Bank of Spain clarifies registration for VASPs, crypto-related companies

Bank of Spain clarifies registration for VASPs, crypto-related companies

Cryptocurrency policies are taking shape all around the world as investments in the field rise. The latest country to provide instructions to crypto-businesses is Spain. More specifically, the Bank of Spain has now released instructions for entities wishing to register with the central bank to offer crypto-related services.

The central bank has opened a registry for Virtual Asset Service Providers [VASPs] in the country. It has also offered clarity over the types of companies and the scope for the registration. As per the statement shared on the Bank of Spain’s website, relevant businesses can apply through an electronic registry and it would take at least three months for the central bank to consider the application.

Earlier in June, the Bank of Spain had announced to put in place this process for various crypto-related businesses with specific instructions that have now been released. The companies may also have to deliver certain requested documents including a money laundering and terrorist financing prevention manual.

This manual will be created by each one of these institutions. Apart from the same, a risk analysis document and identification documents for everyone running these operations will also be required.

There was uncertainty among mainstream institutions like banks over registration as they are already regulated entities. However, the central bank has now made the need for registration necessary. It noted,

“The obligation to register in this registry applies to all natural or legal persons who are in any of the above cases and provide virtual currency exchange services for fiduciary currency and custody of electronic purses, regardless of whether they are also registered in other administrative records in the Bank of Spain or in other competent authorities.”

Now that the central bank has clarified its stance and provided the key steps going forward, disobedience could lead to penalties starting at €150K [~$175K] and could go up to €10 million [~$11.6M].

Previously, VASPs had until the end of the month to register. However, a delay from the central bank in offering documentation details could push this deadline. Nevertheless, it is clear that even companies who comply with the laws must re-register.

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