Coinbase Approved as Virtual Asset Services Provider in France

The third-largest crypto exchange has said it wants to become regulated in countries with clear policies for the industry while arguing with the Securities and Exchange Commission for bespoke rules in the U.S.

AccessTimeIconDec 21, 2023 at 5:37 p.m. UTC
Updated Mar 8, 2024 at 7:04 p.m. UTC

Crypto exchange Coinbase (COIN) said it received registration as a Virtual Asset Services Provider in France, allowing it to offer a "full suite of retail, institutional, and ecosystem products and services" in the country.

The registration with the Financial Markets Authority (AMF) was announced the same day as stablecoin issuer Circle said it was granted conditional registration by the regulator as France looks to attract crypto businesses.

Coinbase is the third-largest crypto exchange by trading volume, according to CoinGecko, surpassed only by Binance, which is also registered in the country, and Bybit. Registration allows it to offer custody of digital assets, buying and selling of digital assets for fiat currency and trading of digital assets, Coinbase said.

France has been eager to attract crypto companies looking for environments with greater regulatory clarity than currently exists in the U.S. The European Union recently put into law the wide-ranging Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) legislation, which will start taking force across the 27-nation bloc next year.

In the U.S., Coinbase has been requesting bespoke rules for the crypto sector from the Securities and Exchange Commission, something the SEC recently called "unwarranted." In the meantime, the exchange has said it wants to become regulated in countries with clear policies set out for the industry.

Coinbase already has licenses elsewhere in the EU, including an e-money in license in Ireland and registration in Spain. In October, it said it planned to make Ireland its EU hub. This year it also received a license to operate in Bermuda and another in Singapore.

Shares of the Nasdaq-traded company, already up 30% this month, added another 1.4% to $164.5.

Edited by Sheldon Reback.


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Camomile Shumba

Camomile Shumba is a CoinDesk regulatory reporter based in the UK. She previously worked as an intern for Business Insider and Bloomberg News. She does not currently hold value in any digital currencies or projects.