eToro gets VASP registration from the Bank of Spain

abdelaziz Fathi

eToro is now registered as a virtual asset service provider (VASP) by the Bank of Spain, allowing the Israel-based investing platform to offer custody and crypto exchange services in the country.

In an announcement on Friday, the company said that its crypto subsidiary, eToro (Europe) Digital Assets Ltd., was registered as a VASP by Spain’s central bank on 29 June 2023 under the code number D848.

In June 2022, eToro secured VASP approval from France’s financial market regulator, Autorité Des Marchés Financiers, giving it the necessary registration to offer its services in the country. A month later, the broker secured a similar license to operate crypto business in Italy.

Tali Salomon, eToro’s Regional Manager for Iberia and LatAm, said: “This registration is a testament to our commitment to operating a growing business which prioritises consumer protection while also nurturing innovation and ensuring access for individual investors. As a multi-asset platform which has been a long standing supporter of crypto and blockchain technology, we are proud to have received this registration from the Bank of Spain. We will continue to empower our Spanish users by providing them with access to a diverse range of asset classes, investment tools and educational resources to enable them to grow their knowledge and wealth.”

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, 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.

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