The Bank of Spain is asking the country’s leading financial institutions to provide information on their crypto-related plans for the next three years, the newspaper El Pais reported Thursday.
The central bank has requested that banks include information on their relationships with crypto service providers, stakes in crypto companies and exposure to crypto. It has also asked banks whether they plan to issue tokens or provide custody, trading or payment services for crypto, and to outline any initiatives to market products or offer services to customers through a digital platform over the next three years.
According to unnamed Bank of Spain sources cited in the El Pais article, the purpose of the data request is to know “the impact that the ongoing process of digitalization and financial innovation may have …”
The request for information comes as Spain’s interest in cryptocurrency rises with multiple institutions launching initiatives or contemplating them to address demand.
Last week, the Bank of Spain issued instructions on how institutions may register to offer crypto-related services in the country.
Banco Santander, Spain’s largest bank, will be offering crypto exchange-traded funds (ETF), Santander’s Executive President Ana Botin said on Oct. 14 in a Bloomberg TV interview. “We have been quite slow in adopting that, because of compliance and regulatory and risk appetite,” Botin said. “But we are now getting into it.” When asked if Santander’s customers were asking to buy bitcoin, the executive said yes.
“The next big thing, which is already here actually, is crypto,” Botin said, adding that the bank issued an end-to-end bond on a blockchain.
In August, Partido Popular (PP), the leading opposition party in Spain, introduced a bill that would allow payment of mortgages with cryptocurrencies and create a national crypto assets council to analyze the implications of the use of crypto and blockchain in the country.
In June, the Spanish banking giant BBVA made its cryptocurrency trading and custody service available to private banking clients in Switzerland.