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Spanish Banks Ready to Offer Crypto Services; Await Central Bank Directive

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Spanish Banks Ready to Offer Crypto Services

Banks in Spain are gearing up to offer clients crypto services as they wait for the central bank to clarify when they can roll out crypto-based products. A report unveiled this news earlier today, noting that the banks are frustrated because the Bank of Spain has not delivered on its promise to issue instructions to guide entities that want to register as crypto service providers.

According to the report, the Bank of Spain said it would issue a guide for banks looking to expose clients to crypto in June. The central bank was supposed to publish the guidelines between September and this month. However, it has not yet issued any direction or forms that interested banks should fill to request registration.

With the registry of banks that seek to offer crypto services set to become operational on October 29, financial institutions are confused because they don’t know whether they should be registered or not. Specifically, banks don’t know whether the registry, which primarily seeks to combat money laundering, is meant for regulated financial institutions.

Banks are already adhering to money laundering policies

Offering insight into the matter, Gloria Hernández Aler, a partner at regulatory advisory firm finReg, said,

It would not make sense for a bank to have to go through the requirements of good repute imposed by the norm, since these entities are already directly supervised.

However, she believes that banks should notify the central bank that they intend to offer crypto services. Gloria added that banks offering digital asset services would also have to update their money laundering policies to adapt to the dynamics of the crypto market.

Although the Bank of Spain has failed to offer instructions to guide banks that seek to provide crypto services, banks have an insatiable appetite for crypto. For instnace Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA) has already rolled out a crypto trading service in Switzerland. At the moment, the service facilitates the custody and sale of Bitcoin (BTC).

CaixaBank also partnered with Onyze to promote a pilot project for services similar to those of BBVA. However, the pilot is not open to clients at the moment.

CNMV warns investors against cryptos

This news comes after the EU designated the Bank of Spain and the National Securities Market Commission, Spain’s stock market regulator known as CNMV, to oversee crypto activity alongside the European Central Bank. The move aimed to help complete a draft revision of the EU’s proposed regulation of crypto markets by the end of 2021 or early 2022.

While Spanish banks are gearing up to expose clients to digital assets, CNMV’s President, Rodrigo Buenaventura, warned that cryptos have no intrinsic value. He bashed cryptos saying, they depend on the prospects of demand and acceptance as means of payment and deposit of value.

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Jinia is a fintech writer based in Sweden focusing on the cryptocurrency market and blockchain industry. Besides Cryptotelegram, she has been writing for some renowned publications such as Cointelegraph, Invezz, etc for years. She also has experience in writing about the iGaming industry.

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