Bank of Spain issues registration guidelines for crypto services

The central bank of Spain is introducing new registration guidelines for local virtual currency service providers, or VASPs, including banking institutions.

The Bank of Spain has issued instructions on VASP registration for Anti-Money Laundering, or AML, purposes, requiring institutions to submit their registration requests through an electronic registry, Cointelegraph en Español reported Oct. 25.

Issuing the guidelines on Oct. 19, the Spanish central bank noted that the obligation to sign up in the registry applies to “all individuals and institutions providing virtual currency exchange services” like cryptocurrency trading and custody services.

The regulator stressed that VASPs will have to register “regardless of whether they are also registered in other administrative records in the Bank of Spain or other related authorities.”

According to the official statement, institutions are required to proceed with the registration even if their end customers are not located in Spain. Individuals are also recommended to use the electronic registry form but may also proceed via other channels like mail, the central bank said.

The instructions specifically require both legal entities and individuals to issue reports on their measures for preventing illicit activity like money laundering and terrorism financing, including certain information on their clients.

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According to the statement, the Bank of Spain will analyze data and evaluate potential risks while taking into account VASPs’ types of clients, operated countries, products, business relationship purposes, operated volumes and others.

According to the local news agency El País, the Bank of Spain initially announced plans to establish AML procedures for VASPs in June 2021. In August, Spanish lawmakers backed a legal initiative to legalize the usage of cryptocurrency for mortgage and insurance purposes.