Standard Chartered-backed Zodia Markets, a digital asset exchange and brokerage platform, has been registered as a virtual asset service provider (VASP) with the Central Bank of Ireland (CBI), thus further aligning its services with regulatory requirements.
Announced today (Friday), the registration has been granted to the local subsidiary, Zodia Markets (Ireland) Limited. It will enable the company to provide over-the-counter (OTC) trading and exchange services to institutional clients.
Further, it will allow Zodia Markets to offer services in the broader European Union. The registration came when the EU streamlined itself with the incoming Markets in Cryptoassets Regulation (MiCA), which will set a standard for crypto companies within the bloc.
“Zodia Markets join a growing number of firms operating in the regulated digital asset space in Ireland,” said Jennifer Carroll MacNeill TD, Minister of State at the Department of Finance in Ireland.
“Along with the IDA, we want to continue to attract the best business, the compliant business, the strong risk management business to Ireland. This is because we want the businesses to emerge that will grow, expand, and help provide a sustainable future as part of our broader successful international financial services industry, which has been built up over the last thirty years.”
Ireland Is Turning into a Base for European Operations
Several other well-known financial services companies recently obtained the Irish license to make the country their European base. Interactive Brokers is one of the big names that has consolidated its European brokerage operations into Ireland. Coinbase, Kraken, and Gemini are other crypto exchanges to register themselves in Ireland.
Meanwhile, Zodia Markets’s latest license is an addition to its wider regulatory license portfolio: it received a crypto asset registration from the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority in July 2022 and in-principal approval from Abu Dhabi Global Markets in September 2023.
Earlier this year, Zodia Markets closed its Series A funding round, raising $36 million. The company was launched in late 2020 by Standard Chartered.
“VASP registration is an exciting development for Zodia Markets, and we’re delighted to be part of the burgeoning Irish digital assets ecosystem,” said Michael Walsh, CEO of Zodia Markets Ireland and Head of Distribution.
“The registration will act as a launchpad for the business to enter the EU, a market where we see significant opportunity and demand for our offering, and it paves the way for future MiCA authorization when the regulations are implemented”