Kraken expands European footprint with new virtual asset licenses in Ireland and Spain
The exchange said the licenses marks an important milestone in its European expansion strategy.
Crypto exchange Kraken has successfully secured licenses across two European countries, furthering its regional expansion plan.
In a Sept. 26 statement to CryptoSlate, a Kraken spokesperson said it secured the European Union E-Money Institution (EMI) license from the Central Bank of Ireland, which would broaden its EUR fiat services across all 27 European Union member states and the European Economic Area.
Kraken also revealed its registration as a Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) with the Bank of Spain.
This registration empowers the exchange to offer crypto trading and custodial wallet services in Spain, further cementing its presence in the European market. Moreover, Kraken has attained VASP status in Italy and Ireland, demonstrating a comprehensive approach to securing regulatory approvals across diverse European regions.
Kraken’s Vice President of Global Operations Curtis Ting said:
“Our market-leading position in liquidity and volume for EUR crypto pairs, round-the-clock live client service and robust security bring a compelling value proposition for future clients in Europe. We’re committed to the ongoing investment in our European business as we continue our efforts to advance the adoption of crypto within Europe in the years ahead.”
This expansion into Europe occurs against regulatory uncertainties in Kraken’s home country, the United States. Earlier this year, the exchange incurred a $30 million fine related to its Ethereum (ETH) staking product.
Europe’s crypto reception
Europe’s crypto landscape starkly contrasts with that of the U.S., with European nations generally offering greater regulatory clarity concerning crypto assets.
This trend is expected to continue with the impending implementation of the Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) law, set to take effect next year. MiCA aims to harmonize the European Union’s approach to crypto regulation and provide enhanced regulatory clarity for the continent.
While the law has faced criticism, many view it as a more constructive alternative to the enforcement-centric regulatory approach observed in the United States.
Several other exchanges are also actively pursuing licenses and registrations in Europe. Kraken’s major competitor, Coinbase, has secured licenses in Spain, the Netherlands, Italy, and Ireland. Binance, another major player, is working to regain its foothold in the European market and has recently resumed operations in Belgium following a temporary suspension.