Coinbase Receives AML Registration from the Bank of Spain, Expands Presence in Europe

7:04 am
September 24, 2023
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Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has obtained Anti-Money Laundering (AML) compliance registration from the Bank of Spain, allowing it to expand its services in Europe. In a statement, Coinbase announced that the registration enables Spanish users to store their crypto assets, as well as buy and sell cryptocurrencies using the Euro.

The registration signifies Coinbase’s commitment to operating within the national legal framework in Spain and offering its range of products and services to both retail and institutional users in the country. Notably, 29% of adults in Spain believe in the future potential of cryptocurrencies, according to Coinbase.

Furthermore, the announcement highlighted that crypto has become the second most popular payment method in Spain, surpassing traditional bank transfers. This indicates the growing acceptance and adoption of digital assets among the Spanish population.

Nana Murugesan, Vice President of International and Business Development at Coinbase, expressed the exchange’s dedication to regulatory compliance worldwide. Coinbase has been actively obtaining Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) registrations in various countries, including Italy, Ireland, the Netherlands, Singapore, Brazil, and Canada.

Recently, Crypto.com also received regulatory approval from the Bank of Spain, further demonstrating the increasing recognition and support for crypto service providers in the country.

The Bank of Spain had previously provided guidance for crypto exchanges to ensure AML compliance. This guidance includes submitting reports detailing efforts to prevent illicit activities like money laundering and terrorism financing.

Coinbase’s move to secure AML registration from the Bank of Spain aligns with its broader strategy to establish a strong presence in Europe. Reports suggest that Coinbase has attempted to acquire FTX Europe, a defunct crypto exchange, in an effort to strengthen its position in the region.

As European regulators work towards implementing the Markets in Crypto-Assets Regulation (MiCA) Act by December 2024, the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS) has stressed the need for stricter oversight from non-European regulators in the global crypto market. The EPRS report highlights the potential risks to the EU’s financial system and autonomy if it remains dependent on policy actions from non-EU countries.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is AML compliance registration?

AML compliance registration is the process whereby financial institutions and crypto service providers adhere to Anti-Money Laundering regulations set by regulatory authorities. It involves implementing robust policies and procedures to prevent illicit activities such as money laundering, terrorism financing, and other financial crimes.

What does Coinbase’s AML registration from the Bank of Spain mean for Spanish users?

Coinbase’s AML registration allows Spanish users to securely store their crypto assets on the Coinbase platform. They can also buy and sell cryptocurrencies using the Euro, Spain’s legal tender. The registration ensures that Coinbase operates within the national legal framework and can offer its full suite of products and services to retail and institutional users in Spain.

Why is Coinbase expanding its presence in Europe?

Coinbase is expanding its presence in Europe to tap into the growing demand for cryptocurrencies and digital assets in the region. By establishing a strong foothold in Europe, Coinbase aims to provide its services to a broader customer base and contribute to the mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies.

What is the Markets in Crypto-Assets Regulation (MiCA) Act?

The Markets in Crypto-Assets Regulation (MiCA) Act is a regulatory framework proposed by the European Union to regulate cryptocurrencies and crypto service providers. It aims to create a harmonized regulatory regime for digital assets across EU member states and provide enhanced consumer protection. The MiCA Act is set to be implemented by December 2024 and will significantly impact the crypto industry in Europe.

What are the risks of dependency on non-EU countries’ policy actions in the crypto market?

The dependency on non-EU countries’ policy actions in the crypto market poses risks to the EU’s financial system and autonomy. It can result in regulatory inconsistencies and potential vulnerabilities that could be exploited by malicious actors. The European Parliamentary Research Service recommends establishing a more rigorous regulatory framework in non-EU jurisdictions to ensure the stability and security of the EU’s financial system.

Summary

Coinbase has obtained Anti-Money Laundering (AML) compliance registration from the Bank of Spain, allowing it to expand its services in Spain and offer its full range of products and services to retail and institutional users in compliance with the country’s legal framework. The registration enables Spanish users to securely store their crypto assets on Coinbase and conduct crypto transactions using the Euro. The move aligns with Coinbase’s broader strategy to establish a strong presence in Europe. Additionally, the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS) emphasizes the need for non-European regulators to exercise stricter oversight in the global crypto market, as the Markets in Crypto-Assets Regulation (MiCA) Act approaches implementation.


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