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8 Hot DeFi Startups in Europe to Watch in 2023

11 days ago

Despite slumping markets, the decentralized finance (DeFi) industry continued to grow last year, driven by sustained funding activity and increased user adoption.
In 2022, DeFi users growth averaged 44% quarter-over-quarter (QoQ), according to a report by crypto fund HashKey Capital. In Q3 2022, the industry reached a milestone, surpassing the five million DeFi wallet threshold.
This growth came amid sustained support from investors in the cryptocurrency sector. In 2022, DeFi companies raised a total of US$2.71 billion in funding, almost triple the US$930 million raised in 2021 and over 41 times the US$65 million raised in 2020, data from crypto data aggregator CoinGecko show.
As interest in and usage of DeFi continue to grow, a number of young ventures are rising

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Shift Crypto und Pocket Bitcoin verkünden langfristige Partnerschaft

23 days ago

Shift Crypto, der Schweizer Hardware-Wallet-Hersteller, geht eine Partnerschaft mit Pocket Bitcoin ein.
Pocket Bitcoin ist ein Schweizer Bitcoin-Broker, der die einfachste Möglichkeit bietet, Bitcoin direkt auf die eigene Wallet zu stacken. Beide Unternehmen haben ihren Sitz in der Schweiz und verfolgen das gemeinsame Ziel, den Zugang zu und die Verwahrung von Bitcoin einfacher und sicherer zu machen.
Die Unternehmen arbeiten zusammen, um eine günstigere, noch einfachere und sicherere Möglichkeit zu bieten, regelmäßig Bitcoin zu kaufen. Pocket Bitcoin bietet bereits einen einfachen DCA-Service an. Die Hardware-Wallet BitBox02 ermöglicht es Nutzern, Bitcoin sicher aufzubewahren und einfach zu transferieren. Ihr Code ist vollständig quelloffen, einschließlich der

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Schweizer Bitcoin Startup Relai schliesst $4.5M Finanzierungsrunde ab

25 days ago

Relai, die Schweizer Bitcoin-App, gibt eine Investitionsrunde in Höhe von 4,5 Millionen US-Dollar bekannt, die von ego death capital angeführt wird. Weitere Investoren sind Timechain, Cabrit Capital und Lightning Ventures. An der Investitionsrunde beteiligten sich auch der Hauptinvestor von Relai, Redalpine, und der Seed-Stage-Investor Fulgur Ventures, die beide erneut investierten.
In Juni 2021 hatte Relai deren Series A (2.5Mio CHF) abgeschlossen und letzten Mai auch via Crowdfunding von der Community weitere 2.1Mio CHF beschafft.
Julian Liniger
“Der aktuelle Bärenmarkt ist der perfekte Zeitpunkt, um sich auf das Wesentliche zu konzentrieren: ein erstklassiges Produkt zu entwickeln, ein nahtloses Benutzererlebnis zu bieten und Menschen über Bitcoin als die beste

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Siemens Issues First Digital Bond on Blockchain

February 15, 2023

Ralf P. Thomas
Siemens is one of the first companies in Germany to issue a digital bond, in accordance with Germany’s Electronic Securities Act.
Worth 60 million, it has a maturity of one year and is underpinned by a public blockchain. Issuing the bond on a blockchain offers a number of benefits compared to previous processes. For instance, it makes paper-based global certificates and central clearing unnecessary. What’s more, the bond can be sold directly to investors without needing a bank to function as an intermediary.

“With our innovative products and technologies, Siemens supports the digital transformation of its customers with great success. It is therefore only logical that we test and utilize the latest digital solutions in finance, too. We are proud

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OneSpan Inks Deal to Acquire Aussie Blockchain Tech Provider ProvenDB

February 14, 2023

Cybersecurity technology company OneSpan has inked a deal to acquire Australia-based blockchain technology provider ProvenDB for an undisclosed sum.
The transaction is anticipated to close during the first quarter of 2023 and is subject to customary closing conditions.
Through this acquisition, OneSpan said that it plans to combine ProvenDB’s technology with its Transaction Cloud Platform.
This will provide an integrated end-to-end assurance model which includes a secure repository for documents and artifacts.
This complementary acquisition aims to expand OneSpan’s addressable market, solves customers’ secure vaulting needs, and secure digital agreements throughout the customer transaction lifecycle.
Matthew Moynahan
“We have an ambitious plan to disrupt the

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Crypto Money Laundering Reaches New Heights; Totaled US$23.8B in 2022

