Crypto custodian Zodia approved to provide services in Ireland

Zodia said its registration as a Virtual Service Asset Provider positions it to service clients across the EU when planned crypto regulation comes into force.

Zodia Custody is the latest crypto player to receive approval from the Central Bank of Ireland to provide its services in the Irish market.

Zodia is a crypto asset servicing company headquartered in London, which established an Irish subsidiary in August last year. The firm looks to safeguard crypto assets such as bitcoin and Ethereum for institutions.

It is now the first dedicated crypto asset custodian to be registered in Ireland as a Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP).

The VASP registration was introduced in the country last year. It requires the Central Bank to reviews firms to ensure they have appropriate procedures around anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism.

Last month, the crypto exchange founded by the Winklevoss twins, Gemini, said it received the first VASP registration in the country. The exchange has also offered custodial services since 2015, which it expanded further in 2019 with the launch of Gemini Custody.

Minister of State at the Department of Finance Seán Fleming, TD, said the registration of Zodia is “highly significant” for Ireland as the Government seeks to focus on innovation in the financial services sector.

“Blockchain technology is one of the great disruptors for payments and capital markets,” Fleming added. “Ireland can grasp this opportunity with our strong track record for building globally recognised payment companies and innovative financial services businesses.”

The move was also welcomed by IDA Ireland. The State agency’s global head of strategy, public policy and international financial services, Kieran Donoghue, said it is a “significant development” for a rapidly growing sector in the financial services industry.

“This investment will act as a strong reference case in seeking to further develop the nascent crypto custody sector.”

Zodia Custody Ireland CEO John Cronin said there has been a lot of recent activity surrounding crypto assets in Ireland, with several firms establishing a presence in the country to build out the ecosystem.

“We aim to play our part by providing institutions with a safe and secure solution for investing in crypto assets,” he added.

Crypto regulation

Zodia said its VASP registration in Ireland means it is positioned to service clients across the EU when planned crypto regulation comes into force.

The EU agreed on landmark regulation in June to clean up the “Wild West” of crypto assets. With the Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) regulation, the EU is looking to become a standard setter in the crypto space.

Cronin said Zodia is also in the process of obtaining similar registrations to VASP across Europe to ensure it is “well positioned for MiCA”.

The crypto market is also facing new regulatory measures outside of Europe. The US Treasury published a framework for international crypto regulation last month, which outlines how the US could work with foreign regulators to address the crypto sector.

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