San Francisco-based cryptocurrency giant Coinbase has revealed that it is considering the Irish Republic as its next push to expand local markets around the globe.
Dublin has been cited as the exchange’s next target and to that end has already begun an employment drive in the city taking on customer support analysts, a compliance officer and an office manager.
The Irish state development agency, IDA, is currently supporting the Coinbase plan for the capital. This support is in keeping with IDA statements earlier this year which were very supportive of cryptocurrency.
The state body, IDA Ireland, is the agency responsible for the attraction and development of foreign direct investment in Ireland. Its new initiative, established by the Irish Blockchain Expert Group, an IDA Ireland-led forum, has been set up to involve Irish companies working with blockchain technology towards innovation and promotion of the republic.
Ireland currently has a very forward-thinking approach to blockchain technology. Recently, National University of Ireland (NUI) authors of a study on the adoption of blockchain approached the government to promote a more widespread use of the technology in the country.
Both IDA and Coinbase have declined to comment on the move, although it appears Coinbase has a clear strategy for Dublin, incorporating the local Coinbase Ireland Limited recently and installing four directors from the US-based parent company. However, an IDA spokesman commented recently before the move, that:
“We regard blockchain as an area with huge potential and we are seeing great interest among IDA Ireland’s client base. This initiative will enhance the blockchain industry in Ireland and our position as a global blockchain centre of excellence.”
It appears that IDA also sees the potential of extending this initiative to major players in the cryptocurrency sector, not a view shared by some of the country’s major banks. The Irish co-founder of Eircoin complained recently that he feels that the Banking and Payments Federation of Ireland (BPFI) is discriminating against crypto-related accounts.
He praised IDA for their work on promoting cryptocurrency in Ireland while pointing an accusing finger at the BPFI and their continued accusations of the misuse of Bitcoin, which he suggested reeked of “regulatory capture”. He said it suggested that if Bitcoin sellers were involved in terrorist financing, the law would intervene, accusing banks of intervening where they did not belong.
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