Spain central bank rolls out registry for digital currency service providers

Spain central bank rolls out registry for digital currency service providers

Spain’s central bank has launched an electronic registry for all entities offering services and products related to digital currencies in the country. The bank will require even the regulated entities such as banks to register afresh if they intend to venture into digital currency custody and other related services.

Banco de España announced in June that it would require all firms offering digital currency services to register. It stated at the time that it would launch an electronic registry for the entities by October 29. 

Spanish companies were getting impatient as the central bank delayed the registry up until a week before the deadline. According to a report by local paper El Pais, there was uncertainty on whether the regulated entities such as banks would have to register again on the new service. 

Gloria Hernandez, a partner at regulatory advisory firm finReg360, told the paper, “It would not make sense for a bank to have to go through the requirements imposed, since these entities are already directly supervised.”

Some banks like BBVA and Caixabank had already started dipping their toes in digital currency waters even as they awaited direction from the central bank. The former operates a commercial custody and exchange solution while the latter is working on a pilot on similar products that have yet to be launched to users.

However, as the central bank revealed upon launching the new registry, even the regulated entities have to apply for registration. Once they submit the application, the bank will have up to three months to consider it. 

In its statement, the Bank of Spain clarified, “The obligation to register in this registry applies to all natural or legal persons who are in any of the above cases and provide virtual currency exchange services for fiduciary currency and custody of electronic purses, regardless of whether they are also registered in other administrative records in the Bank of Spain or in other competent authorities.”

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