Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase will launch a new office in Dublin amid concerns over the impact of a Brexit deal.
Coinbase will keep London as its European headquarters, but will expand to an office in Ireland to serve its European customers.
The San Francisco start-up lets users trade cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum for real money through its smartphone app. It has grown to tens of millions of users after a surge in interest in digital currencies.
But despite part of cryptocurrency’s appeal – that it allows payments to travel across borders without fees – Coinbase has set up in Ireland in part as Brexit contingency planning.
Coinbase handles money from both UK and EU users, meaning it needs an office in the EU should the UK leave without a financial deal in place.
Coinbase UK chief executive Zeeshan Feroz said: “Our Dublin office signals Coinbase’s growing presence in Europe and will complement the operations of our London hub, which will remain our European headquarters.”
Unlike many other major European cities who have remained on the fence, Ireland’s capital has shown a willingness to develop conditions that will help crypto-companies thrive.
Mr Feroz said the company would also look to hire from Dublin’s tech talent pool to grow its EU operations.
Coinbase became one of the most popular financial apps worldwide last year after people rushed to buy Bitcoin as prices surged. Bitcoin’s price has since fallen to around £4,900.
The firm is reportedly in talks to raise a new $500m funding round from Tiger Global. The deal would value it at $8bn.
In a speech yesterday, Prime Minister Theresa May said a Brexit deal was still “achievable”, although was being held back by concerns over the future of the Northern Irish border.