October 31, 2023 at 14:21 GMTModified date: October 31, 2023 at 14:22 GMT
October 31, 2023 at 14:21 GMT

Spain will implement new EU crypto regulation MiCA six months early

Spain has announced it is implementing the EU’s new stringent crypto law six months ahead of the scheduled date.

Spain. Pic: Unsplash

Spain has announced it is implementing the European Union’s new stringent crypto law six months ahead of the scheduled date. This decision could impact several cryptocurrency companies registered in Spain, including Binance, Kraken, and Coinbase. 

The announcement was made following a meeting between Spain’s first vice president, Nadia Calviño, and the president of the European Securities and Market Authority (ESMA), Verena Ross.

Ross had recently warned crypto firms to start preparing for tight new regulation after claims that crypto companies were taking advantage of the current vague framework.

Details on Spain’s MiCA implementation

The upcoming Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) regulation is designed to provide strong consumer protection for crypto firms, with particular attention given to companies applying for new licenses. 

However, companies that already operate under national laws are allowed an 18-month extension.

Currently, the general deadline for all 27 EU member states to adopt MiCA is set for July 2026. Spain, however, is aiming for a December 2025 deadline, six months earlier than required by MiCA.

According to the press release, it made the decision “in order to create a regulatory framework and stable supervisor that provides legal certainty and protects investors in relation to the provision of cryptoasset services”. 

ESMA’s warns EU crypto firms

Earlier this month, ESMA advised crypto firms to start preparing for the MiCA regulations. The regulation’s goal is to provide a consistent framework, allowing companies to operate throughout the EU with a single license. 

This warning to crypto companies was followed with concerns that firms were taking advantage of inconsistent rules across countries.

Regulators said that “complex and opaque” crypto firms were exploiting these differences, using shell companies to operate essentially from outside the EU.

While Spain has already made its move, many national regulators are still defining the specific steps that crypto exchanges and wallet providers need to follow to obtain official crypto licenses.

Recent crypto developments in Spain

Spain has seen an uptick in its crypto licensing activities recently. In September, Coinbase was granted an Anti-Money Laundering compliance registration by Spain’s central bank. At the same time, Kraken secured a virtual asset service provider registration. Earlier in June, Crypto.com also received regulatory approval.

Furthermore, Spain’s central bank, Banco de España, acknowledged the potential benefits of a digital euro this month. The bank highlighted that traditional cash  “does not allow to exploit all the advantages offered by the growing digitalization of the economy and society.”