The Bank of Spain, the country’s central bank, has approved the first cryptocurrency platform to operate and deliver officially sanctioned services in the country. Bit2me was the first exchange to acquire this approval, and it can now serve as a virtual asset service provider (VASP). While this is the first platform to be licensed, others will need to go through the lengthy legal process in order to offer Spanish users.
VASPs are now being licensed in Spain.
The Bank of Spain has given its approval to the first platform in the country to serve as a registered virtual asset service provider (VASP). Bit2me, a cryptocurrency platform based in Spain that operates in over 100 countries, is the first to get this license, which allows it to operate in the country after working with the government to demonstrate that it meets the legal requirements.
In a press release, the exchange congratulated itself, saying:
The inclusion of Bit2Me in the Spanish regulator’s registration is another step toward widespread adoption of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in Spanish culture.
The new registry that VASPs must fill out in Spain stems from an April amendment to the Prevention of Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism Law.
More Conversations to Come
While Bit2me was the first exchange to be approved by the Bank of Spain, any foreign global exchange that wants to offer Spanish consumers will have to register. Analysts have described the law’s standards as tough, stating that this registry will be a “before and after” for crypto-related service providers in Spain.
The register, which was launched in October, will be used to coordinate sanctions in order to prevent money laundering and terrorism financing by leveraging bitcoin assets exchanged through these asset providers. As a result, each exchange must provide a handbook for preventing money laundering and terrorist financing, as well as a risk management document that details the information flow and the steps that will be done to comply with due diligence.
The law also specifies the consequences that businesses will face if they continue to operate in the country without a license. Companies who do not comply with the registry will be fined between €150,000 ($170,498) and €10,000,000 ($11,366,900). Sanctions against these companies’ directives could also be part of the punishment.