Home » Fintechs, be ready for a challenging new EU regulatory structure.

Fintechs, be ready for a challenging new EU regulatory structure.

One of the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, Coinbase, has raised its flag in Ireland to comply with European legislation.

by V. Sinclair
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Ireland will act as the “MiCA hub” for the upcoming Markets in Crypto (MiCA) regulation, which is a set of new EU crypto regulations.

Coinbase is doubling down on Ireland as a result. With licenses for its payment and cryptocurrency trading services in Ireland, the crypto behemoth is already under the Central Bank of Ireland’s supervision. Nonetheless, Coinbase stated that it will apply to be regulated in Ireland when the new EU-wide regulations fully take effect the following year.

It was another indication of Ireland Inc.’s trust in the nation as a location for establishing a fintech company in Europe.

Major corporations have been drawn to Ireland in recent years, but some have reversed their plans.

Recently, Coinbase announced that Ireland is where it is located for responding to European regulations. Image: Getty

The Sunday Independent revealed last week that Jack Dorsey’s payments app, Cash App, had withdrew its license application from the Central Bank of Ireland. Dorsey is a co-founder of Twitter.

Cash App withdrew its application earlier in the year, joining a series of businesses who had originally chosen Ireland as their EU base of operations to be regulated.

Following Brexit, Ireland was predicted to become the preferred home for numerous foreign fintech companies, especially those from the US and the UK, seeking to strengthen their European operations.

In a traditional scenario, a fintech startup would have started in the UK to be near London, the center of Europe’s financial industry, before growing throughout the continent.

I, Alviere Ireland served as the EU headquarters for a US fintech startup one year ago. Earlier in the year, those plans were abandoned.

Since EU license passporting was no longer an option, businesses required a new legal foundation to conduct business within the EU.

It seemed a convenient spot, Ireland. Common law, English-speaking, near the UK, and an established deep tech ecosystem have all been mentioned as advantages of opening an office in Ireland.

A year ago, the US fintech business Alviere established its EU headquarters in Ireland with the intention of obtaining a license here and directing its European operations from Dublin.

These intentions were abandoned earlier in the year when the business  their license application and let go of its employees in Ireland. The business had been working with the CBI on an e-money application for a few months. Alviere declined to respond when asked why it was leaving.

This year, German banking and payments app Vivid Money also took a different approach and withdrew its application for an e-money license. The German company said through a spokesman that it no longer employs anyone in Ireland.

Former central bank official and president of Fintech Ireland’s industry group Peter Oakes listed a few reasons why a company might decide to shelve or at least delay the process of applying for a license.

Companies must be better prepared for a rigorous procedure and oversight, according to Peter Oakes, the chairman of the industry organization Fintech Ireland Should it truly wish to conduct business in Europe.

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