February 9, 2023

In 2022, cryptocurrency money laundering reached a new record, with illicit addresses sending US$23.8 billion worth of crypto, a figure which represents a 68% year-on-year (YoY) increase, new data from Chainalysis, an American blockchain analysis firm, show.
Total cryptocurrency laundered by year, 2015-2022 Source: Chainalysis, Jan 2023
Just under half of the funds sent from these addresses traveled directly to centralized exchanges, making these services the biggest recipients of illicit crypto, the report says.
Mainstream centralized crypto exchanges are critical services for money laundering, helping criminals turn their crypto into cash. This is despite being among the most heavily regulated crypto services, and being required to have compliance measures in

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ABN AMRO Issues Digital Bond on Stellar Blockchain

January 12, 2023

ABN Amro became the first bank in the Netherlands to register a digital bond on the public blockchain, using Fireblocks. The digital bond was issued to a select group of investors to raise funds on behalf of APOC, an ABN Amro commercial client in the aerospace industry.
ABN Amro’s bond issuance sets an innovative precedent in bringing more real world use cases of blockchain technology to traditional financial markets. This initiative showcases the potential of new financing streams for commercial companies across all industries.
Edwin van Bommel
“This updated digital solution for providing our medium-sized and larger commercial clients with leveraged financing fills a gap between traditional bonds and crowdfunding. Thanks to the blockchain, it’s highly efficient

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Switzerland’s Premier Crypto Conference Returns With a Two-Day Format in Zurich & Davos

January 4, 2023

Wrapped around the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF), the will kick off on Monday, 16th January 2023 at the Hyatt Circle Conference Centre at Zurich airport. The second day of the event is set to take place on Friday, 20th January 2023 in Davos.

The theme of 2023
The theme of the 2023 is regaining trust in crypto and advancing technology.
It is set to open with the keynote from Charles Hoskinson, the Founder of Cardano Foundation, followed by a broad series of topics throughout the day, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum evolution, layer 2 scaling solutions, Defi, Web 3 and applications in the banking industry. Investors may be interested in topics like the crypto market outlook in 2023, the best

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Year End Message to Our Readers – Offline From 23rd December to 2nd January

December 23, 2022

Fintech News Switzerland would like to take this opportunity to wish all our readers a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year.
We will be taking a break from the 23rd December 2022 to the 2nd January 2023.
Until then, you can access some of our year-end articles that may be of interest to you. We look forward to seeing you all again on the 3rd January 2023!
Crypto Winter Wipes Out 72,000 Bitcoin Millionaires in 2022
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BIS: New Global Bank Standards for Cryptoassets
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IFZ Insurtech Study: European Insurtech Industry Increased 20% This Year
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The Swiss Fintech Worldcup Football Team 2022
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Swiss Universal Banks Top Digital Performance Ranking Ahead of Neobanks and Challengers
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UBS Issues USD 50 Million Tokenized Debt Securities for Asia Pacific

December 19, 2022

UBS has closed the first tokenized debt transaction for Asia Pacific investors, underlining its commitment to expand regional investment opportunities.
UBS AG London branch issued USD 50 million in digital fixed rate security tokens (‘digital securities’) using blockchain technology to a series of high net worth and global family and institutional wealth investors across Hong Kong and Singapore. The US dollar-denominated instruments carry a tenor of 6 months and are tokenized on a permissioned blockchain.
August Hatecke
The private placement marks the first time that uncertificated securities on a blockchain have been constituted under English and Swiss law, and tokenized on a permissioned Ethereum-based blockchain. They are among the first ever global

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Governments, International Bodies Ramp up Crypto Tax Regulations

December 19, 2022

Over the past year, governments and regulatory bodies from around the world have increased their focus on the taxation of the cryptocurrency industry, a trend that comes on the back of increasing investment, adoption and innovation in the space despite collapsing prices and high profile business failures, a new report by consulting firm PwC says.
PwC’s 2022 Global Crypto Tax Report, released earlier this month, looks at the state of crypto taxation globally, exploring emerging trends and key developments that have occurred over the past year.
According to the report, 2022 has been marked by increasing tax regulation targeting the crypto sector, a trend that was prompted by major steps being taken by governments and international bodies like the Organisation for

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New Swiss Fintech Startup Map Design for 2023

