The Bank of Spain, the country’s central bank, has approved the first cryptocurrency platform to operate and provide officially approved services in the country. Bit2me was the first exchange to receive this approval, and it is now authorized to act as a virtual asset service provider (VASP). While this is the first platform to be approved, others will have to go through the lengthy legal process in order to serve Spanish users.
Spain Has Begun Licensing VASPs
The Bank of Spain has authorized the country’s first platform to operate as a recognized virtual asset service provider (VASP). Bit2me, a cryptocurrency platform based in Spain that operates in over 100 countries, is the first to receive this license, which allows it to operate in the country after working with the regulator to demonstrate that it meets the legal requirements.
The exchange rejoiced, stating in a press release that “the inclusion of Bit2Me in the Spanish regulator’s registry is one more step in the massive adoption of Bitcoin and the rest of the cryptocurrencies in Spanish society.”
The new registry that VASPs in Spain must complete stems from an amendment to the Prevention of Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism Law that was approved in April.
More Conversations to Come
While Bit2me was the first exchange approved by the Bank of Spain, even international global exchanges that want to serve Spanish customers will need to register. Analysts have described the requirements established by the law as stringent, stating that this registry will mark a before and after for crypto-related service providers in Spain.
The registry, which was established in October, will be used to coordinate sanctions in order to prevent money laundering and terrorism financing through cryptocurrency assets traded through these asset providers. As a result, each exchange must present a manual for preventing money laundering and terrorist financing, as well as a risk management document outlining the information flux and the actions that will be taken to comply with due diligence.
The penalties that companies will face if they continue to operate in the country without a license are also specified in the law. Companies that fail to register will be fined between €150,000 ($170,498) and €10,000,000 ($11,366,900). Penalties could also include sanctions against these companies’ directives.
Disclaimer: These are the writer’s opinions and should not be considered investment advice. Readers should do their own research.