Focus on Crypto

Author: Clerkin Lynch

Date Published 24/03/2022

Irish Register of Virtual Asset Service Providers

The Central Bank of Ireland established a public register of Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs) in 2021 to list VASPs registered under Section 106A of the Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) Acts 2010 to 2021.

This has been added to the series of public registers it maintains of regulated entities authorised by, or registered with, it. Given Ireland’s combination as a jurisdiction with both a strong Tech and FS sector (2nd largest EU fund centre), it is anticipated that multiple providers will become registered here in due course.

VASP services are broadly defined to include:

(a) exchange between Virtual Assets (as defined) (VAs) and fiat currencies;
(b) exchange between one or more VAs;
(c) transfer of VAs, that is to say, conduct a transaction on behalf of another person that moves a virtual asset from one VA address or account to another;
(d) custodian wallet provider;
(e) participation in, and provision of, financial services related to an issuer’s offer or sale of a VA or both;
with some exceptions.

Virtual Asset Service Providers are accordingly registered and supervised by the Central Bank of Ireland for anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism.

A “Virtual asset” means a digital representation of value that can be digitally traded, or transferred, and can be used for payment or investment purposes. Virtual assets do not include digital representations of fiat currencies, securities and other financial assets. The Central Bank has been zealously monitoring applications for this registration so that as yet no firm have yet received it.