December 19, 2022

Together with their partners Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Swisscom and Clarafinds, eForesight has revised the Swiss Fintech Map and expanded the database as well as deleted some old and inactive players.
The main business area categories contain now 130 Swiss Investment Management Fintechs, 106 Banking Infrastructure Fintechs, 48 Deposit&Lending Fintechs and 55 Payment Fintechs. On top of that, the fintechs in the main categories on the map were sorted into technology clusters such as Big Data (84), Process Digitization (135) and DLD Blockchain (102).
The map was also cleaned up, which means inactive Swiss Fintechs were deleted from the map. This means for 2023 the new count starts now with 339 Swiss Fintechs, about 32 Fintechs less than the

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Syz Crypto: Bank Syz Selected Taurus for Its New Digital Asset Offering

December 12, 2022

Bank Syz has collaborated with Taurus to launch its new digital asset offer Syz Crypto. It will cover the safekeeping and trading of digital assets to the Bank’s private, professional and institutional clients.
Concretely, the Bank has integrated Taurus-PROTECT, a technology that allows the custody of digital assets such as cryptocurrencies, tokenized securities as well as NFTs and Taurus-EXPLORER for the connectivity to >15 blockchain protocols, including Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) ; which were selected by the bank to launch their services.

Charles-Henry Monchau, Bank Syz CIO said,
“Thanks to our partnership with Taurus, we now offer our clients the convenience of accessing the digital asset world through a regulated custodian with strong investor

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EIB and Goldman Sachs Issue First Euro-Denominated Digital Bond on a Private Blockchain

December 5, 2022

The European Investment Bank (EIB) — in collaboration with Goldman Sachs Bank Europe, Santander and Société Générale — launched Project Venus, their second euro-denominated digitally native bond issue and first using private blockchain technology.
The €100 million, two-year bond was issued, recorded and settled using private blockchain-based technology, and represents the inaugural issuance on Goldman Sachs’ tokenisation platform – GS DAPTM.
Banque de France and the Banque centrale du Luxembourg took part in the project to provide a digital representation of euro central bank money in the form of tokens. Société Générale Security Securities Services (SGSS Luxembourg) and Goldman Sachs Bank Europe SE acted respectively as on-chain custodian and account keeper.

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The State of the German Blockchain Ecosystem

December 5, 2022

Despite a global venture capital (VC) pullback, shrinking valuations and public market turmoil, Germany’s blockchain VC funding market remained stable this year, with companies in the space securing a total of US$218 million across 20 deals year-to-date (YTD), just US$37 million short of 2021’s US$255 million, a new report by CV VC, a Swiss VC and private equity firm specialized in cryptocurrency and blockchain solutions, shows.
The German Blockchain Report, released last week, looks at the state of the German blockchain ecosystem, delving into the country’s burgeoning blockchain sector and exploring VC funding trends.
According to the report, Germany accounted for 6.2% of European blockchain funding and 1% of global blockchain funding. Decreasing blockchain

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A.P. Moller – Maersk and IBM to Discontinue Blockchain Trade Platform Tradelens

December 1, 2022

A.P. Moller – Maersk  and IBM announced the decision to withdraw the TradeLens offerings and discontinue the platform.
Starting immediately, the TradeLens team is taking action to withdraw the offerings and discontinue the platform, and the intent is that the platform will go offline by end of quarter one, 2023. During this process all parties involved will ensure that customers are attended to without disruptions to their businesses.
Maersk will continue its efforts to digitise the supply chain and increase industry innovation through other solutions to reduce trade friction and promote more global trade.

“We are deeply grateful for the relentless efforts of our committed industry members and many tech talents, who together have worked diligently to advance the

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Crypto Winter Wipes Out 72,000 Bitcoin Millionaires in 2022

November 28, 2022

Crypto comparison website Bitstacker conducted a study which found that there was a 70% drop in Bitcoin millionaires in November 2022 when compared to January 2022 due to the ongoing ‘crypto winter’.
72,000 Bitcoin holders were no longer millionaires due to the drop in BTC prices from US$46,208 at the start of 2022 to US$15,759 at the time of the study in November.

Bitstacker also found that there was some 3,577 accounts holding over US$10 million in Bitcoin, while there were over 34 million addresses that had at least US$1 in Bitcoin assets.
Furthermore, there are currently 10 Bitcoin billionaires in the world, with the richest ‘Bitcoin billionaire’ holding 252,597 BTC worth around US$4.05 billion — representing 1.31% of all BTC in existence.


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Bitpanda Receives Full Crypto Custody and Trading License in Germany

November 24, 2022

Austrian crypto platform Bitpanda has received a full operating license from the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority or BaFin for the custody and proprietary trading of crypto assets.
Bitpanda claims to be the first European retail investment platform to obtain the license which was introduced by BaFin in 2020, allowing it to actively market and offer services in the German market.
Founded in 2014, Bitpanda now has nearly four million investors on its platform. The company also recently partnered with German neobank N26 to enable its cryptocurrency feature in Austria.

