Category Archives: Dublin

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Coinbase Secures Ireland Office as Brexit Safety Net

On Monday, major cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase announced the opening of a new office in Ireland’s capital of Dublin. The move is said to prevent any risks to the company associated with the UK leaving the European Union (EU).

With the UK scheduled to break off from the EU and possibly its entire regulatory framework, Coinbase has been forced to relocate its European hub from its London offices, although the London branches will remain in place to service the UK. According to Coinbase, the EU was its fasted growing market in 2017 and Ireland was most well equipped to provide the expertise needed to take this on.

Ireland’s Minister for Financial Services and Insurance, Michael D’Arcy T.D, praised the cryptocurrency exchange’s decision, saying it is a reflection of the country’s growing competitiveness in the financial services industry.

Speaking to UK-based news outlet the Guardian, Coinbase’s UK CEO Zeeshan Feroz said that in the case of a so-called hard Brexit that sees the UK leaving the European Customs Union, the exchange cannot risk not being able to provide the same level of service to customers located in Europe.

Feroz added that in addition to providing a Brexit contingency plan, the Dublin office will be well-placed to benefit the burgeoning Irish cryptocurrency economy and provide a number of skilled tech jobs, alongside growing the national technology sector.

While the Dublin branch assuming the role as EU leader may come as a blow to the UK, Feroz believes that there is a way the government can make Brexit work in its favor for the cryptocurrency industry.

”I am of the view today that there is an opportunity for Britain post-Brexit to perhaps take the lead in offering “balanced regulation” for the sector,” he told the Guardian, adding “In general, and outside of Brexit, I think crypto should be regulated as a service. There are businesses out there like ours that handle billions of dollars or pounds every day.”

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Coinbase Continues Expansion with Eyes on Irish Republic

San Francisco-based cryptocurrency giant Coinbase has revealed that it is considering the Irish Republic as its next push to expand local markets around the globe.

Dublin has been cited as the exchange’s next target and to that end has already begun an employment drive in the city taking on customer support analysts, a compliance officer and an office manager.

The Irish state development agency, IDA, is currently supporting the Coinbase plan for the capital. This support is in keeping with IDA statements earlier this year which were very supportive of cryptocurrency.

The state body, IDA Ireland, is the agency responsible for the attraction and development of foreign direct investment in Ireland. Its new initiative, established by the Irish Blockchain Expert Group, an IDA Ireland-led forum, has been set up to involve Irish companies working with blockchain technology towards innovation and promotion of the republic.

Ireland currently has a very forward-thinking approach to blockchain technology. Recently, National University of Ireland (NUI) authors of a study on the adoption of blockchain approached the government to promote a more widespread use of the technology in the country.

Both IDA and Coinbase have declined to comment on the move, although it appears Coinbase has a clear strategy for Dublin, incorporating the local Coinbase Ireland Limited recently and installing four directors from the US-based parent company. However, an IDA spokesman commented recently before the move, that:

“We regard blockchain as an area with huge potential and we are seeing great interest among IDA Ireland’s client base. This initiative will enhance the blockchain industry in Ireland and our position as a global blockchain centre of excellence.”

It appears that IDA also sees the potential of extending this initiative to major players in the cryptocurrency sector, not a view shared by some of the country’s major banks. The Irish co-founder of Eircoin complained recently that he feels that the Banking and Payments Federation of Ireland (BPFI) is discriminating against crypto-related accounts.

He praised IDA for their work on promoting cryptocurrency in Ireland while pointing an accusing finger at the BPFI and their continued accusations of the misuse of Bitcoin, which he suggested reeked of “regulatory capture”. He said it suggested that if Bitcoin sellers were involved in terrorist financing, the law would intervene, accusing banks of intervening where they did not belong.

 

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Ethereum Co-Founder Joe Lubin: Blockchain and Crypto Can Transform Society

Ethereum co-founder Joseph Lubin believes blockchain will have the same kind of impact in the future as the internet had in the late nineties, writes Business Insider. The co-founder of ConsenSys was speaking at the MoneyConf in Dublin where the blockchain company has opened its new office.

Lubin made it clear that he was looking for blockchain to make a lasting impact: “This technology is so profound, it’s going to do so many amazing things for economic, social, and political systems worldwide… We’ve really no concern that the ecosystem or the technology is in real danger.”

He went on to compare current activity fintech space to the dot-com boom of the late 90s, a period of extreme growth and intense activity in the usage and adaptation of the internet. Lubin suggested there was clearly a parallel today, given the same degree of high investment coupled with high gains and losses in cryptocurrency activity, according to the success of company projects.

The entrepreneur argued that the growth of the internet was mirrored today by current developments in the space, as cryptocurrencies and their underlying technology were repeating history:

“There was a tremendous amount of creative destruction in the dotcom era that laid the foundation and taught all of us how to build an effective internet, an effective world wide web, and really transform society. I think that we will see dynamics like that in place in the blockchain space.”

He was clear in his views that although scams are clearly not welcome, they don’t impact of the overall image of the industry, and that the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) was right in taking these issues on in order to clean up the space. He put the crypto “bad-actor syndrome” down to the failings of human nature and the fact that cryptocurrency investment was open for all.

Lubin pointed to the West in terms of where some of the most progressive movements in the industry were originating, citing the US and Europe as the major source of innovation.

 

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Ireland Lines Up to Become “Global Blockchain Center of Excellence” with New Initiative

IDA Ireland has announced that it wants to promote the Irish Republic as an ideal location for international businesses focused on blockchain, according to The Irish Times.

The state body is the agency responsible for the attraction and development of foreign direct investment in Ireland. Its new initiative, established by the Irish Blockchain Expert Group, an IDA Ireland-led forum, has been set up to involve companies working with blockchain technology towards promotion of the republic as a space for business for overseas companies.

Ireland currently has a forward-thinking approach to blockchain technology. Recently National University of Ireland (NUI) authors of a study on the adoption of blockchain approached the government to promote a more widespread use of the technology in the country.

One of the findings of that study showed that only 40% of companies in Ireland had embraced blockchain technology, which the researchers felt was relatively low, despite Ireland’s 13th position on Bloomberg’s 2018 Innovation Index, with high productivity scores and advanced IT infrastructure.

The latest initiative started by the Irish Blockchain Expert Group is also backed by the department of finance, Enterprise Ireland and Consensys, a company established by Joe Lubin, one of the co-founders of Ethereum.

Consensys has said that it plans to open a new Dublin-based innovation studio that is to include a development lab where engineers will build and deliver Ethereum-based blockchain platforms and products.

IDA’s chief information officer said of the new project:

“We regard blockchain as an area with huge potential and we are seeing great interest among IDA Ireland’s client base. This initiative will enhance the blockchain industry in Ireland and our position as a global blockchain centre of excellence.”

Irish based startups, AidTech and Arc-Net, have recently developed solutions built on blockchain technology and Deloitte has a dedicated blockchain laboratory in Dublin. Enterprise Ireland has also announced a new EUR 750,000 competitive start fund for companies working in blockchain and related technologies in the republic.

 

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