In its pursuit of global expansion, Coinbase marks a significant achievement with the approval as a Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) in France.
The Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF), France’s financial markets regulator, granted the green light, as announced by the exchange on Thursday. This regulatory endorsement empowers Coinbase to broaden its comprehensive array of retail, institutional, and ecosystem products and services to users not only in France but also across other European nations such as Germany, Italy, Netherlands, and Spain.
Given France’s standing as a center for innovation and technological progress, this approval holds pivotal importance for Coinbase, particularly within the broader European Union (EU) region. The country’s dedication to nurturing a flourishing web3 ecosystem, supportive governmental initiatives, advanced technological infrastructure, and a robust startup environment positions it as a global innovation hub.
The recent incorporation of the Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) regulation by the EU lends additional weight to Coinbase’s approval in France. MiCA seeks to establish a harmonized framework for crypto companies to operate seamlessly across the EU, simplifying the regulatory pathway for companies holding a VASP license.
Significantly, this milestone aligns with Coinbase’s overarching strategy for international expansion, especially in crucial European markets. Rooted in the “Go Broad, Go Deep” strategic framework unveiled last year, it underscores Coinbase’s commitment to a global expansion trajectory.
The acquired VASP status enables Coinbase to provide an array of services, encompassing the custody of digital assets, the exchange of digital assets for legal tender, and trading digital assets against other digital assets.
Expressing enthusiasm about the approval, Daniel Seifert, Vice President and Regional Managing Director of EMEA at Coinbase, stated, “Our focus is on proliferating the advantages of crypto worldwide. Attaining VASP status in France allows us to continue our global growth, bringing the next billion individuals into the realm of crypto, ensuring the security of consumers’ assets, and prioritizing compliance.”
Notably, the US-based cryptocurrency exchange designates Ireland as its central operational and regulatory hub within the EU. In October, Coinbase officially submitted its license application to the Central Bank of Ireland under the impending Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) regulation, anticipated to take effect by December 2024.
However, Coinbase’s European expansion coincides with heightened scrutiny of the cryptocurrency industry by U.S. regulators, elevating the possibility of crypto firms relocating to more favorable jurisdictions.
Prominent players in the cryptocurrency industry, including Binance, Kraken, and Coinbase, find themselves entangled in the regulatory labyrinth in the U.S. Recent punitive measures by the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission underscore allegations of securities law violations, indicating intensified scrutiny and enforcement actions directed at these leading entities in the cryptocurrency realm.