Coinbase establishes Dublin contingency plan as Brexit looms
San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has opened a Dublin office to prepare for Britain’s pending exit from the European Union.
While the company said its headquarters outside of the US would remain in London, the company’s Dublin office will enable Coinbase to retain its rights to offer cryptocurrency services in the EU after Brexit. Coinbase is currently licensed to provide fiat currency services across 23 EU nations.
The company joins a growing list of firms preparing to establish bases in Europe due to uncertainties regarding their future operations once the UK leaves the trading bloc.
Japanese tech firm Panasonic announced last month it was moving its European HQ from the UK to the Netherlands, while insurance icon Lloyds of London said it was making contingencies by establishing an insurance firm in Brussels.
Audit firm EY published research in the summer that a third of the 222 it had monitored said they were moving some of their operation or staff from the UK to Europe.
Some predictions offer a stark picture of Brexit’s potential impact on the financial services sector. The Bank of England, for example, estimates that 5,000 jobs in banking and finance could be relocated to offices outside London’s financial hub by the Brexit deadline next March.
Researchers at Clifford Chance suggested in a report in May that London’s financial services sector would incur about a third of the extra red tape costs.
Jessica Gladstone, partner at the advisory firm, said: “Failing to prepare is preparing to fail. Given the difficulty of knowing exactly what turbulence lies ahead many businesses are putting Brexit in the ‘too hard’ box.”
Coinbase said in an interview with Reuters that its move to Dublin would help the company plan for all eventualities for Brexit and “engage with Europe through another base”.