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US cryptocurrency firm Ripple is seeking an Irish licence from the Central Bank

Sendi Young, the firm’s European managing director, said Ripple is planning a major expansion in the European market after an important court win in the US.

“We are in the process of applying for our crypto asset registration in the UK and our payments licence in Ireland,” she told DL News, a cryptocurrency publication.

“These are all massive investments with a view that we are going to continue growing exponentially in this region.”

In a statement to the Irish Independent, the Central Bank said it does not “confirm or comment on individual applications for authorisations”.

“Authorisation is an important part of the Central Bank’s work to protect consumers and investors, and to ensure the proper functioning of the financial system,” it said.

“The Central Bank deals with applications for authorisation from firms across all financial sectors in an open, engaged and constructive manner.”

Ripple is a US firm which has built a digital payments network aimed at financial service companies.

It has created its own cryptocurrency, XRP, which is currently the fourth-largest cryptocurrency in the world by market capitalisation.

XRP has several functions, including being used for currency exchange.

In 2020, Ripple was sued by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission for selling XRP as an unlicensed security.

Earlier this month the judge in the case issued a summary judgement which found that Ripple did not break the law when XRP, was sold on public exchanges.

This was taken as a signal by some investors that cryptocurrencies may not fall under the same rules as those applied to securities such as stocks and bonds.

This resulted in XRP’s value surging, temporarily almost doubling, in the wake of the decision.

However, Gabriel Makhlouf, the Central Bank governor, has indicated on multiple occasions that he is extremely wary of cryptocurrencies.

In a blog post on the Central Bank’s website in May, Mr Makhlouf compared unbacked cryptocurrencies to Ponzi schemes – a form of fraud – and promised tighter controls for the digital currencies.

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