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Ripple Obtains Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) License from Central Bank of Ireland

Source: AdobeStock / Michal Šteflovič

Blockchain payments firm Ripple has successfully obtained a Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) license from the Central Bank of Ireland (CBI). 

The news comes over a year after Ripple established an office in Dublin and applied for the license, aiming to expand its operations in Europe.

The Central Bank of Ireland initiated the registration process for the VASP license in 2021, focusing on ensuring compliance with anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism provisions. 

Ripple has now met the regulatory requirements and received the license, enabling the company’s Irish arm to provide various digital asset services to investors within Ireland, the firm said in a Tuesday press release

“The Central Bank of Ireland’s addition of Ripple Markets to its list of registered virtual asset service providers is a significant step forward for our business in the region,” Eric van Miltenburg, Chief Business Officer at Ripple, said. 

“By providing regulatory clarity for the industry, Ireland – and the EU more broadly – are boosting confidence in the digital assets, payments and fintech ecosystem and demonstrating their commitment to the long-term development of these industries.”

Ripple Aims to Extend Services across Globe

Ripple intends to extend its services to clients throughout the European Economic Area once the Markets in Crypto Assets Regulation (MiCA) becomes effective next year. 

Unlike national licenses that restrict operations to a specific country, MiCA allows companies to utilize a single license obtained in one country to operate across all 27 European Union member states. 

This regulatory framework was proposed by the European Union to establish guidelines for the cryptocurrency market in the region.

Ripple’s recent regulatory approval in Ireland and its expansion into Europe are part of the company’s broader strategy to grow its international business.

In October, Ripple secured a Major Payments Institution (MPI) license from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) following provisional approval in June. 

Additionally, last month, Ripple’s associated token, XRP, received approval for use within the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), allowing licensed crypto firms in the DIFC to incorporate the token into their services.

Ripple’s Win Against SEC

Back in May, a US court ruled in favor of Ripple in the ongoing lawsuit brought by the SEC, claiming that selling XRP on exchanges in itself does not constitute an investment contract. 

The ruling, issued by the District Court for the Southern District of New York, stated that the “offer and sale of XRP on digital asset exchanges did not amount to offers and sales of investment contracts.”

However, the federal judge also ruled that XRP is a security when sold to institutional investors, as it met the conditions set in the Howey Test.

While many crypto pundits have rejoiced about Ripple’s recent partial win, others noted that the industry’s fight for regulatory clarity is likely far from over.

Preston Byrne, partner at Brown Rudnick and a crypto entrepreneur, said the SEC is currently reviewing the decision, claiming that the agency might challenge the ruling. 

“The Ripple summary judgment is obviously not the last word on the issue,” Byrne said in a recent tweet.

The summary judgment ruling is a split decision where the judge takes the view that primary sales of tokens are investment contracts and secondary sales and distributions to e.g. employees are not.

In the precedents we have, the SEC has moved against schemes early enough that…

— Preston Byrne (@prestonjbyrne) July 13, 2023

The post Ripple Obtains Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) License from Central Bank of Ireland appeared first on Cryptonews.

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