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Ireland a Prime Destination for European Crypto Ventures, UK-Based Crypto Exec Says

Shalini Nagarajan
Last updated: | 2 min read
Ireland crypto

UK-based crypto infrastructure firm Ramp Network is setting up shop in Ireland as its European base. It joins a growing number of cryptocurrency firms choosing Ireland for their European headquarters.

Steven Eisenhauer, Ramp’s chief risk and compliance officer, told the Irish Independent in an interview published Sunday that Ireland is a premier choice for crypto firms as the sector awaits a regulatory framework to oversee the industry.

“Building consumer trust is the big thing for us because trust has been hurt in this industry unfortunately,” he said. Ireland, despite its size, has become a significant player with roughly 12 registered virtual asset service providers, he noted.

“I would estimate that half of the crypto firms looking to set up in advance of MICA [EU’s Markets in Crypto-Assets Regulation] are looking at Ireland. It’s really down to Ireland, France, a little in Germany and perhaps Belgium,” he said.

“There have been some sensationalized stories that make for great Netflix documentaries but we don’t plan to be one of those,” he added.

Ramp Praises Central Bank of Ireland’s Crypto Approach

Ramp Network is a British fintech startup, aiming to bridge the gap between crypto and fiat currency. Its global reach spans over 150 countries and territories, allowing users to convert their euros, dollars and other fiat currencies into a wide range of crypto assets.

It has also secured Irish registration as a virtual asset services provider, with the ability to establish payment rails there. According to Eisenhauer, opting for Ireland as Ramp’s EU headquarters was about seeking out genuine regulators rather than evading regulatory oversight.

He remarked that engagements with the Central Bank of Ireland (CBI) had been positive, collaborative, and amicable. Eisenhauer highlighted the Central Bank’s ability to strike a balance: being accommodating to businesses while upholding their integrity and independence. This ensures that obtaining registration feels genuinely legitimate.

He mentioned that the CBI had traditionally been perceived as more rigorous compared to other regulatory bodies. However, the CBI has made efforts to hire personnel with firsthand experience in cryptocurrencies. According to him, there is a noticeable improvement in the CBI’s understanding of crypto. Unlike other regulators, they’ve onboarded experts who comprehend the industry’s nuances.

Ireland Loses Web3 Firm as Circle Chooses US Relocation

However, not all companies in the crypto sector share this sentiment. In May, reports revealed that stablecoin issuer Circle intended to transfer its legal headquarters from Ireland to the US. A spokesperson verified to Cryptonews that Circle’s parent company had submitted necessary documentation to the High Court of the Republic of Ireland for the company’s relocation to the US.

Such occurrences are typically rare, as many companies typically gravitate towards Ireland for its favorable business environment and low tax rates. Its corporate tax rate is a mere 12.5%, significantly lower than most other European countries.

Last year, crypto exchange Coinbase selected Ireland as its base for operations in the EU under the upcoming MiCA regulations. This decision was influenced by Ireland’s reputation for being friendly towards fintech businesses and its well-regarded regulatory body.