Bitpanda last raised a US$263 million Series C and US$170 million Series B led by Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures in 2021, as well as a €10 million Series B extension round the same year.

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Total Funding to Portuguese Fintech Companies Surpasses EUR 1B Mark

November 21, 2022

In 2022, the Portuguese fintech ecosystem entered a new stage of development, marked by greater maturity of the sector, continued innovation through partnerships and a dynamic venture capital (VC) market, a new report by industry trade group Portugal Fintech, in collaboration with KPMG, Visa and law firm Morais Leitao, claims.
The Portugal Fintech Report 2022, released in October, shows a resilient fintech industry that has continued to grow, innovate and attract investors’ interest in 2022, despite falling tech stocks and concerns about an economic downturn.
This year, total funding to Portuguese fintech companies to date surpassed the EUR 1 billion mark, with blockchain and cryptocurrency, lending and credit, and regtech and cybersecurity attracting the most

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BlackRock’s Fintech Bets Span Lending, Wealthtech, Crypto and More

November 16, 2022

BlackRock, one of the world’s largest asset managers, has been actively investing in the fintech industry over the past decade, participating in large rounds of financing across a broad range of segments, from payments and lending, to wealthtech and cryptocurrency, a new analysis by fintech-focused research firm WhiteSight shows.
The report, which delves into the investment firm’s fintech moves, shows that BlackRock has been a prolific fintech investors, dipping its toes into a variety of sectors.
Data from Dealroom corroborate this, indicating that fintech is the second biggest industry BlackRock has invested in, with 46 investments. These investments primarily consist of growth and later stage rounds, and target mainly companies in the US, the UK and India.

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Swissquote Clients Can Now Invest in Dubai Financial Market’s Securities

October 27, 2022

Online trading platform Swissquote is now connected to the Dubai Financial Market (DFM), allowing clients to invest in and trade DFM-listed securities.
The platform is connected to the DFM through GTN Middle East and BHM Capital Financial Services’ direct market access route, and is expected to boost DFM-listed securities’ accessibility to investors outside the UAE.
Swissquote is a provider of online financial services granting its clients access to trade a range of asset classes including stocks, ETFs, funds, bonds, derivatives and more.

The company launched a cryptocurrency exchange called SQX earlier this month and previously partnered with Postfinance to launch digital banking app Yuh in mid-2021.

“Given our local and international client base, providing

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neon’s Crowdfunding Campaign Reaches CHF 5 Million on Its First Day

October 26, 2022

Swiss neobank neon’s crowdfunding campaign reached CHF 5 million of its CHF 10 million target with more than 2,000 investors participating on the first day of the campaign.
The campaign, which runs from October 25 to 31, is offering two to 250 non-voting shares priced at CHF 200.00 per share. The company aims to sell a total of 50,000 shares.
According to the campaign page, neon’s recent milestones include hitting 130,000 users, generating CHF 3.5 million in revenue year to date, and launching new card and community features.

The company says that it expects to reach CHF 6 million in sales by the end of the year, and that it plans to move into stock and cryptocurrency trading next.
neon shared that it also raised CHF 2.5 million in funding from institutional

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N26 Launches New Cryptocurrency Trading Feature With Bitpanda

October 26, 2022

German neobank N26 has launched its cryptocurrency product in Austria to enable customers to buy and sell 194 cryptocurrencies in their app.
The N26 Crypto feature will be made available progressively to eligible customers in Austria over the coming weeks, as well as in other key markets over the next six months.
The launch addresses strong local demand, where internal research showed that 40% of N26 users are either actively trading, or have expressed interest in investing in cryptocurrencies.

N26 Crypto is offered in partnership with Austrian cryptocurrency platform Bitpanda, which manages the execution of trades and custody of coins.
N26 Metal customers will be able to make transactions with a 1% transaction fee applied for trading Bitcoin and 2% for all

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Wealth Managers Reluctant to Invest in Crypto

October 24, 2022

Wealth managers around the world are still reluctant to invest in cryptocurrency on behalf of their clients amid concerns over the lack of regulation, the lack of education as well as high volatility, a new study by American asset management company Mercer found.
The survey, which polled 125 wealth managers worldwide, found that just 8% of participants indicated having invested in crypto for their customers.
Wealth managers in Europe were found to be the most open to the new asset class, with 12% of respondents in the region stating that they did invest in crypto in client portfolios, while their American counterparts ranked as the least open to crypto with just 3%.

