Coinbase has obtained Anti-Money Laundering (AML) compliance registration from the Bank of Spain. In a recent blog post, the largest cryptocurrency platform in the United States announced its expansion across Europe, highlighting its new capabilities in Spain. Spanish users can now securely store their digital assets on Coinbase and engage in buying and selling crypto assets using the euro, all while adhering to the country’s legal framework.
This registration with the Bank of Spain enables Coinbase to offer its complete range of products and services to both retail and institutional users in Spain while ensuring compliance with local regulations. Over the past year, Coinbase has been actively seeking regulatory approvals and registrations in various European countries, including Italy, Ireland, and the Netherlands. Additionally, it has received in-principle approval and launched its services in countries like Singapore, Brazil, and Canada, demonstrating its commitment to global expansion.
Nana Murugesan, Vice President of International and Business Development at Coinbase, expressed excitement about this achievement and emphasised the increasing clarity and guidance being provided by regulators worldwide to the crypto industry. Coinbase’s efforts align with its Phase II international expansion strategy, which involves obtaining licences and registrations, tailoring products to local needs, establishing partnerships, and strengthening operations in markets with clear regulatory frameworks, as exemplified by Spain.
Spain has seen a growing interest in cryptocurrencies, with nearly 29% of adults in the country viewing them as the future of finance. Furthermore, cryptocurrencies have surpassed traditional bank transfers to become the second most preferred payment method in Spain. A study by Bitnovo revealed that a significant portion of Spanish citizens see cryptocurrencies as a long-term investment and a means of making payments. Spain also boasts a thriving blockchain ecosystem, with numerous startups and high demand for blockchain-related skills.
The adoption of the Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) regulations by the European Union represents a pivotal moment for cryptocurrencies in the region. MiCA offers much-needed regulatory clarity and demonstrates the EU’s recognition of the transformative potential of emerging technologies. This contrasts with the challenges faced by many other jurisdictions in establishing coherent regulatory frameworks for the rapidly evolving crypto industry.
Coinbase’s expansion into Spain closely follows the regulatory approval obtained by crypto exchange Crypto.com from the Bank of Spain in June. These developments indicate the growing recognition of the cryptocurrency industry by regulatory authorities and the increasing adoption of digital assets in Spain. Additionally, there have been reports of Coinbase’s attempts to acquire the now-defunct crypto exchange FTX Europe, showcasing its efforts to establish a strong presence in Europe. These moves align with the European Parliamentary Research Service’s call for stricter oversight by non-European regulators in the global crypto market, particularly in light of the impending implementation of the MiCA Act in December 2024.
Coinbase’s journey to secure AML registration in Spain is a significant step in its broader global expansion strategy, as it continues to navigate regulatory landscapes and seize opportunities in the evolving cryptocurrency industry.