Republic of Ireland
Open your Cryptocurrency Company in Ireland

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Register your Cryptocurrency Company in Ireland

Ireland Advantages

The UK and Ireland are key jurisdictions in the development of the sector. LSC & Partners presence both in Dublin and London combined with the team’s cryptocurrency and blockchain experience, uniquely positions us to meet the ever-changing demands of companies and individuals involved in this area.

The crypto market has proved to be a lucrative industry on a global scale. Ireland stands as one of the major European markets for cryptocurrency companies. The country even has its own virtual currency known as the Irish coin. However, it also supports most of the major cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. In Ireland’s major cities such as Dublin, you will even find a bitcoin ATMs.

Why Register a Crypto-Trade Company in Ireland?

Ireland is the perfect gateway to do business and trade Bitcoin in the European Union;
One of the oldest bitcoin services providers, BitEx is based in Ireland;
Ireland hosts multiple global financial and information technology giants;
Corporate taxation in Ireland is low at 12.5%;
Blockchain Association of Ireland is bullish about the current state of the world’s most popular crypto- currency;
The Central Bank in Ireland considers implementing a bitcoin recognition procedure.

Registering a Bitcoin company in Ireland takes less than 30 days to complete without personal travel required.

Types of Virtual Businesses You Can Open in Ireland

Crypto ATM
Irish citizens are already familiar with the crypto ATMs of their own national virtual currency. However, there are not so many cryptocurrency ATMs for other currencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum. As result setting up a network of cryptocurrency in Ireland can be very rewarding, ATMs will provide a rapid ROI and they are not hard to maintain.

Cryptocurrency exchange platform
Cryptocurrency exchange platforms are the most common crypto business entities in Ireland. The exchange platforms are generally websites which act as the crypto stock exchange platform and allow users to perform trading activities. As a result, the prices of virtual commodities will vary depending on the trading volumes

Gaming
Most games facilitate the use of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to access premium game products. Ireland is home to a large variety of international gaming companies and investors interested in cryptocurrencies can use gaming as a great avenue.

Crypto App
A number of start-up crypto companies are leveraging on mobile and web applications. These apps provide a very convenient and easy way to access cryptocurrencies. App users can perform cross-currency transactions, use app wallets among many others.

Cryptocurrency Regulation 2019 in Ireland

There is no specific cryptocurrency regulation in Ireland, but there is also no specific prohibition in Ireland on any activities related to cryptocurrency.

The investors who want to open a company in Ireland in this industry will be required to register for taxation with the Irish Revenue for capital gains (just like in the case of any other legal entity operating in this country) and with Central Bank of Ireland (CBI) for Anti-Money Laundering purposes.

The CBI (Central Bank of Ireland) is the competent authority in Ireland for the regulation of financial services including electronic money, payment services and securities law. The CBI has yet to indicate the extent to which existing financial regulation will apply. The CBI has issued warnings in relation to ICOs and cryptocurrencies and has also contributed to the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA)'s warnings to both consumers and to firms engaged in ICOs.
In respect of cryptocurrency regulation, we expect that the CBI will focus on securities law and the recognised EU concepts of "transferable security" and "financial instruments" as defined in the 2014 European Union Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II) and the characteristics which they view as bringing cryptocurrencies or tokens within those definitions. Depending on their structure, cryptocurrencies could be classified as transferable securities, which would bring them within scope of a range of securities laws. For example, the issuer of a cryptocurrency may be required to publish a prospectus (or avail of an exemption) prior to their being offered to the public, or certain activities in respect of the cryptocurrency may require authorisation as an investment firm under MiFID II.

A pure, decentralised cryptocurrency is unlikely to be a transferable security, while a token with characteristics similar to a traditional share or bond may be. It is also possible that true "utility" tokens intended for exclusive use on a platform or service will not be transferable securities. The definition of transferable security is non-exhaustive, and it is for each issuer and their advisers to determine whether their cryptocurrency or token is a transferable security.
As in many jurisdictions, the regulatory environment in relation to cryptocurrencies and their interaction with securities law is not yet settled and ESMA acknowledges that depending on how an ICO is structured, it may fall outside the regulated space entirely.
Remark:
To the extent that virtual currencies, ICOs, or those involved in their issuance or trading, are not subject to existing regulation, then the question arises: has the regulation fallen behind developments and needs updating. Or is it the case that these activities are just new examples of old types of activity and there is no need for further regulatory intervention, beyond making consumers properly aware of the significant risks through consumer warnings? Or might it simply be too early to say? . . . At the Central Bank, we are actively engaged with other European and international policy makers as we all try to figure out a way forward, including for example, work at the ESAs [European Supervisory Authorities]. Given the cross-jurisdictional nature of virtual currencies and ICOs, we at the Central Bank welcome these efforts by the ESAs.
Ireland has harnessed the use of cryptocurrency to help its tourism industry, adopting the “Irishcoin,” a currency aimed predominantly at the tourism market that is accepted in some locations across Ireland.

