Coinbase Opens Office in Dublin to Serve the European Market

The leading cryptocurrency exchange, Coinbase, has announced the opening of its new office in Dublin, the Irish capital city.


Firm Starts European Operations

Coinbase, the U.S.-based leading cryptocurrency exchange, has been working aggressively to grow its business. As part of its growth strategy, the company has taken multiple steps, including the launch of services for institutional customers (Coinbase Custody, Coinbase Prime, and Coinbase Institutional Coverage group), a partnership with Caspian to provide advanced trading tools, the launch of new “bundle” offerings, and plans for adding new coins.

Now to service customers in Europe, the firm has set up its office in Dublin, the capital of Ireland. The announcement states:

The number of Coinbase customers in the European Union (EU) grew faster than any other market in 2017. As we scale, we need to attract the best, most qualified and passionate talent to help us achieve our mission of creating an open financial system for the world.

As reported by Live Bitcoin News earlier this month, the firm is also looking to raise $500 million for further expansion and was in negotiations with investment firm Tiger Global that would value the firm at around $8 billion.

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Dublin’s Growing Eco-System

The firm boiled down their choice to the city to Dublin after looking at various venues across Europe. The Irish capital emerged as the city of choice due to its local talent pool, support for technology innovation, and the growing blockchain community.

Dublin is home to many blockchain facilities and will be hosting a conference being organized by the International Organisation of Standards (ISO) next year.

“Dublin is a talent hotspot for companies like Coinbase as they scale and internationalize critical businesses operations,” said Martin Shanahan, CEO of IDA Ireland, the country’s inward investment agency. He added:

We look forward to welcoming Coinbase into the Irish economy, and helping them access our talented pool of young professionals from the technology and financial services sectors.

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A Welcome Development for Ireland’s Fintech Sector

The Dublin office would complement the existing operations in London. As the firm plans to set up new functions, it will create new jobs in the city. It will also help build expertise in blockchain technology.

Expressing his pleasure at the development, Michael D’Arcy T.D, Minister for Financial Services and Insurance, said:

I am delighted that Coinbase is opening an office in Dublin. This decision highlights the competitive offering and attractiveness of Ireland for financial services.

Coinbase continues to take aggressive steps to grow and expand its wings across different geographies. That the firm, which is one of the world’s oldest, largest, and most trusted platforms in the cryptocurrency space, wants to maintain its position as a leading player is evident.

Do you think opening an office in Dublin will help Coinbase grow its business in Europe? Let us know in the comments below.


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The US Is Behind the Curve on Cryptocurrency Adoption, Says WEF Blockchain Head

Sheila Warren believes the United States is behind the curve on cryptocurrency payment adoption. The head of the World Economic Forum’s blockchain policy unit says the maturity of the e-commerce arena in Asia has the U.S. playing second fiddle.


Asia Leads the World in Cryptocurrency Payment Technology

In an op-ed published on CNN Business on Monday (October 15, 2018), Warren declared that, despite the sweeping digital currency payment revolution in places like Japan and China, the U.S. still sees greater reliance on cash transactions. Quoting data from iResearch, Warren revealed that mobile payments in China reached $5.5 trillion in 2016 whereas U.S. figures stood at $112 billion.

Warren argues that Asia’s adoption of cryptocurrency payments comes from the popularity of e-commerce in the region. Before the emergence of Bitcoin and other virtual currencies, many Asians were already involved in a buoyant virtual assets trading market. Speaking earlier in the year, BitMEX chief Arthur Hayes offered this same explanation as to the reason for higher trading volumes in Asia than the United States.

Asia has a higher cryptocurrency trading volume than the United States.

For these Asian nations embracing the emerging digital payment revolution, they stand to reap the rewards of reduced transaction costs, faster settlement times, and improved transparency. The immutable blockchain ledger which records transactions is, theoretically, free from manipulation.

Outside Asia, places like Switzerland and Malta are also working out modalities to adopt blockchain-based solutions. These countries aspire to become hubs for decentralized technology development.

Technology Does Not Understand Boundaries

For the U.S., apart from card transactions, cash is still king in many places. Warren opines that it is a lot easier for a society dominated by digital payments to embrace cryptocurrency payments than for one still dominated by cash to make the same move.

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However, despite the reticence of the U.S. to embrace cryptocurrency payments, technology does not understand boundaries. Commenting on this issue, Warren said:

The rate of acceleration of adoption is likely to continue to increase, meaning that those economies that don’t start encouraging the creation of a robust digital payment infrastructure, complete with the necessary investments in infrastructure and accompanying regulation, are going to find it increasingly challenging to catch up.

In late September, stakeholders in the industry issued a warning to the U.S. Congress that the country risked losing out on innovations if the regulatory landscape doesn’t improve.

Do you think the United States is lagging behind other developed nations in cryptocurrency adoption? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.


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Skoda Minotti Dabbles in Bitcoin Payments as “Crypto Is Here to Stay”

Various businesses and service providers accept cryptocurrency payments. The latest firm to join this growing list is Skoda Minotti. The renowned business advisory firm now accepts this form of payment for client service payments. Another notch in the belt for the Bitcoin and altcoin industry.


Skoda Minotti Takes a Big Gamble

One of the main reasons few companies accept Bitcoin payments is due to price volatility. This is despite payment processors ensuring no value is lost during this process. Companies such as BitPay will convert Bitcoin to fiat currency at the rate of the time of payment. Even so, that is not always sufficient to convince companies in terms of adoption cryptocurrencies.

In the case of Skoda Minotti, they see no objections in this regard. The company offers business advice to clients all across the United States. Over the years, some of their discussions have also shifted to cryptocurrencies Clients want to learn more about how they can gain exposure to this form of money and its associated volatility. Because of this popularity, Skoda Minotti decided to integrate a Bitcoin payment option.

Furthermore, the company wants to remain committed to blockchain and cryptocurrency. Skoda Minotti’s Nick Ward confirms the company believes both industries are here to stay. Ensuring clients can use their preferred payment method is part of achieving that goal. Unlike other providers, the company relies on Coinbase to complete transactions. They will not charge a fee for processing these payments.

Positive News Across the Board

For the industry, this news is a major boon. Although Bitcoin is becoming a more commonly accepted payment method, overall adoption is still relatively low. When business advisory firms start to take the plunge, an interesting precedent is created. It may lead to a new wave of companies experimenting with cryptocurrencies in the future.

This is also great news for Coinbase. The company recently made a tough call to discontinue one its institutional products. With the help of Skoda Minotti, it becomes evident the company is still about more than just trading cryptocurrencies. It remains a viable payment gateway to accept Bitcoin payments as well. Although not as popular as BitPay, it is still a convenient service.

The Bitcoin industry direly needs some positive news. Bearish price momentum throughout 2018 has cast a dark shadow over the cryptocurrency industry. Despite upcoming technical improvements, there is limited adoption of Bitcoin as a payment method. With the help of Skoda Minotti, the narrative is slowly changing in favor of the world’s leading cryptocurrency.

What do you think of Skoda Minotti’s decision to accept Bitcoin payments? Let us know in the comments below.


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