New 5AMLD rules require digital currency firms to register in Spain

Digital currency firms in Spain will soon need to register with the central bank, following a redrafting of anti-money laundering and terrorist financing laws in the country.

Lawmakers are currently drafting new rules that would implement the European Union’s Fifth Anti Money Laundering Directive (5AMLD) into national law, in order to comply with the obligations imposed by EU authorities.

Under the new provisions, companies will be required to register with the Bank of Spain. With the public comment phase ending on June 23, the legislative process is now expected to pick up pace.

The EU has been pressuring Spain to speed up the process, after writing to the Spanish government to remind them of their obligation to write the directive into national law, following its original publication in 2018.

Mariana Gospodinova of Europe was quoted by CoinDesk saying the delay in implementation has benefited Spain, by taking the time to develop a better understanding of the sector: “States may have benefited from a further extension of the implementation period and each country may have had their own reasoning as to why [there were] delays – from political circumstances to [a] lack of resource[s] to comply within the period given.”

A post on the Spanish government’s website said the rules would help make enforcement more effective.

“The Draft Law advances in the reinforcement of the money laundering and terrorist financing control system, incorporating the new community provisions and including additional improvements in the current regulation to increase the effectiveness of prevention mechanisms.”

Gospodinova said that while digital currency transactions remain unidentified, implementation of the Financial Action Task Force’s travel rule would see a greater focus on the identity of transacting parties in future.

“At the moment, crypto transactions are still unidentified in terms of ownership while they remain transparent in terms of movement. The anonymity of blockchain transactions will change with the implementation of the FATF travel rule, which aims to identify the sender and recipient of all crypto transactions,” she said.

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