Coinbase Achieves Anti-Money Laundering Registration from Bank of Spain
Coinbase, a prominent cryptocurrency exchange, has achieved Anti-Money Laundering (AML) compliance registration from Spain's central bank, marking a significant step in its ongoing European expansion.
Coinbase's Regulatory Milestone in Spain
In a statement released on September 22, Coinbase announced its successful registration with the Bank of Spain for AML compliance. This registration enables Spanish users to securely hold custody of their cryptocurrency assets on the platform and engage in buying and selling cryptocurrency using Spain's official currency, the Euro.
Nana Murugesan, Vice President of International and Business Development at Coinbase, emphasized the company's commitment to regulatory compliance, stating, "In the last year alone we have obtained VASP registrations in Italy, Ireland, and the Netherlands, as well as in-principle approval and launching in Singapore, launching in Brazil, and, most recently, launching in Canada."
Positive Outlook and Crypto Adoption in Spain
Coinbase's statement highlighted the growing optimism and adoption of digital assets in Spain. Notably, it revealed that nearly one-third of Spanish adults hold a positive view of cryptocurrencies, with "29% of adults in Spain believe crypto is the future of finance."
Furthermore, cryptocurrency has emerged as the second most preferred payment method in Spain, surpassing traditional bank transfers.
Regulatory Landscape in Spain
This achievement by Coinbase comes shortly after another crypto exchange, Crypto.com, secured regulatory approval in Spain. In June 2023, Crypto.com announced its virtual asset service provider (VASP) registration from the Bank of Spain.
The Bank of Spain had previously issued guidelines in October 2021 outlining the steps that crypto service providers must take to ensure compliance with Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regulations within the country. These guidelines mandate that crypto exchanges report their efforts to prevent illicit activities such as money laundering and terrorism financing.
Coinbase's European Expansion
Coinbase's pursuit of regulatory compliance and expansion in Europe is evident in its recent actions. Reports indicate that the exchange made two attempts to acquire FTX Europe, a now-defunct cryptocurrency exchange. The first attempt was in November 2022 when FTX filed for bankruptcy, and the second was in September 2023.
Additionally, the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS) has emphasized the importance of non-European regulators adopting stricter oversight measures to enhance stability and growth in the global crypto market. As the Markets in Crypto-Assets Regulation (MiCA) Act progresses toward its December 2024 implementation deadline, the EPRS report underscores the need for a more robust regulatory framework in non-EU jurisdictions, as the EU's financial system and autonomy remain interconnected with actions taken by non-EU countries in the context of MiCA's applicability.