U.S. cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has officially chosen Ireland as the location for its European MiCA (Markets in Crypto-Assets) hub, marking a significant step in its ongoing international expansion efforts.

MiCA, set to apply to crypto asset service providers by the end of 2024, will enable Coinbase to serve a vast market of 450 million people across 27 countries under a single regulatory framework and national supervision.

The recent adoption of MiCA by EU policymakers is seen as a pivotal moment for the cryptocurrency industry in the region. The regulatory clarity provided by the framework underscores the region’s recognition of the potential offered by emerging technologies.

Favorable environment

Coinbase said Ireland’s favorable political environment and robust regulatory infrastructure for financial technology companies were key factors in its decision.

The company already maintains operational structures in Ireland and benefits from access to a deep talent pool with expertise in financial services and cutting-edge technologies.

Minister of State at the Department of Finance Jennifer Carroll MacNeill expressed her enthusiasm for Coinbase’s commitment to Ireland, stating:

“I welcome Coinbase’s continued commitment to Ireland and wish them every success in locating their EU MiCA entity here.”

She also highlighted the government’s efforts to attract compliant, innovative, and risk-aware businesses to the country’s thriving international financial services industry.

Go Broad, Go Deep

Setting up a MiCA hub is part of Coinbase’s Phase II strategy, known as “Go Broad, Go Deep,” which focuses on expanding its presence in international markets.

Coinbase holds an e-money institution license and Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) registration in Ireland, a crypto license in Germany, and several national registrations across other major EU member states, including Italy, the Netherlands, and Spain.

The European Commission’s Eurobarometer reports that crypto adoption across the region averages 10%. Meanwhile, roughly 11% of Irish adults are already invested in digital assets.

Coinbase’s primary goal is to bring the benefits of cryptocurrencies to a global audience, and selecting Ireland as its EU MiCA hub allows the company to leverage its existing infrastructure and accelerate growth across all 27 European member countries.

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