• Banks in Spain are interested in providing crypto assets to their customers

  • Spanish banks are preparing to offer crypto assets directly to their customers. The Bank of Spain is required by new regulations to create a list of virtual asset service providers and custody companies. However, these institutions are unsure whether they must apply because banks already follow anti-money laundering directives derived from other laws.

    Spanish Banks Rush to Adhere to Crypto Laws

    Spanish banks are interested in providing cryptocurrency services to their customers and are planning to comply with upcoming regulations. Spanish banks are already on track to register for the Bank of Spain’s list of virtual asset service providers and custody organizations, which must be completed by October 29.

    The Bank of Spain stated that it would release the paperwork and instructions for interested parties in the upcoming registry, but it did not. As a result, banks are unsure whether they need to re-register under applicable laws. Banks in Spain already comply with anti-money laundering laws, so re-registration, according to some experts, should not be required for banks to offer crypto services.

    According to Gloria Hernández Aler, a partner at the regulatory consulting firm Finreg:

    It makes no sense for a bank to have to comply with the standard’s requirements. However, it makes sense for them to notify that they will be providing this type of service, and they will most likely need to change their money laundering policy.

    Banks Are Getting Into Cryptocurrency

    Some Spanish banks have already announced plans to open crypto operations or are already working with cryptocurrencies abroad. This is the case with BBVA, which has already established a commercial cryptocurrency asset in Switzerland that provides exchange and custody services. Another Spanish bank, Caixabank, is launching a pilot program to provide these services in collaboration with Onyze, a company that provides a custody-as-a-service program for businesses. This pilot, however, will not be available to customers for the foreseeable future.

    MICA (Markets In Crypto Assets), the European Union’s cryptocurrency regulatory framework, is still in the works. According to sources, while the framework will be difficult to complete this year, all signs point to a release in early 2022.

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