Cryptocurrency infrastructure provider Binance has applied for registration with the Bank of Spain as a cryptocurrency service provider, a move that formalizes its commitment to local regulators and takes its first steps towards landing in Spain.
The Bank of Spain enabled the registration of cryptocurrency service providers last October. Registration is conditional on these providers having adequate procedures and bodies for the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing, as well as compliance with commercial and professional integrity requirements. The supervisor points out that natural or legal persons offering or providing these cryptocurrency services in Spain, regardless of their nationality, as well as natural or legal persons whose base of activities is in Spain, regardless of the location of the recipients, must register.
Until now, Binance did not have a Spanish subsidiary. The creation of its own division in Spain reflects Binance’s interest in the Spanish market, but the news has not gone down well with Binance customers, as the exchange will have to report all movements of its users’ cryptocurrencies to the tax authorities. In fact, there has been a flood of angry customers saying they will close their Binance accounts.
The entry in the Bank of Spain’s register comes in the midst of a global operation to whiten the company’s image, which has been heavily damaged by the warnings received from the world’s main regulators. Some of the most notable of these were from the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the German regulator BaFin. The Chinese exchange also received stern warnings from regulators in Japan, Canada, Malta, Malaysia, Italy and the United States.
“In Spain, several million people dedicate part of their time every day to blockchain technology and crypto assets. We are pleased that the Bank of Spain has recognised this social reality and has established a channel so that users are protected and companies like Binance can provide their services with legal certainty and regulatory support,” said Alberto Ortiz, head of Binance for Spain and Portugal.
Ortiz stressed that “having good regulations that protect consumers while encouraging innovation is important for the growth of the industry.”