Historically cryptocurrencies have not been well accepted by governments of the world. Things are changing though with governments in general being more open to doing business with cryptocurrencies, extreme examples include El Salvador which as of September 2021 became the first government to accept Bitcoin as legal tender.
It seems that Spain is also moving in this direction albeit not to the same extent.
October last year the government established a mandatory registry for VASPs (Virtual Asset Service Providers). A VASP is simply any legal person that on the behalf of someone else does business in or exchanges virtual currencies. All of the coin exchange sites for example would now need to declare themselves to the registry. This also extends to banks that want to exchange virtual currencies, they will also need to go through the registration process.
The goal of this registry was to create a legal framework for officially verifying exchange platforms that could be trusted to not finance terrorism and crime and be held accountable if they did. The legislation outlines separate fines for refusing to register which include.
February this year was when Bit2me was licensed as the first official cryptocurrency VASP making its transactions completely legal and officially recognized by the Spanish state. This by extension gives cryptocurrency a new level of legitimacy in Spain, it is true that the euro is still the only legal tender in Spain but it is clear that there is a movement to integrate crypto into more settings in Spain. For example in August last year there was a bill in discussion that would make it legal to pay mortgages in crypto currencies. It didn’t materialize, but it shows interest in the idea.
The next few years could prove to be decisive for crypto in Spain.
By: Pablo Cardona