In brief

As a consequence of Spain's late implementation of the 5 AML Directive, the Registry of Crypto Exchanges and Custodian Wallet Providers at the Bank of Spain has only been recently activated.

Since the end of October 2021, the procedure together with the necessary forms are now available at the Bank of Spain’s website to apply for registration as Exchange Providers of Virtual Currency into Fiat and Electronic Wallets Service Custodians, as provided for in the Spanish Act 10/2010, dated 28 April, on anti-money laundering and terrorism financing.

Target audience

  • Natural or legal persons offering or providing such services in Spain.
  • Natural persons providing these services when their center, or management, of these activities is located in Spain, regardless of the location of the recipients of the service.
  • Legal persons established in Spain providing these services, regardless of the location of the recipients.

The obligation to register applies to all of the above mentioned persons which provide services for (i) exchange of virtual currency into fiat currency; or (ii) custody of electronic wallets services, regardless of whether they are registered in other registries at the Bank of Spain or at other competent authorities (e.g. if they are already registered as a bank or payment institution to provide services cross-border).

Unlike other European jurisdictions, there is no obligation to have a local entity or branch in Spain to file for registration. It is possible to register another EU entity providing cross border services into Spain.

Transitional period

A transitional regime applies to crypto services providers which were already active before 29 April 2021 in the Spanish market. Such providers may continue to carry out their activities but need to register with the Bank of Spain before 29 January 2022.

This deadline is quite challenging taking into account that the Bank of Spain has three months to process the application.