In a significant stride towards bolstering its European presence, Coinbase, the leading cryptocurrency exchange in the United States, has secured Anti-Money Laundering (AML) compliance registration from the esteemed Bank of Spain. This coveted registration elevates Coinbase to the status of a fully registered cryptocurrency exchange within Spain, marking a pivotal moment in its global expansion strategy.
In a recent blog post published on a Friday, Coinbase unveiled its ambitions for a broader European footprint. Spanish crypto enthusiasts can now securely store their digital assets on the platform, while also gaining access to a seamless euro-centric ecosystem for buying and selling cryptocurrencies. This expansion, made possible by the Bank of Spain's registration, allows Coinbase to offer its full suite of products and services to both individual and institutional users within Spain, all while upholding strict compliance with the nation's legal framework.
This move solidifies Coinbase's position as a key player in the European crypto landscape, following its attainment of Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) registrations in multiple European countries, including Italy, Ireland, and the Netherlands, over the past year. Additionally, Coinbase has received in-principle approval and has rolled out its services in Singapore, Brazil, and Canada, further underlining its global ambitions.
Nana Murugesan, Vice President of International and Business Development at Coinbase, expressed enthusiasm about the registration, stating, "We are excited to have achieved this registration from the Bank of Spain to support and grow our retail consumers, institutional clients, and developer partners in Spain." He emphasized the global trend towards providing clarity and guidance for the crypto industry, which Spain has now firmly embraced.
Spain has been undergoing a remarkable transformation, evolving into a crypto-friendly hub with a growing mainstream adoption of digital assets. Coinbase's announcement highlighted a fascinating statistic: approximately 29% of Spanish adults believe that cryptocurrencies represent the future of finance. Furthermore, crypto has surpassed traditional bank transfers to become the second most preferred payment method in the country.
The exchange's statement referenced research by Bitnovo, revealing that 60.7% of Spanish citizens are motivated to invest in cryptocurrencies for the long term, with 35.7% considering them for everyday payments.
Coinbase's registration in Spain follows the regulatory approval granted to crypto exchange Crypto.com by the Bank of Spain in June, signaling a growing acknowledgment of the cryptocurrency industry by regulatory authorities. Spain's increasing adoption of digital assets reflects a broader global trend.
Coinbase's ambition to establish a formidable European presence is exemplified by its reported attempts to acquire the defunct crypto exchange FTX Europe on two occasions. This strategic move aligns with the recent calls for stricter oversight in the global crypto market by non-European regulators.
The impending implementation of the Markets in Crypto-Assets Regulation (MiCA) Act in December 2024 has sparked debates within the crypto sector. While some seek a more rigorous regulatory framework, others, like Marina Parthuisot, head of legal at Binance France, express concerns about the potential delisting of stablecoins in Europe due to MiCA's impending arrival. The industry is currently grappling with the implications of this forthcoming regulation.