Bitstamp, one of the largest crypto platforms in Europe, has obtained regulatory approval from Spanish financial regulators, allowing the exchange to continue serving local customers.
The Bank of Spain has registered the local unit of Bitstamp, which is also regulated in Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands, as a virtual currency platform. The approval allows the company to offer virtual currency exchange services for fiat money custody and e-wallet services to Spanish users.
“Spain is a key jurisdiction in our global strategy to advance virtual asset regulation and provider stability for retail investors and institutions,” the exchange said.
Bitstamp is the 46th crypto company to receive this license, following in the footsteps of other companies that have recently registered their business in Spain, as required by recently updated regulations on crypto assets. The list includes Binance, which received regulatory approval in July to act as a crypto service provider. Bitpanda, an Austria-based crypto startup, has also been given the green light to distribute its products and services to users in the country.
The new license comes as Madrid seeks to control crypto activities by introducing a series of new regulations, including stricter KYC rules for digital currency transactions. Spanish authorities want to prevent anonymity in cryptocurrency transactions, thus banning anonymous crypto accounts.
Spain, despite not considering cryptocurrencies as legal tender, has kept an open approach when it comes to the existence of digital asset platforms in the country.
Spain recently approved measures to amend its money laundering legislation to comply with the EU’s Fifth Money Laundering Directive (AMLD 5). Spain’s parliament voted on updated regulations in 2020, which allow the central bank to control the country’s crypto providers.
Spain’s financial markets regulator, often abbreviated as CNMV, regularly issues warnings against unlicensed crypto platforms and brokers targeting investors in the country.
Current laws require crypto exchanges, wallet providers, and crypto custodial providers operating in Spain to register with a financial regulator and prove they meet AML requirements if they wish to continue operations. .
The penalties that crypto firms will have to pay if they evade this ledger are between €150,000 and €10,000,000, and this could also include penalties to the guidelines of these platforms.