Ripple Gets Service Provider Approval From The Central Bank Of Ireland

Written by

Eddie Mitchell

Cryptocurrency Writer

The Ripple (XRP) blockchain network has received approval from the Central Bank of Ireland (CBI) to become a Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP).

The Ripple effect

Yesterday, 19 December 2023, the San Francisco-based crypto firm announced that the CBI has welcomed XRP’s Irish subsidiary, Ripple Markets Ireland Limited (Ripple Markers), to its register of VASPs. 

The VASP list is rather impressive. Ripple now stands amongst the likes of Coinbase, Coinbase Custody, MoonPay, Zodia, and Gemini.

Following this, Ripple aims to extend these services to the broader European Economic Area (EEA) in 2024, when the EU’s recently adopted crypto regulations, the Markets in Crypto Assets Regulation (MiCA), come into force.

As per the official release: “Ireland has positioned itself as a supportive jurisdiction for the virtual assets industry and consequently as a great place for businesses like Ripple’s to operate, reinforcing our decision to select Ireland as our primary base for EU regulation.”

In February 2022, Ripple set up its first EU office Dublin with the goal of furthering regulatory certainty for its operations around the world. Ireland has been a forward-thinking nation when it comes to innovation and technology, making it a very popular destination for major companies such as Microsoft, Dell, Apple, and Coinbase.

The news follows a long-running $1.3billion lawsuit between the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Ripple, who stood accused of selling unregistered securities through its XRP tokens. In July 2023, Ripple clutched a victory after a New York judge ruled partially in favor of Ripple, declaring that XRP was not a security on secondary markets. However, it is a security when sold to institutional investors.

EU crypto regulations

The announcement is considerably significant given the EU’s progressive approach to crypto regulations. For far too long, the crypto industry has struggled to achieve a sense of legitimacy in a majority of jurisdictions due to a lack of comprehensive regulations, which ultimately resulted in a Wild West market that was trying to evolve into a full-blown industry of its own.

Catastrophes such as FTX, Terra, and Celsius could have been prevented if not minimized were adequate regulations in place. If crypto and blockchain are to work with, or rival, major financial and technology sectors, a clear sense of direction is needed.

In short, MiCA is a comprehensive set of industry-specific frameworks and rules designed to protect investors, combat illegal/malicious use of crypto, prevent market manipulation, provide regulatory clarity, and essentially foster innovation in the cryptocurrency sector.  

Initially published in the Official Journal of the European Union on 9 June 2023, MiCA regulations came into effect 20 days later, but not entirely. The reason being that crypto platforms and service providers will need to align their operations, which can take some time. As a result, the deadline for total compliance is 30 December 2024.

A confident 2024

With things looking pretty positive overall for Ripple, the company’s president, Monica Long, posted a series of optimistic tweets, laying out an idea of what’s to come in 2024.

As per the thread, Monica highlights that crypto has “reached a tipping point” and is now a mainstream technology. However, there’s still some work to be done in order to reach what she describes as the “breakout moment where institutional adoption for real-world utility takes off”.

With Ripple having strategic partnerships with industry titans like PayPal, Visa, and BlackRock, the need to regulatory clarity is of paramount importance. Monica believes that 2024 could very well be the year when Ripple, and the industry overall, pushes forward with “compliance-first mindset”. 

With many big crypto events, regulations, and major election set to take place next year, Ripple may very well be positioned to become one of the most important players in Web3.