan for all eventualities, it’s important that we continue servicing our customers across Europe, and Ireland would be our preferred choice there if it comes to it,” the exchange boss said.
Now that it has been able to get an e-money license from the Irish government, things seem set for Coinbase to solidify its presence in the EU fintech market.
In March 2018, Coinbase secured an e-money license from the U.K.’s financial watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority. However, given the U.K.’s desire to leave the EU, the exchange’s operating license could be of little use on the continent.