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Coinbase Secures French Regulatory Approval for Expansion

2023.12.22

 

Key Takeaways

  • Coinbase receives VASP approval from France’s AMF, allowing expansion of digital currency services.
  • Move signals Coinbase’s strategic shift to Europe amidst tightening U.S. crypto regulations.

Coinbase’s Strategic European Expansion

Coinbase, a prominent cryptocurrency exchange, has successfully secured registration with France’s markets regulator, AMF. This critical development enables Coinbase to broaden its service offerings in France, marking a significant step in its European market expansion.

Enhanced Crypto Services in France

The French AMF’s green light as a Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) authorizes Coinbase to offer a range of digital asset services. These include digital asset custody, fiat-to-crypto trading, crypto-to-crypto trading, and operating digital asset trading platforms. This move aligns with France’s and broader Europe’s efforts to adapt regulatory frameworks to emerging technologies like cryptocurrencies and blockchain.

Zhao’s Guilty Plea and Resignation

Zhao’s decision to step down as CEO in November was accompanied by a guilty plea, acknowledging Binance’s failure to adhere to U.S. anti-money laundering regulations. This plea was part of the settlement that concluded the years-long investigation into the world’s largest crypto exchange by trading volume.

Europe’s Regulatory Landscape and MiCA Framework

European regulators have been striving to balance the innovative potential of crypto and blockchain with consumer protection. The impending Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) regulation in the EU aims to create a standardized framework for crypto companies, allowing them to operate across the EU under a unified license, enhancing operational efficiency and market access.

Coinbase Amid U.S. Regulatory Challenges

Coinbase’s expansion into Europe comes at a pivotal moment, as it faces an increasingly uncertain regulatory environment in the United States. Recent actions by U.S. authorities against other major crypto entities, such as Binance, have intensified scrutiny on crypto exchanges. The U.S. SEC’s aggressive stance, including lawsuits alleging illegal securities dealings, has prompted Coinbase to advocate for clearer, crypto-specific regulations in the U.S.

France’s Technological Ambitions

France, under President Emmanuel Macron’s leadership, is positioning itself as a technology leader. With substantial investments in AI, cloud computing, and Web3 technologies, the country aims to become a global tech hub. The “France 2030” plan commits significant resources toward achieving these goals.

 

France’s proactive approach to technology is mirrored in its burgeoning crypto sector. Home to significant players like Ledger and serving as the European base for Circle, Binance, and Crypto.com, France is emerging as a key player in the crypto industry. Recent data indicates growing crypto adoption in France, despite market downturns.

 


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