In brief

  • Fireblocks is moving into Europe ahead of European policymakers' plans to spur cryptocurrency innovation.
  • The digital asset platform for institutions has helped facilitate $150 billion in transfers.
  • Fireblocks sees PayPal's recent move toward crypto as a sign of institutional demand.

Fireblocks, an enterprise-grade digital asset platform, announced plans to expand its European operations into two key markets and said that more than $150 billion in digital assets from institutional customers, including banks, trading desks, hedge funds, and other players have been transferred on its platform. 

The company will launch new operations in France and Germany, expanding beyond its London-based UK operations, where it currently leads its European business.

The move, coming just weeks after EU policymakers announced a series of initiatives to spur innovation in the digital asset space, reflects a wave of increased demand by the type of institutional customers Fireblocks caters to, such as PayPal

 

The European Commission—the European Union’s executive branch—announced plans in late September to develop a new set of rules that will help grow the emerging cryptocurrency and payments business, including the creation of a blockchain-focused regulatory sandbox.

“While this type of regulation will no doubt increase the incremental operating costs of doing business in the EU for Fireblocks and others, we are already seeing the power of such frameworks to actually create opportunities and drive innovation,” Jason Allegrante, the company’s newly named head regulatory counsel and global chief compliance officer, told Decrypt

“Our decision to launch new offices in France and Germany not only positions us to become a regulatory early adopter when and if this regulation is adopted, it demonstrates our commitment to serving our customers in Europe to the best of our ability now and in the future.”

Policymakers and regulators are stepping in at a time when fintech firms and other financial services companies are developing products to enhance the ability to make crypto payments and convert between crypto and fiat currencies. 

“The recent announcement that PayPal will begin offering digital asset products and services is an incredible milestone for digital asset adoption, but the story is much bigger than PayPal,” Allegrante said. He said when we look back in the coming months and years, PayPal will likely be just one of many names to enter the space.

Fireblocks announced earlier this month that challenger bank and mobile app Revolut would leverage Fireblocks' wallet and network infrastructure to support the launch of new crypto services for its 13 million customers.