Unsurprisingly, wealth managers cited the lack of regulation (63%), the lack of transparency and

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Relai Partners to Enable Instant Bitcoin Purchases

October 20, 2022

Swiss Bitcoin investment app Relai has partnered with global payments provider to enable its users to buy the cryptocurrency via Visa, Mastercard and Apple Pay in real time through its self-custodial wallet.
The partnership with is expected to allow users to have constant access to instant liquidity while also ensuring that they have full say over what happens to their assets.
Founded in 2020, Relai currently serves over 40 countries in Europe, has over 100,000 app downloads, 30,000 active users, and CHF 6 million in monthly volume.

The startup last raised a CHF 2.5 million Series A round in mid-2021 and recently made the TOP 100 Swiss Startup Awards 2022. is a London-based payments solutions provider with a US$40 billion

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SIX Digital Exchange Links to SIX SIS to Boost Digital CHF Bond Accessibility

October 4, 2022

SIX Digital Exchange (SDX) announced the addition of SIX SIS to its Central Securities Depository (CSD), making it the first regulated CSD to have direct access to SDX.
The addition is expected to increase the accessibility of natively digital CHF-denominated bonds to the wider market and enable investors to purchase a digital bond and hold it in SIX SIS.
SDX offers issuance, listing, trading, settlement, servicing, and custody of digital securities. The platform is part of the SIX group which develops and operates infrastructure for financial institutions.

The company previously announced the launch of its new Ethereum stakings service for institutional clients in September.

“This new operational link between SDX CSD and SIX SIS enables digital CHF bonds

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Swissquote Dives Into Cryptocurrency Trading With the Launch of SQX

October 4, 2022

Online trading platform Swissquote has launched a cryptocurrency exchange called SQX that aims to provide a more competitive and secure trading environment.
Unlike other crypto exchanges, SQX says that it prides itself on being a centralised trading platform as it believes that currency markets function on the back of long-standing bilateral relationships.
As such, Swissquote added that SQX’s new central order book, which sources and aggregates liquidity from different liquidity hubs, will allow it to source the best liquidity conditions from decentralised crypto markets — resulting in more competitive bid and ask prices.

The Bancor Network Token (BNT) will be available on SQX in the initial phase and other cryptocurrencies available at Swissquote will be added

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University of Zurich and ETH Zurich Among World’s Best Universities for Blockchain Education

October 4, 2022

The University of Zurich and ETH Zurich ranked third and 27th respectively on CoinDesk’s latest annual best universities for blockchain rankings.
The rankings were made from a shortlist of 240 institutions around the world, calculated based on their scholarly, industrial and pedagogical impact on blockchain.

Metrics that were taken into account included the institutions’ blockchain research publications, courses, degrees, conferences, clubs and industry partnerships or grants.

The rankings also took into account the institutions’ reputations, where their graduates get jobs, and other measurements from publicly available sources.
The University of Zurich moved up the rankings this year from fourth to third place, while ETH Zurich dropped from 10th place to 27th

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Revolut is Now a Fully Registered Crypto Service Provider in the UK

September 28, 2022

Digital money app Revolut has been approved by the United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to offer cryptocurrency products and services in the country.
The company was previously providing crypto buying, selling and trading services under the the FCA’s temporary registration regime which allows service providers to continue operating while their applications were being reviewed.
CoinDesk received confirmation from an FCA spokesperson that Revolut has indeed been added to its financial services registry of cryptoasset firms as it has met the requirements of money-laundering regulations.

38 cryptoasset firms are currently registered with the FCA, including Gemini, Fidelity and eToro.
Founded in 2015, Revolut had 20 million retail customers, 250 million

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Coinbase Gets Greenlight to Operate Its Crypto Exchange in the Netherlands

September 28, 2022

Coinbase has secured regulatory approval from the Dutch central bank as a crypto service provider, allowing it to offer its full suite of retail, institutional, and ecosystem products to customers in the country.
This makes Coinbase one of the first major global crypto exchanges to be approved by the De Nederlandsche Bank to operate in the country, alongside eToro and other platforms such as BitPay and Okcoin.
Coinbase currently serves customers across almost 40 European countries through dedicated hubs in Ireland, the UK, and Germany.

The company also announced in August that it has partnered with BlackRock to give BlackRock’s institutional clients direct access to cryptocurrency trading capabilities.

“Coinbase prides itself on being a compliance-led business.

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