Coinbase is preparing to cope with a potential hard Brexit by opening offices in Ireland. The cryptocurrency exchange will continue to maintain its official headquarters in London.
Brexit Contingency Plan
Coinbase, a cryptocurrency exchange, has announced it is opening new offices in Dublin. This is a major component of the company’s contingency plan in case of a no-deal Brexit. This company is among the largest parts of the blockchain environment.
According to Coinbase, it will keep London as its European headquarters. However, Dublin offers the company a number of advantages by having offices there. For one thing, Ireland will continue to have an E.U. membership after Brexit. For another thing, it has a large English-speaking workforce and considerable diversity in its tech talent. According to the company, this made Dublin a “clear choice” for its second location in Europe.
Coinbase’s Dublin Presence
When asked what Coinbase plans to do with its Dublin offices, its CEO Zeeshan Feroz explained: “To begin with we’re housing a significant support team there,” adding, “and we’re looking to capitalise on the talent pool that’s available to us in Ireland and hire other folks.”
That said, Feroz also didn’t mince words about the fact that it was using Ireland as a part of its plan in case of a hard Brexit. “It is also a plan B for Brexit. As we plan for all eventualities, it’s important that we continue servicing our customers across Europe, and Ireland would be our preferred choice there if it comes to it.”
Brexit’s Low Threat to Cryptocurrency
According to Feroz, businesses operating exclusively within the cryptocurrency sector may not find that they experience much threat as a result of Brexit, no matter its nature. However, among the largest cryptocurrency companies, very few operate exclusively within that industry. Instead, many of the biggest players in crypto also have operations that cross over into the traditional financial sector.
“Coinbase and a few other crypto businesses are essentially two businesses: they are a regulated financial service provider – we have an e-money license with the FCA – and on the other half they provide crypto services. And clearly as a regulated financial institution, if we don’t have access to passporting, we have to look for alternatives,” said Feroz.