Banks in Spain to Offer Crypto Services by End of January 2022

October 26, 2021

It finally happened, following months of waiting in anticipation, the Bank of Spain has released instructions on how institutions can register to start offering crypto-related services in the country.

Interested institutions can apply through an electronic registry, after which Spain’s central bank will review the application in a process that is allowed to take up to three months.

The Bank of Spain first announced the upcoming application process back in June, promising that details on how to proceed would be follows shortly. Better late than never, detailed information has now finally been disclosed.

Many large banks and other mainstream institutions remained in uncertainty for the past months whether the new process would also apply to them, considering that they are already regulated Spanish entities. According to the Bank of Spain’s release, all entities will have to comply, as they said:

“The obligation to register in this registry applies to all natural or legal persons who are in any of the above cases and provide virtual currency exchange services for fiduciary currency and custody of electronic purses, regardless of whether they are also registered in other administrative records in the Bank of Spain or in other competent authorities.”

Some of the required documentation includes a money laundering and terrorist financing prevention manual created by the institutions individually. A risk analysis document, and identification documents for all of the people running these operations are also mandatory. The Central Bank made it clear that harsh penalties are expected for those who fail to register and continue to offer crypto services.

Swiss bank BBVA and Spanish bank are on the front seat with their scripts ready once they receive the greenlight for its operations, which now likely will be three months from now by the end of January 2022.

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Author: Peter Siu

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