Coinbase Acquires Operating License from the Irish Central Bank Author: Jimmy Aki Last Updated: 14 October 2019 Coinbase, one of the most popular cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, is taking its expansion outside of the United States to new heights. On October 11, the San Francisco-based crypto exchange announced that it had gotten an e-money license from the Irish government, thus solidifying its presence in the United Kingdom for the foreseeable future. According to the press release, Zeeshan Feroz, the CEO of the United Kingdom arm of Coinbase, claimed that Ireland represents an effective way for the company to establish its product across Europe, as they aim to ensure that their product delivery can keep pace with demand in some of their fastest-growing markets. The perfect contingency Coinbase opened its office in Ireland on October 15, 2018, in a move which was billed to help serve as both an expansion across Europe and a contingency plan for Brexit; the departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union. While the hopes of a Brexit deal being reached before the end of the year remain bleak at best, an eventual exit will mean that the United Kingdom will cease to be a part of the economic bloc. Coinbase’s main European office is in London, and an eventual Brexit could affect the exchange’s standing and ability to serve other countries in the E.U. However, while Brexit will see the U.K. leave E.U. Customs Union as well, both parties have also agreed to leave the border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland (a part of the U.K.) open, according to a report by Forbes Magazine. Given all of the intricacies of a Brexit eventuality, Coinbase will be looking for a new place to keep its main office for Europe, and this is where Dublin comes in. Now that it has secured the e-money license from the Irish Central Bank, everything seems set to ensure that Coinbase survives in Europe, whether or not Brexit becomes a reality. Coinbase is making a potential strategy play The move to establish itself in Ireland could also help Coinbase play a significant role in the post-Brexit U.K. As stated earlier, the agreement between the U.K. and the E.U. has been to leave the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland open, in the event that Brexit pulls through. On October 1, 2018, British Finance Minister Philip Hammond spoke at a Tory Party conference in Birmingham, where he posited that blockchain technology could significantly help solve trade issues at the Irish border when Brexit happens. While he didn’t claim to be an expert in the matter, the Irish Times reported that Hammond outlined certain emerging technologies, with the “most obvious technology is blockchain,” which he believed could help in achieving frictionless trade at the border. Blockchain could help ensure that product movements are recorded transparently and without charges, and the use of cryptocurrencies could eventually be employed as well. If this does come to pass, governments could potentially need a partner that they can trust to help keep transactions running smoothly. What better partner could the government want than Coinbase, one of the most widely recognized cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, with a stellar record of being transparent?