Spain: Here are the latest regulatory requirements for crypto-exchanges

Spain’s central bank is ready to launch the new registration process for crypto exchanges from September to October. Exchanges, along with crypto asset custody platforms and wallets, must register with authorities in order to meet legal requirements. The institution believes this will address issues of transparency and terrorist financing.

The aforementioned steps are required by the Law to Prevent Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing. It was passed by the Spanish Parliament last year. Subsequently, this provision was incorporated into Royal Legislative Decree 7/2021. A period of six months from the entry into force, ie from April 29th to October 29th, is provided for the implementation of the register. The law states that the purpose is

“Improve terrorism prevention mechanisms and improve the transparency and availability of information about real cryptocurrency owners.”

Once the bank has approved the procedure with the instructions and forms required to apply for entry in the new register, companies will have until January 2022 to submit their applications. The basis for inclusion in the register is the implementation of measures to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism. In addition to the AML protocols, providers of digital asset service providers should also meet the central bank’s “commercial and professional” compliance requirements.

In addition, persons involved in the provision of services in connection with the “exchange of virtual currency for legal tender” are subject to “preventive obligations”. In addition, the register is linked to those of other countries in the European Union. To increase transparency, it will also be made available to the public for viewing.

A proactive regulatory environment

Spanish authorities and lawmakers have spent a lot of time regulating the cryptocurrency industry recently. Earlier this year, the Spanish tax authority stepped up its monitoring of the use of cryptocurrencies by obliging both citizens and residents to declare their cryptocurrency holdings, including those held on platforms abroad.

In addition, the Spanish National Securities Market Commission (CNMV) recently issued a warning to Huobi and Bybit and several others for operating without a license. Registered companies must be authorized to offer investment services in Spain.

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