Coinbase Secures VASP Registration in France, Expanding its European Presence

Coinbase Secures VASP Registration in France, Expanding its European Presence

Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has achieved registration with France’s markets regulator, the AMF, allowing the company to expand its services in the European market. This approval, referred to as a virtual asset service provider (VASP) registration, grants Coinbase the ability to offer various digital currency services, including custody of digital assets, buying and selling digital assets with legal tender, trading digital assets against other digital assets, and operating a digital asset trading platform in France.

Coinbase’s VASP registration is a significant milestone for the US-based exchange as it seeks to expand its operations in Europe. This move comes at a crucial time as Coinbase faces a more uncertain regulatory environment in its home country. In contrast, France has been positioning itself as a global tech hub, investing €34 billion ($36.5 billion) over five years to develop its technology sector, including blockchain and cryptocurrencies. Consequently, several leading cryptocurrency companies, including Circle, Binance, and Crypto.com, have established their European bases in Paris. Their presence further reinforces France’s goal of becoming a leader in the emerging technology sector.

The regulatory framework surrounding cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology is evolving globally. European countries, including France, have been playing catch-up to ensure consumer protection while embracing the potential benefits of these emerging technologies. The European Union’s forthcoming Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) regulation aims to create a harmonized framework for crypto companies to operate across the EU. Under this regulation, crypto companies with a VASP license in one country will be able to “passport” their services into other EU countries, streamlining the process of expanding operations within the bloc.

Meanwhile, in the United States, regulatory agencies, such as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Department of Justice, have taken aggressive actions against crypto companies. The SEC has targeted Coinbase and Binance with strict enforcement actions, alleging the firms engaged in illegal securities activities. Coinbase is calling for the establishment of clear rules specific to the crypto industry to replace what it perceives as “regulation by enforcement.” The company aims to foster compliance with financial regulations while providing a conducive environment for innovation and growth.

As the regulatory landscape evolves, France continues to witness a growing adoption of cryptocurrencies. Despite recent market volatility and high-profile bankruptcies, data from Toluna indicates that 10% of French adults currently own cryptocurrency assets, with an additional 24% planning to enter the market within the next year. This trend aligns with France’s technological ambitions and its commitment to embracing new technologies and their potential to enhance payment systems and trading practices.

Coinbase’s VASP registration in France marks a significant step in the exchange’s expansion into the European market. With the ability to offer various digital asset services, Coinbase can cater to the growing demand for cryptocurrency in France. Furthermore, France’s commitment to becoming a technology leader, coupled with its supportive regulatory environment, positions the country as an attractive destination for cryptocurrency companies. As the global regulatory landscape continues to evolve, establishing a strong presence in Europe allows Coinbase to navigate uncertain regulatory environments in other jurisdictions and tap into the region’s expanding crypto market.

Global Finance

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