After crypto startup Ripple had a fall out with the American authorities earlier this year, the company shifted its focus on expanding into international markets. In a bid to widen its expansion, Ripple is now seeking operational licenses as virtual asset service providers (VASPs) in Ireland. The company is now awaiting a response from the Irish central bank. Once the approvals come through, Ripple aims to ‘passport’ its services throughout the European Union (EU) via an entity based there.
The development was confirmed by Ripple General Counsel Stuart Alderoty in an interview with CNBC.
Ripple said it has two employees in Ireland currently and going further, the issuer of the XRP cryptocurrency also plans to file an application for an electronic money license.
In 2020, the US Securities and Exchange Commission roped Ripple in a lawsuit for allegedly selling XRP illegally, without first registering it as a security. The XRP altcoin was created in 2012.
In an ongoing extensive legal battle, Ripple has continued to dispute the allegations and it now awaits a ruling on the case to be announced in the first half of next year.
Ripple meanwhile, is making efforts to move parts of its business to other markets despite the current downturn in the crypto market caused by the downfall of the FTX crypto exchange. The global crypto market lost over $200 billion (roughly Rs. 16,35,690 crore) in the last few weeks.
The firm plans to continue pouring investments into the EU region now that the authorities there are striving to bring along crypto regulations.
Earlier this year, the EU approved the MiCA rule draft that was first proposed in September 2020 and aims to create a uniform legal crypto framework for all the 27 EU states.
The tuning and execution of these crypto policies could go into effect starting in 2024. The MiCA framework largely revolves around consumer protection as well as prevention of market manipulation and financial crimes in the crypto sector.
As for Ireland, the country has not entirely shut down to experimenting with the crypto sector. The central bank of Ireland previously handed a VASP license to crypto exchange Gemini to operate there.