Sales Regulation

Depending on the structure of an ICO or token, it may fall within the regulated space and require the publication of a prospectus (or availing of an exemption from that requirement, see above) prior to it being offered to the public.

Taxation

According to Revenue, while companies are entitled to prepare their accounts in a currency other than euro, they are not entitled to do so in crypto - “Accounts, for tax purposes, cannot be prepared in cryptocurrencies: euro or functional currency accounts must be prepared”.

And when it comes to making a gain on a cryptocurrency, the Revenue guidance states that individuals will be subject to capital gains tax at a rate of 33% on gains, while losses will be allowable against offsetting CGT bills. For companies, chargeable gains will be subject to corporation tax 12,5%.

On VAT, Revenue says that as bitcoin and other crypto currencies are deemed to be “negotiable instruments”, they are exempt from VAT. This means that those engaged in exchanging cryptocurrencies won’t be subject to VAT.

In cases where employees are paid in bitcoin, the amount must be converted to euro at the time of the payment so that income tax can be calculated.
The territoriality aspect of cryptocurrencies is still an involving area. In the case of an Irish resident (and for an individual ordinarily resident) person, they will usually be liable to tax in Ireland on their worldwide income and gains (subject to any reliefs or exemptions, including double tax treaty reliefs).

A non-resident person will generally only be subject to tax on Irish-sourced income or gains, or profits of an Irish trade. (In the case of individuals, tax may also apply where amounts are remitted into Ireland.) It is evident therefore that understanding the source or situs of cryptocurrencies is of significance in international dealings. This is likely to be an area that will be developed further.

Money Transmission Laws and Anti-Money Laundering Requirements

There is a risk that certain ancillary services in connection with cryptocurrency could be subject to regulation as a form of money remittance or transmission under the Payment Services Directive (PSD) or, where PSD does not apply, under the Irish regulatory regime for money transmission. For example, the operator of a cryptocurrency platform who settles payments of fiat currency between the buyers and sellers of cryptocurrency could be viewed as being engaged in the regulated activity of money remittance/transmission. There are a number of exemptions which may be applicable, for example, where the platform operator is acting as a commercial agent or where the platform could be viewed as a securities settlement system.

The application of the exemption would depend on the features of the trading platform.

The application of existing Irish anti-money laundering requirements to cryptocurrencies is unclear due to uncertainty surrounding the regulatory status of cryptocurrency. Where the cryptocurrency or any activity relating to it is subject to regulation (e.g. it has the characteristics of transferable security), then Irish anti-money laundering requirements will apply.

The 5th Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AMLD5) will impose new anti-money laundering requirements on cryptocurrency exchanges and custodians operating in Europe. AMLD5 has not yet been implemented in Ireland.

Ownership and Licensing Requirements

In principle, there are no specific ownership and licensing requirement set out with regard to cryptocurrency. More specifically, while heavily regulated retail funds (e.g. UCITS funds) have specific restrictions on the type and diversity of assets they can hold, which restrictions would likely exclude cryptocurrencies, there are no generally applicable restrictions on investment managers owning cryptocurrencies for investment purposes. In addition, no specific licensing requirements are imposed on anyone who holds cryptocurrency as an investment advisor or fund manager.

Mining

There are no restrictions in Ireland on the mining of cryptocurrency. As noted above in the "Cryptocurrency regulation" section, the regulatory status of cryptocurrency in Ireland is uncertain. It is likely that the focus going forward will be on securities law.

Mining of cryptocurrency is a technical process relating to the release of new cryptocurrency and the tracking of cryptocurrency transactions on a blockchain. Where the cryptocurrency is a form of transferable security, the mining activity could be viewed as a form of securities settlement system. However, as the mining is carried out on a decentralised basis, it does not fit neatly into any existing regime for securities settlement. On that basis, we would view mining as an unregulated activity under Irish law.

