Canada    FinTech Guide    Chapter 6    Ireland

6. Virtual Currency - Bitcoin
Ireland  Ireland

The social and political climate is cautious in its response to virtual currencies seeking to balance a desire to foster innovation and development of the fintech sector with concerns in respect of criminality, valuation, security and consumer protection issues (for example as virtual currencies are not recognised as legal tender they are not covered by the Deposit Guarantee Scheme).

Legal Affairs

At present regulation in Ireland is catching up with the advances in availability of virtual currencies but they are not currently subject to specific regulation in Ireland outside of the existing body of regulation of financial services, eg providing or offering to provide payment services.

The area is currently being reviewed by the EBA, IMF (both of whom have issued papers on virtual currencies) and the UK government. In Ireland the Central Bank of Ireland has issued a discussion paper on consumer protection and the digitalisation of financial services which may lead to a position or policy being developed on virtual currencies.

Economic Conditions

No data available.


Broadly speaking the primary concerns raised by virtual currencies are common across EU member states, and fintechs will need to be aware of criminality, valuation, security and consumer protection issues in the context of the legal situation.

Contributing Authors

Philip Lee

Andreas McConnell
Dublin, Ireland

Search by:

Chapter Index:

1. Payment Services / Mobile Payment

2. Asset and Portfolio Management

3. Consulting and Broking Services / Robo-advisory / Auto-trading

4. Trading Platforms / Social Trading Platforms / Signal Following

5. Crowdfunding / Crowdinvesting / Crowdlending

6. Virtual Currency - Bitcoin

7. Loan Services / Factoring / Loan Broking / Finetrading

8. Online Banking Services

9. Analytics and Research / Data Management / Risk Management

10. Accounting

11. Identification

12. Online-pawning

13. InsurTech

14. RegTech

15. Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs)

The information in this guide provides a general overview at the time of publication and is not intended to be a comprehensive review of all legal developments nor should it be taken as opinion or legal advice on the matters covered. It is for general information purposes only and readers should take legal advice from a Multilaw member firm.

Publication Date: 1 May 2018