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Eversheds Sutherland advises Coinbase on first crypto custody licence in Germany

  • Germany

    30-06-2021

    On 28 June 2021, the German regulator BaFin granted Coinbase, one of the world’s leading cryptocurrency exchanges, a license to provide crypto exchange and crypto custody services. Advised by an Eversheds Sutherland team led by regulatory partner Carola Rathke, Coinbase is the first company in Germany to receive a crypto custody licence.

    “This is an important step that will enable us to expand our product suite and grow our German business” said Marcus Hughes, Managing Director of Coinbase Germany. “Congratulations to our incredible in-house team, and thank you to the Eversheds Sutherland team for helping us to achieve this milestone.”

    Georgie Harris, Senior International Counsel at Coinbase, added: “Without the support of Eversheds Sutherland we would not be where we are today. Carola Rathke, Thomas Tüllmann and their team combine a deep understanding of the law and crypto technology. This combination and their pragmatic, goal-oriented approach enabled us to navigate the complexities and achieve our objective. They were a pleasure to work with throughout.”

    Carola Rathke commented:

    “It was an exciting journey to support Coinbase with their BaFin application. There were many topics to discuss, in particular how to apply the current regulatory framework to this new asset class. It was a great pleasure to work with the very experienced Coinbase inhouse team.”

    Since 2020, more and more companies dealing with crypto assets are considering applying for a licence in Germany. “Regulation leads to more professionalism in the market and creates trust with customers and investors. Companies like Coinbase understand this.” says Thomas Tuellmann

    Coinbase Global, Inc. (NASDAQ: COIN) offers a trusted and easy-to-use platform for accessing the broader cryptoeconomy, making it easy to buy, sell, and store cryptocurrency like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and more. The company started in 2012 with the radical idea that anyone, anywhere, should be able to easily and securely send and receive Bitcoin. Today, Coinbase has more than 56 million users across more than 100 countries. Following its direct listing on Nasdaq on 14 April 2021, Coinbase has reported a trading volume of US$335 billion for the first quarter of 2021 and held some US$223 billion in users’ assets at the end of March. In Germany, Coinbase will be active via its subsidiary Coinbase Germany GmbH based in Berlin.

    The Eversheds Sutherland team was led by Hamburg-based Partner Carola Rathke and Thomas Tüllmann (Counsel, both banking). The team was completed by Lutz Schreiber (Partner), Sara Apenburg (Senior Associate, both IT), Simon Weppner (Partner), Niklas Schilawa (Associate, both tax, Dusseldorf), Michael Reichard (Principal Associate), Maria Oikonomou (Associate, both corporate/M&A, Munich) and Merle Templin (Principal Associate, employment, Hamburg).

    With the advice, the Eversheds Sutherland team once again demonstrated the firm’s expertise in the field of cryptocurrencies, fintechs and digital assets. Only recently, an Eversheds team has advised Warburg Bank on its investment in innovative digital bonds issued by DAX company Vonovia SE. Eversheds Sutherland’s Blockchain and Crypto Assets Team has repeatedly been recognised for its expertise, including an accolade at the British Legal Awards 2018 for its advice on the first successful Initial Coin Offering (ICO) in the UK.

    This information is for guidance purposes only and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. Please refer to the full terms and conditions on our website.

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