Border Restrictions and Declaration

In Ireland, there are no border restrictions or obligations which are specifically aimed at cryptocurrencies. The traditional reporting requirements for "cash" (which is defined as currency, cheques and money orders or promissory notes) when entering or leaving the European Union do not apply to virtual or cryptocurrencies. This is because they are deemed to be neither "cash" nor "currency".

Passporting Rights
Further Expand into Europe

For further expand into Europe, Cryptocurrency exchanges are required to hold an e-money license from the Central Bank of Ireland; this license will help the exchange expand its Irish operations, as well as allow it secure passporting for customers across the European Union (EU) and the European Economic Area (EEA).

Passporting allows a firm registered in the European region to do business in any other member state without the need for further authorization from each country.

Reporting Requirements

In respect of financial regulation, there are currently no specific reporting requirements relating to cryptocurrencies. Where the cryptocurrency or any activity related to it is subject to regulation, then Irish anti-money laundering requirements will apply. This will include obligations to submit suspicious transaction reports to the Garda Síochana and the Revenue Commissioners.

Registration for AML Purposes

Central Bank of Ireland warns certain firms need to register for AML purposes; a number of firms will need to register with the Central Bank as ‘Schedule 2 firms’.
The Central Bank of Ireland has posted a guidance for registration of the so-called “Schedule 2 Firms”. This type of registration must be done for anti-money laundering (AML) purposes.

The regulator explains that, on November 26, 2018, Section 108A of the Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing), (Amendment) Act 2010 introduced for the first time a statutory requirement for certain firms to register for anti-money laundering purposes with the Central Bank of Ireland. The central bank is the competent authority in Ireland for the monitoring and supervision of financial and credit institutions’ compliance with their obligations under the Act. The Central Bank is empowered to take measures that are reasonably necessary to ensure that credit and financial institutions comply with the provisions of the Act.

If a firm offers any of the following services and it is not otherwise authorised or licenced to carry on business by the Central Bank, then it will need to register with the Central Bank, showing project of business activities.

Activities:

1. Lending including inter alia: consumer credit, credit agreements relating to immovable property, factoring, with or without recourse, financing of commercial transactions (including forfeiting).
2. Financial leasing.
3. Payment services as defined in Article 4(3) of Directive 2007/64/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 November 200714 on payment services in the internal market amending Directives 97/7/EC, 2002/65/EC, 2005/60/EC and 2006/48/EC and repealing Directive 97/5/EC.
4. Issuing and administering other means of payment (e.g. travellers’ cheques and bankers’ drafts) insofar as such activity is not covered by point 3.
5. Guarantees and commitments.
6. Trading for own account or for account of customers in any of the following:
Money market instruments (cheques, bills, certificates of deposit, etc.)
Foreign exchange
Financial futures and options
Exchange and interest-rate instruments
Transferable securities.
7. Participation in securities issues and the provision of services relating to such issues.
8. Advice to undertakings on capital structure, industrial strategy and related questions and advice as well as services relating to mergers and the purchase of undertakings.
9. Money broking.
10. Portfolio management and advice.
11. Safekeeping and administration of securities.
12. Safe custody services.
13. Issuing electronic money.

There are some exemptions from the Obligation to Register. If a firm is carrying out the Schedule 2 activities, the obligation to register does not occur if the firm falls into any of the following exemptions:
- If the firm only carries out Schedule 2 Activity 6 above (the “Trading for own account or for account of customers…”), or
- If the firm’s customers (if any) are members of the same group as the firm, or

If cumulatively:

- The firm’s annual turnover is less than €70,000, and
- The total of any single transaction, or serious of linked transactions in relation to the firm’s Schedule 2 activities does not exceed €1,000, and
- The firm’s Schedule 2 activities do not exceed 5% of the firm’s total turnover, and
- The firm’s Schedule 2 activities are directly related to and ancillary to the firm’s main business activities, and
- The firm only provides Schedule 2 activities to customers of the main business activities, rather than the public in general.

Firms that need to register with the Central Bank as a Schedule 2 firm must do so by using the Schedule 2 Registration Form.
The Central Bank notes that it will not commence the processing of any registration until all required information in the registration form as been completed. Incomplete registration forms will be returned without review.

