• Cryptocurrency network Ripple has obtained regulatory approval from the Central Bank of Ireland to operate as a virtual asset service provider (VASP), allowing it to offer various digital asset services in the country.
  • The approval positions Ripple strategically to provide crypto services within the European Economic Area, aligning with Ireland’s supportive jurisdiction for virtual assets.

Cryptocurrency payment network Ripple has achieved a significant regulatory milestone in Ireland, gaining approval from the Central Bank of Ireland (CBI) to operate as a virtual asset service provider (VASP). This approval allows Ripple to provide various digital asset services within the country.

A Gateway to Europe: Ripple’s CBI Approval

Ripple’s inclusion in the CBI’s VASP register signifies its recognition as a reputable entity capable of conducting transactions on behalf of individuals or businesses involving the movement of digital assets. The approval extends to Ripple providing cryptocurrency exchange services against fiat currencies, facilitating exchanges between different cryptocurrencies, and offering custody services.

The CBI’s VASP register is an elite club that includes other prominent cryptocurrency players such as Coinbase, Gemini, MoonPay, and Zodia Custody. This regulatory nod positions Ripple strategically to cater to clients within the European Economic Area as it prepares for the implementation of the Markets in Crypto Assets Regulation (MiCA) by the end of 2024. MiCA aims to enhance investor protection and ensure compliance with Anti-Money Laundering laws.

Ireland: A Fertile Ground for Virtual Asset Services

Ripple’s Senior Vice President of Strategic Initiatives, Eric van Miltenburg, expressed the significance of the CBI’s approval, highlighting Ireland’s supportive stance toward the virtual assets industry. Van Miltenburg emphasized Ireland’s attractiveness as a jurisdiction for businesses like Ripple, reinforcing their decision to make Ireland their primary base for EU regulation.

Ripple’s successful regulatory strides in Ireland come nearly two years after establishing its first offices in the country. The company’s Dublin office opened in February 2022, and aimed to launch services in Ireland and serve the broader European market.

Global Expansion Amid Legal Victories

In addition to its international expansion, Ripple has been making headway in resolving domestic legal challenges. Notably, the company secured a major win in its long-standing legal battle against the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in July 2023. The SEC had accused Ripple of conducting an unregistered securities offering, alleging the illegal raising of over $1.3 billion through the sale of the XRP cryptocurrency.

Coinbase, a key player in the cryptocurrency industry, has also been strengthening its European presence, choosing Ireland as its European crypto hub of choice in October 2023.

As Ripple continues to navigate global regulatory landscapes and legal challenges, its approval as a VASP in Ireland stands as a testament to the company’s commitment to compliance and its strategic positioning in the evolving cryptocurrency industry.

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