Banks in Spain now required to outline 3-year digital currency plans

Spanish banks now have to reveal any digital currency plans they have for the next three years, according to sources at the Banco de Espana who said the central bank wants to assess the impact that digitalization is having on financial services.

Spain’s central bank has remained relatively quiet on digital currencies for years. However, this year, it’s stepping up and making its presence felt. Having recently rolled out a digital currency service providers’ registry, it’s now turning to the banks.

As per a report by Madrid-based newspaper El País, the Banco de Espana is now requesting new information from banks focusing on digital currencies.

The central bank wants commercial banks to reveal their relationships with digital asset service providers, their stakes in such firms, and any other exposure they may have to digital assets. Those banks that are planning on issuing tokens or providing custody to existing tokens any time in the next three years must also reveal such plans.

Banco de Espana also asked banks to outline any payment services they intend to provide related to digital currencies or any initiatives related to the marketing of such products.

Sources at the regulator told El País that the reason the bank is requesting for this information is to know “the evolution of the business model of the entities and the impact that the digitalization and financial innovation process underway may have on them.”

“It is necessary to begin to know the appetite that Spanish entities may have in entering into the commercialization of this type of products, in particular, in the near future once the regulations of the European Parliament regarding the markets of [digital assets] kick in,” the sources added.

The new measures come as leading banks in Spain start embracing digital currencies. The largest in Spain, Banco Santander has revealed it’s working towards a digital currency ETF, admitting that it regrets being left behind by the Bitcoin revolution. BBVA and Caixabank are also at various stages in their digital asset programs.

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