Coinbase (NASDAQ:), a prominent global cryptocurrency exchange, has outlined its growth strategy for the European Union, with significant plans for Ireland and Germany. As of Thursday, Coinbase has chosen Ireland to be its primary operational and regulatory hub within the EU. The firm is pursuing a license under the EU's new Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) regulation with the Central Bank of Ireland, aiming for operational readiness by December 2024.
The MiCA regulation provides a comprehensive regulatory framework for crypto companies across Europe. It offers protective measures for investors trading assets such as and , enabling firms to operate across all 27 EU member states with a single license. Currently, Coinbase holds an electronic money institution license and virtual asset service provider registration in Ireland, a crypto license in Germany, and national registrations in Italy, the Netherlands, and Spain.
Despite accusations from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that Coinbase operates an illegal securities venue, the company continues to focus on expanding in the European Union and other international markets. The firm disputes these allegations and hopes for formalized crypto legislation to avoid constant litigation.
On Wednesday, Coinbase announced its decision to designate Germany as a Regional Talent Hub. This move aligns with their global expansion strategy following the acquisition of the first-ever crypto custody and trading license from BaFin. Germany's clear regulatory framework, commitment to tech innovation, and thriving Web3 ecosystem were key factors in this decision.
Germany represents a significant market potential for Coinbase. As the largest EU member state with over 6% of its population invested in cryptocurrency, it offers considerable growth prospects. In 2023 alone, Germany's blockchain sector attracted $355 million in venture capital funding, accounting for 2.4% of global blockchain funding and 2.5% of global deals.
As part of their Phase II strategies, Coinbase intends to make operational and personnel announcements across key "go deep" European markets, including Ireland, Benelux and Nordics, Spain, and Italy. The company anticipates significant growth in the region, as Europe is the world's second-largest crypto economy. In Q2 2023, Coinbase reported global sales of $808.3 million, with up to 20% of its top-line revenue originating from Europe.
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