The license does not allow Gemini to operate as an exchange in the country, but it will let it passport e-money services throughout the EEA.
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Cryptocurrency exchange Gemini has received an electronic money license from the Central Bank of Ireland. It was the 18th organization to receive the license, and the first since October 2020. Gemini joined such license holders as Coinbase, Stripe, Square and Meta.
The e-money license, for which Gemini applied in early 2020 and received oMarch 14, will allow it to issue electronic money, provide electronic payment services and handle electronic payments for third parties. It will also enable the company to passport those services to European Economic Area countries, which are European Union members, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. Gemini already provides exchange services in those countries.
Gemini also provides exchange and e-money services in the United Kingdom, thanks to its authorization by that country’s Financial Conduct Authority.
There is increasing consciousness in the country of the need for cryptocurrency regulation. The Oireachtas Finance Committee agreed to consider regulation in February when it requested briefing documents from the Central Bank and the Revenue Commissioners tax authority. The Central Bank already enforces European Anti-Money Laundering laws for virtual asset services providers.
Ireland has seen a growing crypto presence in the last year. Gemini opened its Dublin office in early 2021, and hired Gillian Lynch, a former executive at the Irish banking platform Leveris and Bank of Ireland, as head of Ireland and Europe. Kraken and Ripple (XRP) have also selected the country as their European base, and Binance (BNB) opened three subsidiaries in Ireland in September.
Back in February, Gemini joined the likes of Coinbase and Block as part of the Crypto Council for Innovation. At the time, the exchange stated it had spent $120,000 on lobbying activities within the U.S. in the second half of 2021.