Digital currency exchange with 20m users opens Dublin office

Coinbase ‘makes it as easy to buy bitcoin as it is to buy sterling or euro,’ says CEO

 Coinbase cryptocurrency exchange: The company is currently hiring   compliance managers and support analysts for its Dublin office.  Illustration: Chesnot/Getty

Coinbase cryptocurrency exchange: The company is currently hiring compliance managers and support analysts for its Dublin office. Illustration: Chesnot/Getty

 

Coinbase, a digital currency exchange whose backers include Spanish bank BBVA and the New York Stock Exchange, has established an office in Dublin.

The move comes just 18 months after it founded its European headquarters in London and is largely a result of Brexit.

Coinbase’s UK chief executive Zeeshan Feroz told The Irish Times the Dublin office would complement, rather than replace the London operation.

“The decision to set up the office was based on a number of factors, including proximity to the UK, a shared language, access to talent and Brexit. We’re planning for all eventualities with that and being in Ireland helps us to do that,” Mr Feroz said.

The company is currently hiring a small number of staff initially for the Dublin office with roles including compliance managers and support analysts.

Founded in San Francisco in 2012, Coinbase allows users to buy and sell cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, etherum and ripple. The company has more than 20 million users, while over $150 billion (€130 billion) has been traded on its platform.

One of the most popular cryptocurrency exchanges globally, Coinbase was last year valued at $1.6 billion after a series D fundraising round. The company has raised more than $225 million in total with backers including heavyweight tech-focused venture capital firms such as Greylock Partners, Battery Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz and Ribbit Capital.

Former Citigroup boss Vikram Pandit and former Thomson Reuters chief executiveTom Glocer have also invested in the company.

Partnership

Earlier this year, Coinbase teamed up with Barclays in what was the first partnership between a British bank and a cryptocurrency exchange, in a move that also saw the platform being granted a licence from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Mr Feroz said while the company was initially largely consumer-focused it has grown into a “bouquet of businesses”.

“We essentially take away the complexities of crypto and make it as easy to buy bitcoin or other digital currencies as it is to buy sterling or euro,” he said.