European crypto exchange, Bitstamp, reported on Nov. 17 that it received a license from Spain’s financial regulators to operate in Spain, allowing the exchange to continue serving local customers. Bitstamp announced in an email Thursday that it can now offer virtual currency exchange services for fiat currencies and e-wallet storage services for Spanish users.
Global CEO of Bitstamp, Jean-Baptiste Graftieaux, said:
“Spain is a key territory in our global strategy to further advance virtual asset regulation and provider stability to retail investors and institutions.”
Registration ensures that Bitstamp complies with appropriate Anti-Money Laundering(AML) and Countering Terrorist Financing(CTF) procedures. As well as it complies with Spanish regulatory integrity and commercial and professional conduct requirements.
Bitstamp is the world’s oldest Luxembourg-based crypto exchange, founded in 2011, providing crypto access to over four million users worldwide. The Bank of Spain has registered the Bitstamp local unit as a virtual currency platform in Luxembourg, Italy, and the Netherlands.
The new development at Bitstamp comes six months after the appointment of JB Graftieaux as the exchange’s new global chief executive officer. Its former CO and CEO of Europe credit him with accelerating its European growth and securing several institutional partners.
Bitstamp becomes the 46th virtual asset provider licensed in Spain, along with Binance and Bitpanda. Binance and Bitpanda received their virtual asset service provider (VASP) registration from the Bank of Spain on July 7 and 16, 2022, respectively.
The new license comes as Madrid is seeking to monitor crypto activities by issuing new regulations that include stricter KYC rules for cryptocurrency transactions. Spanish authorities want to remove anonymity from cryptocurrency trading by banning anonymous crypto accounts.
In addition, Spain’s financial regulator Comisión Nacional del Mercado de Valores (CNMV), has announced new regulations for advertisements promoting investments in cryptocurrencies. According to the new circular, crypto advertisements must be transparent, balanced, and fair while providing adequate information about the risks of investing in crypto.
Current laws require crypto custody service providers and electronic wallet providers operating in Spain to register with the financial regulator and prove compliance with AML requirements if they wish to continue operating. In case of violation, companies must pay between €150,000 and €10,000,000.
In recent years, Bitstamp has been increasing its compliance efforts. The exchange provided official examples of documents related to the resources of the deposited funds, including inheritance documents, deposit payments, salary and pension payments, gifts, mining receipts, and others.