April 24, 2024

Spanish primary financial regulatory body, the National Securities Market Commission (CNMV), recently made a shocking revelation against various crypto entities. The body disclosed a list featuring 18 companies operating in the country without the necessary licenses on February 26.

These crypto entities include Bitbinx, Crytomerge, and CryptoMaxiTrade. According to the CNMV, these companies are not in its registry. Thus, they lack the authorization to offer investment services or activities under its supervision.

Crypto Asset Regulation in Spain

The recent disclosure by the CNMV comes amidst a significant growth in the number of officially registered crypto companies in Spain. The official registry on the central bank’s website indicates a 56% increase in registered crypto entities in 2023. 

Of this percentage are 83 companies, including major players like Binance, Bitpanda, Revolut, and Crypto.com. According to the official document, the regulatory body registered up to 30 crypto companies out of this number in 2023 alone. 

Notably, the CNMV and Spanish regulators strengthened their stance on the crypto industry in 2023. They implemented the European Union’s first comprehensive crypto framework, the Markets in Crypto-Assets Regulation, in October 2023. 

The following month, the CNMV took decisive action against technology provider Miolos for violating crypto promotion rules. Besides establishing and enforcing the crypto framework, Spain maintains a notable position in the global crypto landscape.

It currently holds the fourth position globally in cryptocurrency ATMs with 310 operational machines, a number far more significant than what other countries like Germany and France operate.

Concurrently, the country’s central bank is actively exploring the potential of a central bank digital currency (CBDC). 

Collaborators have already been selected to pilot a wholesale CBDC in January 2024 to show their commitment to the move. Essentially, the Spanish CBDC program is not entirely a part of the digital euro project.

Nonetheless, if properly implemented, it could cover all economies in the eurozone.

Detailing the Implementation of MiCA

In October last year, Spain announced its decision to hasten the enforcement of the European Union’s crypto law, MiCA, by six months. This move is anticipated to impact cryptocurrency firms already registered in the country, such as Binance, Kraken, and Coinbase (COIN).

Essentially, MiCA introduces stringent consumer protection measures for digital asset companies. It is scheduled to take effect toward the end of 2024 for new license applicants. However, companies operating under national law are granted 18 months to continue their operations.

Meanwhile, regulators have raised concerns regarding the potential disadvantages customers might face with an extended implementation period. They believe it will affect the EU’s approximately 2,000 registered digital asset companies.

To address this, the Spanish government aims to expedite the implementation of MiCA, pushing for compliance by December 2025, six months earlier than the stipulated timeline.

In an official statement released on October 26 in Spanish, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation expressed the government’s intention to reduce the transitional application period. 

The objective is to establish a more predictable and stable regulatory and supervisory framework for the cryptocurrency industry.

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