Coinbase gets nod to launch crypto services in Spain
Coinbase has scored Anti-Money Laundering (AML) compliance registration with Spain’s central bank as part of its continued expansion efforts in Europe.
This development, announced on September 22, enables Spanish users to maintain custody of their cryptocurrency assets on Coinbase and engage in buying and selling crypto assets using euros.
“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,” Nana Murugesan, Vice President of International and Business Development at Coinbase, commented.
Coinbase views this approval as part of its “Go Broad, Go Deep” strategy for international expansion, which bolsters its presence across six continents, excluding Antarctica. Spanish users on the platform will have the ability to engage in cryptocurrency trading, maintain custody of their digital assets, and perform crypto transactions with fiat currency.
The American exchange is looking to international markets to drive growth amid fears of a looming clampdown on crypto businesses in the US. Alongside its US authorisation, Coinbase also holds licenses from Italy, the Netherlands, Ireland and Germany, as well as the UK Financial Conduct Authority. Additional registrations or license applications are in progress in several major markets, in compliance with local regulations.
That said, Coinbase could be racing offshore to keep pace with its rivals, which are gaining significant traction in territories outside the US. While Coinbase is the biggest crypto exchange in the United States, it’s facing intense competition from players like Binance.
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.
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.