Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has successfully obtained an Anti-Money Laundering (AML) compliance registration from Spain’s central bank as part of its ongoing expansion efforts across Europe.
Coinbase’s New Registration in Spain
According to a statement released on September 22, this registration with the Bank of Spain allows Coinbase to offer its full range of products and services to both retail and institutional users in Spain. Spanish users can now retain custody of their cryptocurrency assets on Coinbase and conduct buying and selling activities in euros.
The statement also highlighted the growing positive sentiment towards digital assets in Spain, with nearly one-third of adults in the country believing that cryptocurrency is the future of finance. Furthermore, it was noted that cryptocurrency has become the second most preferred payment method in Spain, surpassing traditional bank transfers.
Nana Murugesan, Vice President of International and Business Development at Coinbase, emphasized the exchange’s commitment to regulatory compliance worldwide, citing recent registrations and approvals in various countries.
Coinbase’s Expansion in Europe
This development closely follows the granting of regulatory approval to another crypto exchange, Crypto.com, by the Bank of Spain in June 2023. The Bank of Spain granted Crypto.com a virtual asset service provider registration in Spain.
In October 2021, the Bank of Spain provided guidelines for crypto service providers to achieve AML compliance in the country, specifying reporting requirements related to preventing illicit activities such as money laundering and terrorism financing.
Coinbase’s European Presence
Coinbase’s expansion efforts in Europe have been noteworthy. Reports indicated that Coinbase made two attempts to acquire the defunct crypto exchange FTX Europe – first in November 2022 when FTX filed for bankruptcy, and again in September 2023. This expansion comes amid increased calls for stricter oversight in the global cryptocurrency market by non-European regulators.
The European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS) recently emphasized the need for a more robust regulatory framework in non-EU jurisdictions, as the Markets in Crypto-Assets Regulation (MiCA) Act moves toward its implementation deadline in December 2024.