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Spanish Financial Authority Flags 18 Entities for Operating Without Licenses

ByDayne Lee

Feb 29, 2024

Spain’s leading financial watchdog, the National Securities Market Commission (CNMV), has disclosed a list of 18 companies providing services within the country sans the requisite licensing. On February 26, the CNMV issued a warning that included a number of cryptocurrency firms such as Bitbinx, Crytomerge, and CryptoMaxiTrade, highlighting their lack of authorization to offer investment services or engage in activities under CNMV’s purview.

CNMV’s Regulatory Oversight

The regulator emphasized that these entities are not listed in the official registry of the Commission and thus lack the authorization to deliver investment services. With limited regulatory powers, the CNMV suggests that investors with grievances should seek redress through the ordinary judicial system.

Growth in Registered Crypto Companies

In a notable development, the number of crypto companies formally registered to operate in Spain saw a significant increase, jumping by approximately 56% in 2023. An official registry, available on Spain’s central bank website, now features 83 companies, including industry giants like Binance, Bitpanda, Revolut, and Crypto.com. This list underscores Spain’s evolving stance towards cryptocurrency regulation and its growing acceptance of digital asset service providers.

Strengthening Crypto Regulations

2023 marked a pivotal year for Spain’s crypto policy, with the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Digital Transformation expediting the implementation of the European Union’s first comprehensive crypto regulation framework – the Markets in Crypto-Assets Regulation. Furthermore, in November 2023, the CNMV initiated its inaugural case against Miolos, a technology provider accused of flouting the country’s crypto promotion regulations by neglecting to issue risk warnings and failing to seek CNMV’s approval for its campaigns.

Spain’s Crypto Infrastructure and CBDC Exploration

Spain’s proactive approach towards cryptocurrency is also evident in its global standing as the fourth-largest host of cryptocurrency ATMs, boasting 310 machines. This figure substantially exceeds the numbers found in neighboring countries like Germany and France. Concurrently, Spain’s central bank is actively exploring the potentials of a central bank digital currency (CBDC), having selected partners for the pilot testing of a wholesale CBDC in January 2024. This initiative is distinct from the digital euro project and aims to encompass all economies within the eurozone.

Overview of Spain’s Crypto Ecosystem

YearMilestoneDescription
2023Registration Increase56% increase in registered crypto companies
2023MiCA ImplementationAccelerated adoption of the EU’s crypto regulation
2023CNMV’s First CaseAction against Miolos for crypto promotion violations
2024CBDC Pilot TestingSelection of collaborators for wholesale CBDC testing
  • Key Developments:
    • CNMV issues a warning about 18 unlicensed companies.
    • Registered crypto entities in Spain increase significantly in 2023.
    • Implementation of comprehensive EU crypto regulations.
    • Spain leads in the number of cryptocurrency ATMs in Europe.
    • Unique exploration of a wholesale CBDC independent of the digital euro project.

The CNMV’s recent announcement serves as a critical reminder of the importance of regulatory compliance in the burgeoning field of cryptocurrencies and digital assets. As Spain continues to strengthen its regulatory framework and expand its crypto infrastructure, it remains at the forefront of embracing digital finance innovations within Europe. These developments not only enhance the country’s position in the global crypto landscape but also pave the way for secure and regulated growth in the sector.


Featured image credit: Timon via Adobe Stock

Dayne Lee

With a foundation in financial day trading, I transitioned to my current role as an editor, where I prioritize accuracy and reader engagement in our content. I excel in collaborating with writers to ensure top-quality news coverage. This shift from finance to journalism has been both challenging and rewarding, driving my commitment to editorial excellence.