2020 European Year for Cryptocurrency Regulation

12/04/2020

Spain and the rest of the Member States must transpose in 2020 the fifth directive on the prevention of money laundering and financing of terrorism, which will force them to regulate the activity related to crypto assets. 

In its adaptation to the Spanish legal system, Spain will be able to follow the example of Germany, which already allows its banks to guard and sell these assets. 

Taking advantage of the necessary transposition of the fourth Directive that regulates anti-laundering, the German Government decided to incorporate into its regulation the possibility for financial institutions to sell and keep cryptocurrencies directly as of January, without the need for intermediaries. 

This measure is not expressly included in the fourth Directive on the prevention of money laundering, although the German Executive decided to incorporate it in its transposition and Parliament gave its approval to the measure three weeks ago. 

As of January, in any case, it will have to undertake the adaptation of the fifth Directive to its legal system. 

The rest of the Member States of the European Union must also do so and, among them, Spain, although at the moment the details or the adaptations that this transposition will have in relation to crypto assets are not known. 

However, the path that Germany has set with its standard may constitute a reference for other countries.

In any case, when implementing this type of service, financial institutions, fintechs and startups dedicated to the crypto business that want to offer them must develop specific procedures and controls adapted to the nature of this type of asset. 

This fifth directive on the prevention of money laundering, known under the acronym AMLD5, must be transposed within a few days, on January 10, 2020, although it is possible that, given the interim situation of the Government, Spain will be delayed, as It has happened in many previous cases. 

The role that private entities can play in this new scenario is relevant, such as participating directly in the cryptocurrency ecosystem, created to have a stable value (stablecoin), guarding or managing the assets that support them, facilitating their operation or offering services. complementary, such as a wallet. 

At the same time, banks can be subject to a wide range of risks, both financial (liquidity, credit...) and non-financial (cybersecurity), so regulators need to consider which regulatory frameworks and resources are appropriate.