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Coinbase, the popular American cryptocurrency exchange platform, is looking to expand its licenses in Europe, Nana Murugesan, the company’s vice president of international told CNBC on Wednesday.

Currently, the company is operating in the United Kingdom, Ireland and Germany but wants to expand into Spain, Italy, France, the Netherlands and Switzerland.

“When we entered U.K. and Europe, this was actually during the last big bear market in 2015-2016,” Murugesan said.

“But then when you fast forward to 2017-2018, the UK is now a massive part of our business, as is Europe. We entered, we made bets. I’m sure it was probably a tough time. But it’s paid off, significantly,” he added.

The company’s announcement does not come just amid an intense “crypto winter” which saw the prices of major cryptocurrencies including bitcoin (BTC) and ethereum (ETH) fall to new lows but also as the firm announced that it would lay off 18% of its employees.

Murugesan highlighted that the company is planning to hire a regional manager to oversee its European operations and is prioritising “mission-critical roles”.

Coinbase is currently in talks to get approval under the anti-money laundering rules in a number of EU countries.

Top cryptocurrencies continued a bearish trend on Thursday morning with little hopes of an improvement in the near future. BTC dropped to $19,000 values once again and lost nearly 4% of its value in the last 24 hours. ETH declined by 6.68% in the past 24 hours, BNB was 4.57% lower in the past day, Cardano (ADA) fell by 4.25% and Solana (SOL) dipped by over 10%. The popular Elon Musk-endorsed memetoken Dogecoin (DOGE) was also bearish falling by 1.06% in the last 24 hours.

Note, cryptocurrency CFD trading is restricted in the UK for all retail clients.

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