Cryptocurrencies accepted in Ireland

The Irish jurisdiction accepts a few cryptocurrencies. The major cryptocurrencies traded in Ireland are:

Bitcoin
Ethereum
Irishcoin

The upside to Ireland is that a wide range of businesses across the country already accept the Irish coin. At the moment the majority of the virtual currency market is still limited to coffee shops and food shops but it’s probably promising to expand to other industries soon.

Types of Virtual Businesses you can open in Ireland

Crypto ATM
Irish citizens are already familiar with the crypto ATMs of their own national virtual currency. However, there are not so many cryptocurrency ATMs for other currencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum. As result setting up a network of cryptocurrency in Ireland can be very rewarding, ATMs will provide a rapid ROI and they are not hard to maintain.

Cryptocurrency exchange platform
Cryptocurrency exchange platforms are the most common crypto business entities in Ireland. The exchange platforms are generally websites which act as the crypto stock exchange platform and allow users to perform trading activities. As a result, the prices of virtual commodities will vary depending on the trading volumes

Gaming
Most games facilitate the use of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to access premium game products. Ireland is home to a large variety of international gaming companies and investors interested in cryptocurrencies can use gaming as a great avenue.

Crypto App
A number of Startup crypto companies are leveraging on mobile and web applications. These apps provide a very convenient and easy way to access cryptocurrencies. App users can perform cross-currency transactions, use app wallets among many others.

Cryptocurrency Exchange Authorisation in Ireland

LSC & PARTNERS assists start-up companies interested in applying for cryptocurrency exchange registration in Ireland on each and every step:

Consultancy
Consultancy regarding the necessary documents and procedures required to obtain authorisation from Inland Revenue (I.R.) and Central Bank of Ireland (CBI).

Revision
Analysis and revision of client’s existing/proposed business operations and their licensing requirements.

Drafting
Drafting and preparation of the applicant’s internal regulations and policies (Anti-Money Laundering, International Sanctions, amongst others.).

Preparation
Assistance to prepare all the required documents for a successful application.

Filing
Filing of applications and all necessary follow-ups with the Regulator. We ensure swift and correct filing of all required documents as well as prompt response to any additional regulatory clarifications or requests.

Follow-up
We will follow-up with the Regulator and communicate the applicant any regulatory updates or inquiries in order to expedite the application and ensure smooth launch of the applicant’s business in Ireland.

Compliance
We help our clients’ businesses to stay compliant and update our clients on regulatory changes for internal policies, manuals, forms and processes.

Digital Currency Business
Requirements to Incorporate and Register
Cryptocurrency Company in Ireland

Entities and individuals who:

- live or have a place of business in Ireland; and
- have the necessary professional expertise of trading in digital currency

Processing and Registration Fees for your legal Irish entity
Draft of Constitution to be filed with CRO (Irish Registrar)
Tax Registration with Irish Revenue
Application for Irish Tax Identification Number
Preparing and draft of:
- Internal Procedures Manual
- Anti-Money Laundering & Compliance Procedures Manual;
Registration with Central Bank of Ireland (CBI) for AML purposes;
Supervision and review of all company documents, inclusive Business plan with 3-year projections;
Opening Bank Account in Europe;
Set of certified corporate documents for bank account opening services;
Corporate management;
DHL Courier Services;

All you need to get your crypto registration fast and successful.

Additional Services we can help you with

Nominee EEA Resident Director
Assistance to locate and rent a real Office Space)
Accountancy and Taxation Services
Annual Management and Ongoing Services
Full tax and legal support

Should you need more information about registering a digital currency trading company in Ireland, and getting your crypto business company duly registered, we welcome you to get in touch with one of our Business Development Managers.
We shall be at your entire disposal to help, assist and guide you all over this registration process.



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Our Office Locations

Cork City Head Office, Ireland
Commerce House
14, Washington St West
Cork City, T12 NCF2
Phone: +353 429 611 228
Email: enquiries@ireland-lsc-partners.com
Republic of Ireland

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Peel House, 30 The Downs, Ste 28
Altrincham
Cheshire, WA14 2PX
Phone: +44 161 394 1189
Email: altrincham@ireland-lsc-partners.com
England

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The information and materials contained in this website do not constitute an offer, invitation, solicitation, advice or recommendation to buy the products and services offered and rendered by LSC & Partners and shall be applied with prior consultation.

LSC & Partners does not offer legal or tax advice without consultation with certified professionals with related appropriate skill and expertise.

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