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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