Binance obtains licence to offer cryptocurrency services in Spain
The Bank of Spain approved Binance’s Spanish subsidiary, Moon Tech Spain, to act officially as a recognized virtual asset service provider (VASP) in the country.
Moon Tech is the 16th firm to receive this license. The approval allows the world’s largest crypto hub to operate in the country after having worked with the regulator to show it fulfills the requirements defined by law.
The new license comes as Madrid is seeking to police crypto activities through introducing a raft of new regulations, including tougher KYC rules for digital currency transactions. Spanish authorities want to prevent anonymity in cryptocurrency transactions thereby placing a ban on anonymous crypto accounts.
Changpeng Zhao (CZ), founder and CEO of Binance, commented: “Effective regulation is essential for the widespread adoption of cryptocurrencies. We have invested significantly in compliance and introduced AMLD 5 and 6 compliant tools and policies to ensure that our platform remains the safest and most trustworthy in the industry. Moon Tech’s registration in Spain is an acknowledgement of the hard work and commitment of our teams to providing a platform that places user protection above all else.”
Quim Giralt, Director of Binance Spain, noted: “Following this registration, we will significantly expand our team and operations in Spain to make our services more accessible to everyone. Over the coming years we will be hiring local talent to serve the Spanish-speaking market and helping to grow the local crypto ecosystem.”
Spain, while it does not consider cryptocurrencies as a legal tender, has kept an open-minded approach when it comes to the existence of digital asset platforms in the country.
Spain has recently approved measures to modify its money laundering legislation in order to comply with the EU’s Fifth Money Laundering Directive (AMLD 5). The Spanish parliament voted on the updated regulations in 2020, which allow the central bank to police the nation’s crypto providers.
Spain’s financial markets regulator, often abbreviated as CNMV, regularly issues warnings against crypto platforms and unlicensed brokers targeting investors in the country.
Current laws force crypto exchanges, wallet providers and crypto custodial service providers operating in Spain to register with a financial regulator and prove that they are meeting AML requirements if they want to continue their operations.
The penalties crypto companies will have to pay if they evade this registry are between €150,000 and €10,000,000, and it could also include sanctions to directives of these platforms.