• Following the lead of the United States, Spain is preparing for the launch of a Bitcoin ETF by Banco Santander

  • Bitcoin ETFs have been a huge success this year, particularly since the debut of the first futures ETF in the United States last month. However, the Spanish counterpart may not be far behind. In fact, the Spanish multinational financial services company Banco Santander is planning to launch its own Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF).

    Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are gaining popularity at an unprecedented rate. According to reports, Spain’s Santander bank is in the final stages of launching a Bitcoin ETF in order to meet this demand.

    If approved, the investment vehicle would be the first of its kind introduced by a Spanish bank. Surprisingly, Spanish regulators have been hesitant to approve one, despite the fact that ETFs have seen phenomenal success in other parts of the world.

    “We Are a Crypto Leader” – Ana Botin

    While the latest development comes at a time when the launch of Bitcoin ETFs has caused the underlying asset’s price to rise, Santander’s Executive President Ana Botin revealed that the company has been looking into the product for quite some time. She also acknowledged the slow adoption process, citing compliance, regulatory, and risk appetite as reasons.

    According to the executive,

    “We are the market leader in cryptocurrency.” We are the first to issue a bond on the blockchain. (..) We’re about to launch cryptocurrency ETFs.”

    Botin has not revealed any additional information about the new product. However, it should be noted that no such Bitcoin ETFs have yet been registered with the Spanish National Securities Market Commission (CNMV). As a result, concerns about regulatory clarity persist.

    Spain’s Regulatory Environment

    Spain’s interest in cryptocurrency has recently skyrocketed, with many institutions preparing to launch or considering initiatives to meet rising demand from market participants.

    The Bank of Spain recently requested that financial institutions in the country report on their business relationships with cryptocurrency service providers and exposure to digital assets.

    Furthermore, the Spanish financial authority inquired about banks’ plans to issue tokens or provide various services such as custody, trading, or payment features for crypto-assets, and to detail their plans until 2024. The primary reason for the data request is to comprehend the implications of the current “process of digitalization and financial innovation.”

    Furthermore, the Spanish opposition party, the Partido Popular (PP), proposed a bill that would allow mortgage payments to be made using cryptocurrency. The proposed bill also called for the establishment of a crypto council to oversee the growth and impact of the country’s digital asset and blockchain industries.

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