In 2023, Spain witnessed a significant increase in the number of crypto companies officially registered to operate within its borders. According to the official registry, accessible via the Bank of Spain's website, 30 new companies received a virtual asset service provider license this year.
This growth represents a roughly 56% increase from the previous year, signaling a burgeoning interest and investment in the cryptocurrency sector in Spain. While the total of 53 companies registered in 2022 still surpasses this year's figure, it's important to note that the registry only opened in 2022, making that year's higher number somewhat expected.
The entry of several international platforms into the Spanish market in 2023, including names like Revolut, Bitpanda, Crypto.com, and Vivid, marks a significant milestone. Yet, some major players such as Coinbase and Kraken are still in the process of securing their place in the Spanish market, despite recent strides in compliance and registration.
Regulatory Developments and Market Dynamics
The registration with the Bank of Spain is a crucial step for companies like Coinbase, which now can offer Spanish users a broader range of services, including the custody of crypto assets and trading in euros.
“This registration will allow Coinbase to offer our full suite of products and services to retail and institutional users in Spain, all in compliance with the national legal framework,” a statement from the company highlighted.Furthermore, the growing popularity of cryptocurrencies in Spain is evident, with nearly one-third of adults in the country viewing digital assets positively. The fact that cryptocurrency has become the second most preferred payment method in Spain, surpassing traditional bank transfers, underscores the shifting financial landscape.
Spanish regulators have been actively engaging with the crypto market. In recent months, the Ministry of Economy and Digital Transformation announced the early implementation of the European Union’s Markets in Crypto-Assets Regulation.
Additionally, the National Securities Market Commission initiated its first case against a technology provider for violating crypto promotion rules, and the Spanish Tax Administration Agency introduced a tax declaration form for digital assets held abroad.