The rise of cryptocurrencies in the EU has favoured the creation of companies that decide to develop this type of activity. In Spain, for a company to engage in the cryptocurrency exchange and custody business or both, the main procedure is to obtain a cryptographic licence, better known as a VASP licence (virtual asset service provider).
A crypto licence is a permit issued by the Bank of Spain that allows companies to trade cryptocurrencies and digital tokens. The reason for these licences is to protect end-users and to regulate crypto trading activities.
The registration process with the Bank of Spain is a bureaucratic procedure that consists of registering as a Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) with the Bank of Spain.
It is a bureaucratic and complex procedure, at the end of which the company becomes a Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP).
This registration, however, does not entitle the company to carry out activities or provide services reserved by the regulations applicable to other entities subject to prior administrative authorisation or registration in another register, such as banking, issuing electronic money, or investment funds, among others. The registration is limited to companies providing virtual currency exchange, custody services or both solutions.
How to obtain a VASP licence in Spain?
It is necessary to register with the Bank of Spain as a service provider for virtual currency exchange into fiat currency and vice versa.
How to apply for a VASP licence?
Companies may submit their application:
- Electronically, through the Electronic Register of the Bank of Spain.
- In person, at the Bank of Spain`s General Registry Office.
What documentation must accompany the VASP licence application?
- Currency Exchange Service Provider Registration Form
- Registration Form for Custody Service Providers
- Suitability assessment form for the applicant legal entity and for each of the natural persons effectively managing the entity, signed by each party
- Manual applied by the company for the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing, and protocols on the subject
- Risk analysis document.
After applying, the Bank of Spain has three months to adopt a decision. If the decision is favourable, the company may start trading cryptocurrencies. If the decision on the application is unfavourable, the company can correct and resubmit the application within ten days.
Obtaining a VASP licence in Spain requires following a complex procedure, having the appropriate money laundering tools and processes in place, and complying with the requirements for the exercise of such activity.
If you need additional information regarding the VASP licence,
This article is not considered legal advice